A 25 year-old backpacker from Cookstown has been awarded $350,000 (£235k) in compensation after he was the victim of an unprovoked attack in Australia.
Patrick Crilly, who is from The Rock but now lives in Brisbane, Australia, lost his hearing in his right ear and suffered a bleed on the brain after a security guard punched him outside the Moore Park View Hotel in Waterloo in December 2008.
The former Holy Trinity student sued Bumble Group Pty Ltd trading as My Security, the employer of the guard working at the hotel. He had been living in Brisbane since the hotel bouncer grabbed him and punched him on the lower jaw under the chin, causing him to fall to the ground. When he fell the back of his head hit the concrete and he lost consciousness and began vomiting.
Since the attack the County Tyrone man can no longer hear from his right ear and has suffered problems with his balance and bleeding on the brain.
At the time of the incident, Mr Crilly was drunk and trying to help a friend who became involved in an altercation on the footpath outside the hotel.
District Court judge Leonard Levy said Mr Crilly did nothing to provoke the assault and “he was an entirely innocent victim” of the bouncer.
The security guard was sentenced to a suspended jail term after he was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Judge Levy ordered Mr Crilly should receive $200,000 in general damages, $100,000 for future economic loss and smaller sums for hearing aids in the future and aggravated damages.
Following the court case Mr Crilly, who is a steel and metal fabricator, boarded a flight home to Cookstown.
The $356,759 was awarded to compensate him because he has been advised to avoid working at heights, on ladders or working on or nearby dangerous machinery.
Mr Crilly has said the incident left him feeling “frustrated and impatient” and he had suffered forgetfulness, poor concentration and anxiety ever since the assault. He said his loss of hearing had forced him to ask people to repeat themselves numerous times which made him feel awkward in social situations.
The Bumble Group, owned by Beajan Haidary from Guildford, did not take part in the legal case and refused to respond to letters from Mr Crilly’s lawyers, Stacks Goudkamp. The group also owns a perfume and scented-soap company.