A 52-year old man who suffered a brain injury in a single punch assault on a Dublin street has been granted permission by the High Court to reject an award of over €1million by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.
Stephen Avery can now appeal the compensation award for the attack which took place ten years ago to a full sitting of the Tribunal.
Mr Avery was the victim of an assault which took place outside the City Arms Pub, Prussia Street, Dublin on October 27, 2008. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and while he can walk he needs care.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross Said he thought it was in the best interests of Stephen Avery to reject the award and to proceed by way of an appeal. The judge said he hoped that appeal could be heard as quickly as possible.
The judge said Mr Avery who had been injured in an unprovoked attack had brought separate proceedings against the pub but that case had previously been settled for €30,000.
The judge noted the attack occurred outside the pub and it could not be held responsible and Mr Avery's claim was to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.
In a submission to the Tribunal Mr Avery's side said he had been engaged in a minor scuffle earlier on in the night in question but he was punched in the face by a man who was not involved in the earlier altercation. It said Mr Avery had been asked to leave the pub and walked out but was punched and hit his head on the pavement. A taxi driver witnessed the assault.
A man was arrested and charged with an offence under Section 4 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act and he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment with half of the sentence suspended for a period of three years.
In a written decision, the Tribunal said there was no evidence before it that Mr Avery was in any way responsible for his injuries. It noted that he had previous convictions in the UK relating to burglary and handling stolen goods in the 90s buy it was satisfied he had turned away from crime to a very large extent when he moved to Ireland in 2000.
Counsel for Mr Avery, Eoin McCullough SC told the High Court an award of €1.16million was made by the Tribunal but his side contended that a number of headings could be revisited.
Mr Avery now has poor balance and walks with a limp and has right sided weakness.
In an affidavit to the High Court Stephen Avery's sister Linda Milbank who lives in Lincolnshire said her brother currently lives in the UK and she did not believe he understands the complexities involved in the appeal.
She said he is not able to manage his own money and will need considerable care into the future.