Man bit garda's thumb before kicking him in 'Kung Fu-style attack'

CourtsBy Sunday World
Garda Niall Mangan
Garda Niall Mangan

A 46-year-old garda, who claimed he feared for his life when he was assaulted in a "frenzied Kung Fu-style attack" has been awarded €60,000 damages in the High Court.

Garda Niall Mangan told the court that in April 2009 he had been patrolling in Carrigaline, Co Cork with a colleague when they attended a public order disturbance that involved youths drinking in a forest.

He told a Garda Compensation hearing that the youngsters were extremely drunk but most of them had agreed to leave the area.  One youth had become very aggressive but eventually agreed to leave too. 

Garda Mangan, now based in Crosshaven garda station, told his barrister, Alan Keating, that he and his colleague were about to leave when the youth became very vocal, insulting the two gardai and giving them a middle-finger gesture. 

When Garda Mangan's colleague had tried to arrest him, the man had become very violent and resisted arrest by punching and kicking both of them.

The court heard that the youth, who was a strong six-foot tall individual in his 20s, was in a frenzied state and managed to catch Garda Mangan's wrist, biting his left thumb until he had drawn blood.

Garda Mangan said the man, who the court heard was a drug user, then kicked him in a Kung-Fu style manner on his head, knocking him to the ground. 

Mr Keating said Garda Mangan had felt dizzy, unbalanced and nauseated. The court heard that after reinforcements had arrived, it had taken six members of the gardai to arrest the man and take him to the local garda station.

Garda Mangan, who sued the Minister for Finance, told Mr Justice Bernard Barton that he had suffered from post-concussion symptoms, involving "dagger-type" headaches behind his left eye and migraines for a number of months. He had been out of work for two months.

The court heard Garda Mangan later developed post-traumatic stress symptoms and had needed to attend therapy sessions.  His social life and sporting activities had been affected and he claimed he was still suffering from anxiety. 

Barrister Kathryn Hutton, for the State, said it was the Minister's case that Garda Mangan had suffered PTSD symptoms only for a short period of time. 

Judge Barton, awarding Garda Mangan €60,000 damages, said he was satisfied that he suffered physical, neurological and psychological injuries following a serious assault.

Saurya Cherfi