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Drunk backpacker gets $44k for broken leg

By Christine Flatley

* May 21, 2012 12:52PM

Court orders security company pay tourist $44k

Bouncer broke Irish man’s leg outside hostel

Police was arresting drunken man when injury occurred

AN English backpacker has been awarded $44,000 in damages for having his leg broken by a bouncer who intervened while police were arresting him.

The Brisbane District Court has ordered 1st Class Security pay Joseph Daniel O’Connell $44,318 over the incident outside a hostel in central Brisbane in June 2009.

During the hearing late last year, the court was told Mr O’Connell, then 24, was angry about being evicted from Cloud 9 Backpackers for being drunk and disorderly.

Police decided to arrest him after he started behaving aggressively towards the bouncer who guarded the entrance to the hostel and its adjoining bar.

The court heard the bouncer stepped in during the arrest, bumped the officers aside and took Mr O’Connell to the ground, breaking his leg as he did so.

The court heard there are a number of statutory defences for people who injure others while helping police.

However the court needed to consider a number of issues, such as whether the bouncer used reasonably necessary force and whether Mr O’Connell caused his injury through his drunken and aggressive behaviour.

In a written judgment published late on Friday, Judge David Andrews found that the force used by the bouncer “was more than was reasonably necessary”.

He also found the bouncer was mistaken in his belief he was assisting the police in their duties.
Mr O’Connell has since returned to England.

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