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Work Assault Injury Compensation of €25k awarded to Garda After Head-Butt Injury

A head-butt injury to the nose of a garda sergeant, who experienced sever snoring issues as we result, has led to a Work Assault Injury Compensation of €25,000.

The injury was sustained by Sergeant Noel McSweeney while he was on duty. The Court was advised that, following the injury, his snoring impacted his wife’s sleep so badly that he had to move into the spare room several times.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey was advised by Barrister Ellen Gleeson that Sergeant McSweeney, based at Enniscorthy Garda Station had been taking part in a missing person search in May 2012 when the incident happened.

Appearing with her solicitor Ernest Cantillon, Mr McSweeney told Ms Gleeson that the woman had been located in a car where she was extremely intoxicated and acting aggressively in a vehicle. There were also drugs found and she was taken into custody.

Sergeant McSweeney stated: “She jumped back and threw her head backwards, hitting me in the nose and upper teeth”. He went on to say that he experienced cuts to four of his upper front teeth and the line of his nose had been altered. He also experienced a restriction of the airflow through his nose as he suffered a deviated septum in the incident.

He added: “The appearance of my nose wasn’t upsetting to me so I decided not to have surgery correcting it.  Perhaps if I was a model it would be different”.

Sergeant McSweeney also admitted that he was unaware of the issue but had to sleep in his house’s spare room to his snoring problems. He (Sgt McSweeney) also stated that he only experienced slight discomfort and, hence, he had decided against surgery.

In assessing the amount of compensation to be awarded Judge Twomey, referred to the Book of Quantum and recommended damages of €7,500 be paid in relation to the minor dental damage along with an additional €18,000 in Garda nose injury compensation.