Gang-ambush postman wins €20k damages

Tim Healy

A POSTMAN has won €20,000 in High Court damages against An Post after he was attacked and struck on the head with an iron bar.

John Abudusalmn (27), originally from Sierra Leone, of Abbeywell, Kinsealy, Dublin, was attacked by four youths while delivering mail on the night of November 1, 2006, at Snowdrop Walk, Darndale, Dublin.

He was struck on the back of his head with an iron bar.

In his action, he claimed An Post was negligent and in breach of their duty of work towards him on grounds including that they had failed to adequately warn him about the dangers of delivering mail at night, exposing him to unnecessary risk and failing to provide him with a safe place to work.

An Post denied the claims and argued that Mr Abudusalm was not entitled to damages.

Last October, Dublin Circuit Court dismissed his claim against An Post for damages, and the matter was appealed to the High Court.

Yesterday, High Court president, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, overturned that ruling. Mr Abudusalm was working at Clonshaugh Post Office for about 14 months when he was assaulted, the court heard.

On the night of the incident he had volunteered to do overtime to deliver mail on a route where the post had not been delivered for a couple of days. That night, at around 8.55pm, he was struck from behind by four youths who took the mail he was carrying, he said.

He managed to give chase and managed to grab one of his attackers, and also called the gardai with his mobile phone. However the other youths came back and hit him a few more times to free their companion.

The judge praised 27-year-old Mr Abudusalmn for his attempt at protecting the mail from his assailants.