An office administrator who was threatened by two men wielding knives during a robbery at a Dublin gas station has been awarded damages for personal injury by the Circuit Civil Court against Circle K Energy Group.
Judge Cormac Quinn learned that Viktorija Boikovaite, 27, was left alone in the then Topaz gas station and store in Hartstown Road, Clonsilla, Co Dublin on October 12, 2017 when the armed robbery took place place.
She told her lawyer John Nolan that she was clearing the cash register when she suddenly saw one of the two masked thieves pointing a large knife at her. The second robber, who also carried a knife, had gone to the checkout area and demanded money for her to open them.
Ms Boikovaite, who is now 31 years old and lives in Linnetfield Square, Clonee, Dublin 15, told the court she froze but when forced to open the checkouts she pressed the button panicked to alert Gardai and other staff who were in a pantry at the time.
Mr Nolan, who appeared with Tracey Solicitors, Andrew Street, Dublin, said Ms Boikovaite was traumatized as a result of the assault when thieves pointed knives at her and shouted obscenities and demanded money . She had suffered from acute anxiety symptoms and had since returned to Lithuania, her country of origin.
Stephen Heffernan, a Wexford-based security consultant, told Judge Quinn that despite a policy that the sales assistant at checkouts should never be left alone, Ms Boikovaite was alone at the time, as d other staff were in a back office at the time.
Mr Heffernan said that in the 12 months leading up to the incident in which Ms Boikovaite was injured, there had been 112 similar armed robberies in the west Dublin area, including Hartstown and Clonsilla. From the crime statistics he considered the garage to be in a medium to high risk area and it was only after the theft that a security guard and better until security had been set up.
Judge Quinn, awarding Ms Boikovaite â¬ 10,500 in damages and district court costs, said the court was satisfied there had been a lack of security and that the crates had been placed in such a way that the thieves were able to reach them and shoot them before fleeing. .
Mr Heffernan, who has more than 30 years of experience in the criminal justice and security systems, said that between April 2016 and March 2017, there were more than 320 thefts across the metropolitan area from Dublin.
“I think that if better security measures had been put in place before the flight, it would have eliminated or significantly reduced the risk of theft,” he told the court.
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