At the Circuit Civil Court the Circle K Energy Group has been directed to pay a filling station employee, who was threatened by two armed thieves during a robbery, €10,500 in personal injury compensation by Judge Cormac Quinn.
The Judge was informed how the then 27-year-old Viktorija Boikovaite was working alone in the then Topaz filling station and store at Hartstown Road, Clonsilla, Co Dublin, on October 12, 2017 when the armed robbery took place. At the time she was cleaning the till area when she noticed one of two masked robbers pointing a large knife at her. The other knife-wielding robber at the tills area and threatened her to make her open them.
Now 31-year-old Ms Boikovaiterelayed how she froze initially. However, she said that when she was made to open the tills she managed to access and press the panic button to alert gardaí and other members of staff, who were in a storeroom at the time, aware that a robbery was taking place.
Legal counsel for the plaintiff described how Ms Boikovaite had been traumatised due to the armed robbery due to the perpetrators pointed knives at her and shouted obscenities and demanded that she open the till. Since the event she experiences acute anxiety symptoms and has since returned home to her native Lithuania.
Security expert Stephen Heffernan informed presiding Judge Quinn that Ms Boikovaite had been left working on her own, despite a policy that the sales assistant at the tills should never be left alone. Other workers were in the back office at the time.
Mr Heffernan also informed the Judge that, in the year 12-month before Ms Boikovaite was involved in the armed robbery, 112 similar armed robberies had occurred in the west Dublin region including Hartstown and Clonsilla. When asked he said that he considered the filling station to be located in a ‘medium to high risk’ area and it was only following the robbery that a security guard presence and till security system had been implemented.
He remarked: “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 damages and legal expenses.