Sligo Circuit Court heard how a young man was headbutted by another in the street in Sligo almost seven years ago, as a result of which he lost two front teeth.
Patrick Joseph Maloney, Yeats Village, Ballinode, Sligo, brought the claim against Trevor Hunt, Floughenna, Doocastle, Ballymote.
Maloney was represented by Mr. Damien Higgins, B.L., instructed by Mr. Barry Creed, Solr.
The respondent was represented by Callan Tansey, Solrs.
It was claimed that on November 9th 2003, at or near Stephen Street, Sligo, Hunt headbutted Maloney in the face and mouth.
Maloney, a development chemist, told the court he was assaulted by the accused. In November 2003 he was in college in Sligo. It was graduation day and he was working in a pub. He finished work and proceeded to meet his friends. He went to the Garavogue Bar and then to one of the nightclubs.
He was walking home about 2 a.m. to Yeats Village and came to Feehily’s Shop. Hunt and one of his friends were up the street. Maloney was smoking and told Hunt, who was “really drunk”, that there was no problem in giving him a cigarette.
Maloney said that Hunt mentioned something about houses broken into and then “he just turned and headbutted me.” It was unprovoked, Maloney said. “He headbutted me in the face,” said Maloney who added that he just fell against Feehily’s shop window and “was boxed a few times.”
Maloney said he hadn’t had that much drink.
Afterwards, his two front teeth were missing. His friends arrived on the scene and took him to the garda station and to hospital.
Maloney said he worked in the students’ pub in The Brewery and the owners were very helpful to him and put him in contact with a solicitor, Barry Creed.
Maloney said that later, Hunt and a friend came to him and said they wanted to settle the matter outside of court. That was the last Maloney heard of it.
He said a dentist fitted dentures to fill the space but he needed two dentures that cost €3,600 each and €1,500 per tooth for other treatment.
Asked why he hadn’t this dental treatment done, Maloney replied: “It’s quite an expense.”
Judge Kennedy also wondered, “why it took seven years to come to court.”
The court was told that “Hunt went off the radar and a private investigator had to be retained to establish his whereabouts.”
The court heard that Maloney had already received €5,200 as a result of the incident.
Judge: “And he doesn’t know where it came from. He thinks it’s a present from the DPP.”
Judge Kennedy awarded a decree for €30,200 plus costs.