Tuesday 25 September 2018

Garda attacked by British navy officer gets €89k

Garda Hilary Lynch
Garda Hilary Lynch

A garda who believed she would be choked to death when a "drunken" Royal Navy officer suddenly attacked her has been awarded nearly €90,000 in compensation at the High Court over two separate incidents.

Gda Hilary Lynch, of Angle- sea Street Garda Station in Cork, told a garda compensation hearing that in September 2010 she was in a patrol car escorting the drunken officer back to his ship at Kenn- edy Quay in the city when he suddenly grabbed her neck.


Mr Justice Raymond Fullam heard that she thought Warrant Officer Robert Nixon of HMS Mersey, was going to kill her.

A Warrant Officer (WO) is a member of the highest group of non-commissioned ranks in the British armed forces and obtains the rank by holding the Queen's warrant.

Judge Fullam was told that colleagues in the squad car had succeeded in restraining Nixon, who was arrested and charged in Cork District Court with assaulting Gda Lynch.

Nixon was later ordered to pay her €5,000 compensation.

Gda Lynch told her counsel, Oonah McCrann, that she struggled for breath for some time after the attack and was taken to the Mercy University Hospital in Cork for X-rays.

She had a sore throat and neck and later felt pain in her left jaw, which had developed as a temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TJD), a disorder causing pain and clicking noises during jaw movements.

Gda Lynch, who had been advised to wear a splint at night, said she may have to undergo surgery.

The court heard that the assault had exacerbated symptoms of a neck injury she had suffered as a result of a previous attack by another man in December 2008.

She had been on cycle duty when she intervened in an altercation between a man and two women in Cork and had been pushed off her bicycle to the ground.

She developed episodes of dizziness and vertigo.


Ms McCrann told the High Court that Gda Lynch came from a well-known family, a member of which had represented Ireland in an Olympic horse-riding event.

Gda Lynch had been very fit before the 2008 incident, but afterwards had to cancel participation in the Great North Run in England.

The officer said she was never promoted and alleged that her career had been affected because of her injuries.

Judge Fullam awarded her €47,674 in relation to the bicycle incident and €41,823 in relation to her assault by the naval officer, a total of €89,497.

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