Bouncers ordered to pay student €102,000 for brutal beating

An Italian man has been awarded over €100,000 in damages from two Paceville bouncers who savagely beat him up, leaving him permanently disabled in 2007 

An Italian man has been awarded over €100,000 in damages from two Paceville bouncers who savagely beat him up, leaving him permanently disabled, in a 2007 incident.

James Azzopardi and Martin Bonnici had been working the door at Havana in Paceville in July 2007 when an argument erupted between a group of drunk Italian youths who had created a disturbance in the club and the security men.

One of them Filippo de Romanis, at the time a 20-year-old political science student, had been on holiday in Malta with his brother and a friend, attending a conference on Peace in the Middle East and Politics in the Mediterranean.

The bouncers decided to eject the troublemakers and a physical confrontation took place, in which a form of blinding spray was used and the 20 year-old was badly beaten. 

Even as he fell to the ground in the street outside the club, the bouncers had continued to lay into him.

After the incident, the Italians had filed a report at the St Julian’s police station and de Romanis was treated in hospital for his injuries which had been certified as slight in nature at the time.

But upon his return to Italy, he required surgical intervention on his injured knee at a Roman clinic. Despite this treatment, de Romanis ended up with a permanent 11% disability.

The man filed a civil action for damages against the two bouncers who had pleaded guilty to criminal charges over the same incident in the meantime.

Despite this, the two men had denied any wrongdoing when faced with the civil action, claiming that they had only pleaded guilty in the criminal action because they had been pressured into doing so.

But Mr. Justice Joseph R. Micallef, presiding the First Hall of the Civil Court, after examining the evidence and the dynamics of the incident, observed that what had most probably happened was that the bouncers’ pride was hurt when the man and his friends, who were drunk, appeared to be poking fun at the men in front of all those present at the club. This emerged clearly from the account of events given by the victim, his brother, friend and other eyewitnesses present at the time, noted the court.

Angered by the foreigners’ impudence, the bouncers had thrown the men out of the premises before raining blows and kicks upon the victim as he lay prostrate on the street outside, said the judge.

The Court held the bouncers to be jointly responsible for the injuries suffered by the youth, condemning them to pay €102,523.42 by way of damages to de Romanis.

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