Woman whose house gardaí unlawfully entered awarded €78,300



A woman whose home was unlawfully entered by gardaí looking for her boyfriend has been awarded €78,300 by the High Court, The Irish Times reports.

Judyta Rozmyslowicz, 32, of the Grove, Sallins, Co Kildare, sued the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner for personal injury, trespass and violation of her constitutional right to the inviolability of her home.

In 2016 the court rejected her claim and she appealed to the Court of Appeal, which last year overturned the lower court’s decision.

It found that gardaí­ had failed to discharge the evidential burden imposed on them of demonstrating reasonable cause that her boyfriend, who was sought on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant, was there.

The matter was sent back to the High Court for assessment of damages and on Friday Mr Justice Michael Hanna awarded Ms Rozmyslowicz €50,000 for injury to ger foot, sustained when gardaí pushed her door as she stood behind it, as well as for distress and upset.

She was also awarded €25,000 for breach of her constitutional right to inviolability of the home and a further €3,300 for loss of earnings as she could not work for six weeks.

Mr Justice Hanna said Ms Rozmyslowicz has told the truth and had not attempted to exaggerate her injury.

The court was told that in July 2012 gardaí called to the house in pursuit of Sebastian Snaidy, who had breached his bail conditions over a warrant seeking his extradition to Poland, after seeing his car in the driveway.

Ms Rozmyslowicz opened the door only slightly in order to prevent her puppy from running out, said the judge.

One of the gardaí said she saw a curtain moving upstairs, but Ms Rozmyslowicz said this was simply her dog having a look out the window.

A female officer “acted with excessive zeal in producing a baton and threatening the plaintiff with handcuffs”.

The same officer “threatened me with her stick”, Ms Rozmyslowicz told her counsel, Garnet Orange SC.

She asked the gardaí to take her to hospital – they refused.

Cormac Corrigan SC, for the State, was refused an application for a stay on the award, sought on the basis the general damages were excessive.