herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Garda gets €30k for cut lip after toilet brush holder attack

Garda Sean Kelly at court. Photo: Collins
Garda Sean Kelly at court. Photo: Collins

A young garda who has been left with a scar on his upper lip joked with a judge that he might have to wear make-up when he marries next Saturday.

Garda Sean Kelly (31) was yesterday awarded €30,000 compensation for an injury he received to his mouth nearly five years ago.

He told Mr Justice Bernard Barton that he was still conscious of the star-shaped scar.

A Garda Compensation Hearing in the High Court was told that Gda Kelly was one of three officers called to a house in Finglas where a man was threatening to self-harm.

When the officers tried to apprehend the man, Gda Kelly was hit in the mouth with a porcelain toilet brush holder.

The man, who had just been released from a psychiatric institution, had taken a large amount of non-prescriptive drugs and locked himself in the bathroom.

The hearing was told that the man was threatening to jump from the bathroom window.

He later ran out of the bathroom and hit Gda Kelly with the toilet brush holder.

The badly bleeding officer was taken to hospital, where a piece of porcelain was removed from his upper lip.

He was given seven stitches, some on the inside of his mouth.

Later, the wound became infected and he was put on a course of antibiotics.

Following the assault, Gda Kelly suffered considerable pain, discomfort and facial swelling. Later, a small area around the wound became numb and remained so.

The hearing was told that laceration had gone right through his lip, and that he had sometimes bitten the repaired skin when talking or eating.

Scar

He said he could still feel the scar in his mouth, while the scar on his lip was noticeable at conversational distance.

Barrister Fiona Gallagher, counsel for the garda, said: "You have a very important special occasion coming up?"

Gda Kelly said: "Yes, I'm getting married next Saturday. I may have to wear make-up to cover it up."

Judge Barton said: "I have no doubt you would prefer it wasn't there but it hasn't affected your relationship with your fiancee. I wish both of you very many happy days."

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