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civil court Office administrator threatened by men wielding knives awarded €10,500 damages

Viktorija Boikovaite was left alone at the Topaz filling station in Dublin when it was robbed


 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

(Andrew Matthews/PA)

(Andrew Matthews/PA)

An office administrator who was threatened by two men wielding knives during a robbery at a Dublin filling station has been awarded personal injury damages in the Circuit Civil Court against the Circle K Energy Group.

Judge Cormac Quinn heard that 27-year-old Viktorija Boikovaite had been left alone in the then Topaz filling station and store at Hartstown Road, Clonsilla, Co Dublin, on October 12, 2017 when the armed robbery occurred.

She told her counsel John Nolan she had been tidying around the till area when she suddenly saw one of two masked robbers pointing a large knife at her. The second robber, who had also been carrying a knife, had gone to the tills area and had demanded money she open them.

Ms Boikovaite, who is now 31 and had been living at Linnetfield Square, Clonee, Dublin 15, told the court she froze but when forced to open the tills she had pressed the panic button to alert gardai and other members of staff who were in a storeroom at the time.

Mr Nolan, who appeared with Tracey Solicitors, Andrew Street, Dublin, said Ms Boikovaite had been traumatised as a result of the assault when the robbers pointed knives at her and shouted obscenities and demanded money. She had suffered acute anxiety symptoms and had since returned to Lithuania, her home country.

Stephen Heffernan, a Wexford-based security consultant, told Judge Quinn that despite a policy that the sales assistant at the tills should never be left alone Ms Boikovaite had been on her own at the time as other staff had been in a back office at the time.

Mr Heffernan said that in a 12-months period prior to the incident in which Ms Boikovaite was injured, there had been 112 similar armed robberies in the West Dublin area which included Hartstown and Clonsilla. From crime statistics he considered the garage to be in a medium to high risk area and it was only following the robbery that a security guard presence and better till security had been put in place.

Judge Quinn, awarding Ms Boikovaite €10,500 damages and District Court costs said the court was satisfied there had been a lack of security and the tills had been positioned in such a way that the robbers had been able to reach across and rifle them before running off.

Mr Heffernan, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the criminal justice and security systems, said that between April 2016 and March 2017 there had been over 320 robberies in the Dublin metropolitan region overall.

“I believe that had better security measures been in place before the robbery it would have ensured that the risk of robbery was either removed or significantly reduced,” he told the court.

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