€10,500 personal injury compensation has been awarded to a petrol station employee after she was threatened by two men wielding knives during a robbery. The Circuit Civil COurt heard her legal action for compensation against the Circle K Energy Group.
Presiding Judge Cormac Quinn was informed that 27-year-old Viktorija Boikovaite was working on her own when the then Topaz filling station and store at Hartstown Road, Clonsilla, Co Dublin, on October 12, 2017 was targeted in an attempted armed robbery.
The court was informed that Ms Boikovaite was in the process of clean the till area when she noticed two masked men threatening her with a large knife. one of the thieves, who was also brandishing a knife, went to the tilland had demanded money that she open them so he could remove any money inside.
31-year-old Ms Boikovaite, with an address at Clonee, informed the Judge that she was frozen in shock but was able to activate the panic button when she was opening the tills. This made Gardaí aware that the outlet was being robbed. It also alerted a number of other members of staff who were in a nearby storeroom.
She said that she suffered from trauma due to the assault and attempted robbery. Due to the acute anxiety symptoms she developed she has since moved back to her native country Lithuania.
A Wexford-based security expert, Stephen Heffernan, informed Judge Quinn that the fact that Ms Boikovaite being on her own when the robbery occurred, when other staff were in a back office., was contrary to the security policy that stated sales assistants manning tills should never be left on their own. He referred to crime statistics from the one-year period prior to the incident in which Ms Boikovaite was injured. These statistics showed that there had been 112 similar armed robberies in the west Dublin area which included Hartstown and Clonsilla. This, according to him, meant that the garage would be considered as being located in a medium to high risk area. However, it was only in the aftermath of the robbery that a security guard presence and better till security had been implemented.
Mr Heffernan told the court: “I believe that had better security measures been in place before the robbery it would have ensured that the risk of robbery was either removed or significantly reduced.”
Judge Quinn awarded Ms Boikovaite €10,500 in personal injury compensation.