After suing her superiors, a teaching assistant who was left on crutches after being beaten up by a five-year-old received a £140,000 compensation payment.
Aleksandra Aukett, 44, was traumatised and had various soft tissue wounds after being ‘punched, pinched, and kicked’ by the ‘large for his age’ reception class youngster while attempting to maintain order.
Ms Aukett, who appeared in court on crutches, claims she has been left with ‘life-changing’ chronic pain and has not returned to work owing to a dread of returning to the ‘school atmosphere’ in the aftermath of her tragedy. She sued the London Borough of Hillingdon, the local authority in charge of the school, this week, arguing that more should have been done to safeguard her in the work environment.
On the second day of a three-day trial, the council decided to settle the matter, awarding Ms Aukett £140,338 in compensation and covering her attorneys’ fees.
Earlier, Gemma Witherington, her counsel, told Judge Richard Roberts: that Ms Aukett was operating in the course of her work when she was attacked by a kid identified as X. She continued stating that he had attacked another kid, and she had taken the other children from the room to safety when X charged at her in the passageway, hit her in the chest, and pinched her. He then kicked her in the hip, crotch, and legs.
Ms Aukett told the court that the incident left her with a lump and swelling around her hip and still can’t seem to get back to work. The youngster, who was characterised as large for his age, injured her lower back, chest, and left buttock, as well as causing long-term irritation.
Ms Aukett was strong and cheery before the classroom assault, according to medical specialists, but she is now afflicted with severe back pain, PTSD, and melancholy. She admitted from the witness stand that she is still confined. She expressed that she is nowhere near to what she was before the accident in terms mobility, fitness, and health. Her counsel stated that the youngster who went after Ms Aukett had learning challenges and came from a “sensitive background,” and that her client fully recognised this. However, this was a very heinous attack that had physical and mental health ramifications for her,’ she continued.
Ms Witherington said that no one had told her about the lad’s “violent inclinations.”
The misbehaving kid had a history of ‘physically attacking other children and staff,’ according to the barrister, who added that it was reasonably foreseeable that this kid would gravely damage either another pupil or one of the instructors.’ ‘If Ms Aukett had known about X’s condition/behavior and/or had appropriate training, she could have taken efforts to avert the attack,’ she testified in court. She would have been significantly more cautious walking out into the passageway to soothe the child and would have made certain there was ‘more assistance.’
Ms Aukett was educated in how to detain students and de-escalate incidents, according to lawyers representing the London Borough of Hillingdon.
And council barrister Roderick Abbott stated that the council did everything possible to protect workers and students from any danger. He cited a particular student risk assessment performed on the five-year-old, which identified a risk of possible dangers such as ‘throwing things and risk of damage to staff or other children. This clearly highlights the potential of X being aggressive against staff and students, he contended.
Ms Witherington disputed that ‘everyone at the school was aware of it.’
Mr Abbott, on the other hand, told the judge that given the school’s general understanding of the boy’s troubled past, it would have been inconceivable for Ms Aukett to know nothing about X’s way of behaving’. He acknowledged that Ms Aukett was “the survivor of a fierce assault while performing a demanding job,” yet rejected that the school fizzled in its obligation to shield her.
However, following a day of testimony before the judge and talks outside of court, the council decided to settle the matter by giving Ms Aukett over £140,000 in compensation, as well as her legal fees.
Judge Roberts said ‘the parties are to be applauded. Indeed, Ms Aukett, making a legal claim is extremely challenging and demonstrating cases is undeniably challenging, however you’ve done that, so all around good.’
Ms Aukett later stated that she was looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life. It’s been horrifying, she continued, calling the attack ‘absolutely life-changing.’