Kilrea drugs dealer fails to win £60,000 compensation claim


A convicted drug dealer-turned ice cream man from Kilrea who claimed he slipped and fractured his ankle on a drink-covered nightclub dancefloor failed in a bid to secure a £60,000 payout.

Shane Carton was seeking damages over allegations that he was injured at the Anchor Bar in Portstewart, Co Derry and then thrown outside by bouncers.

But a High Court judge dismissed his compensation case after finding him to have been “evasive and untruthful” in the witness box.

Mr Justice Horner said: “His criminal record demonstrates his dishonesty and willingness to break the law if it is to his financial advantage.”

Carton, 41 and from the Kilrea area, said he had gone to the Anchor Bar’s upstairs nightclub with a group friends to celebrate his birthday in August 2008.

He denied being drunk and claimed to have only had three or four pints of beer because he was due to get up early the next morning to sell ice cream at the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle.

According to his account he was going to the toilet when he slipped and fell on a dancefloor with spilled drink and broken glass on it.

He claimed two bouncers then lifted and carried him downstairs before throwing him outside.

The owners of the Anchor defended the action, insisting the accident did not happen on the premises.

Medical and ambulance staff records from the time he was taken to hospital included references to him falling down steps rather than slipping.

During the hearing it emerged that Carton has convictions for drug dealing and fraud.

He confirmed having sold £50 wraps of cocaine in the past but denied ever dealing from his ice cream van.

It was also disclosed that at one stage more than £127,000 was confiscated from him under Proceeds of Crime legislation.

Mr Justice Horner had only to rule on whether the accident happened in the way Carton alleged.

The judge held that he had not been truthful about his drinking or drug taking at the time of the accident.

Rejecting the account of slipping on a wet dancefloor, he said: “I consider it more likely that he fell descending stairs while in a state of intoxication brought on by alcohol or drugs or a combination of both.”

Following the verdict the Anchor Bar’s insurers said it believed Carton had been trying to secure a large sum of money on the basis of conflicting evidence.

Scott Clayton, Claims Fraud and Investigations Manager at Zurich, said: “Fraudulent claims add a substantial cost to everyone’s insurance premiums, therefore we owe it to our customers to ensure we only pay for genuine claims.”