A former student of Matevulu College has been awarded Vt4.2 million compensation in damages after being assaulted by a police officer.

The claim was made following an incident on October 31, 2015, at Matevulu College, on Santo, where several students were apprehended by the police in respect of allegations of criminal damage to school property.

It was reported that a number of the College students were intoxicated and out of control. The claimant was one of the students who was detained in the police cell for a time prior to being interviewed.

In the course of being interviewed, a police officer entered the interview room and slapped him on his right ear first, and later again, but on his left ear.

The blows caused both ear drums to perforate, as well as enduring the pain and suffering loss of hearing to certain degrees in both ears, as well as enduring the pain and suffering around the time of the incident.

There were two examination records from the hospital on two separate occasions. The first record revealed that both of the student’s eardrums were perforated and blood stained and secondly, that he has a significant permanent hearing loss in both ears that will impact his ability to communicate.

The student sought general damages for loss of hearing in both ears and loss of employment prospects. He has found difficulty in completing the school year, and accordingly, could not continue on past Year 12.

He maintained that as a result, he would not be able to obtain higher paid employment. He has also lost the ability to play sports, he previously enjoyed swimming in the sea.

Justice Gustaaf Andrée Wiltens said the student is entitled to Vt500,000 for pain and suffering.

For his hearing loss, he is entitled to Vt2.5 million for his left ear hearing loss and Vt1.65 million for his right ear hearing loss. Both sums were reduced by one-third, leaving the final award in respect of this aspect at Vt2.6 million.

Wiltens further added that the former student is entitled to Vt10,000 per month for his loss of employment prospects. The said the amount would be the income he should be able to earn with his disability as opposed to what he might otherwise have earned. The total sum is Vt4.2 million.

A conference is scheduled for July 27 for the defendant to explain how he intends to pay the compensation.

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