Belfast Telegraph

Disabled man awarded £15,000 after vicious attack by Northern Ireland pub bouncer

By George Jackson

A bar owner and a security company have been ordered to pay £15,000 compensation to a disabled man who was viciously attacked by a pub bouncer.

Hugh Donegan (28), who lost a leg in a motorcycle incident six years ago, was so severely beaten by the pub doorman, who also kicked him as he lay on the ground, that his prosthetic left limb came off.

He was found by another bouncer lying unconscious outside the bar, with a broken nose and smashed teeth.

Yesterday Londonderry Crown Court Judge Philip Babington ordered bar owner Margaret Patricia Doherty and the security firm who hired the bouncer, Estate Services Northern Ireland Limited, to pay damages to Mr Donegan and court costs.

Mr Donegan, a father of a nine-year-old boy from Inch View in Derry, still bears several visible facial scars as a result of the assault outside the Delacroix Bar in the Buncrana Road area of the city on December 17, 2011.

Judge Babington, in his reserved judgment, said he was surprised that Estate Services Northern Ireland Limited, which is registered with the Security Industry Authority, had no record of the incident.

The judge said that Mr Donegan, who was in court with his partner Donna Crerand, arrived at the Delacroix Bar between 6pm and 7pm and drank about five pints of beer. He said there was undoubtedly an incident inside the bar and evidence was given by the defendants that Mr Donegan was put out of the bar by a bouncer because of his behaviour inside the premises.

A bouncer said Mr Donegan was inebriated and fell outside the bar and sustained his injuries.

Judge Babington said Mr Donegan told the ambulance crew that he had been punched and kicked by a doorman several times on the face and that he was again assaulted when he fell to the ground. He said Mr Donegan's prosthetic limb came away from his leg during the assault.

Judge Babington said Mr Donegan denied allegations by door staff that he was drunk.

A bouncer told the hearing that he attempted to speak to Mr Donegan for about 10 minutes but Mr Donegan then tried to headbutt him. He also swore at the doorman.

After the incident outside the bar the senior bouncer found Mr Donegan unconscious.

Judge Babington said the hearing was told that there was no CCTV footage of the incident nor had Estate Services Northern Ireland Limited recorded the incident.

He said he was satisfied that Mr Donegan had been assaulted for no good reason. He said while Mr Donegan might have been the worse for wear, that did not excuse what happened to him outside the bar. The doorman "hit him, put him out of the bar and kicked him to the ground", he said.

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