Security guard accused of causing man brain injury after throwing him out
(C) EVENING EXPRESSThe incident happened at the Co-op store on Union Street
An Aberdeen supermarket security guard has gone on trial accused of critically injuring a man when he threw him out of the store. Chukwuemka Ibeabuchi, 31, is alleged to have pushed Andrejs Galkins so hard onto the Union Street pavement that he required emergency brain surgery for life-threatening injuries. A jury at Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told Ibeabuchi threw Mr Galkins, 33, out of the Co-op store on April 26 2017 after a brief earlier altercation.
Mr Galkins suffered a fractured skull and was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he underwent urgent surgery to remove a blood clot, losing 3.5 litres of blood in the process.
Fiscal Depute Felicity Merson said he required weeks of recovery in both intensive care and a neurorehabilitation unit. Ibeabuchi denies assaulting Mr Galkins to his severe injury and danger to life. Witnesses who worked alongside the security guard in the store in 2017 told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that Mr Galkins appeared “unsteady on his feet” when he arrived at the shop around 9.30pm, and was being generally disruptive, “abusive” and “very loud”.
One witnesses heard a “crack” when his head hit the pavement. Co-op team leader Cameron Rankin said in the moments before the incident he noticed Mr Galkins was unsteady on his feet and slurring his words.
‘It seemed aggressive’
He watched Mr Galkins approach Ibeabuchi near the alcohol aisle and then poke his (Ibeabuchi’s) staff armband, offering up a “not friendly conversation”. Mr Rankin said: “It seemed like something that would potentially escalate.
It seemed aggressive, I could tell from his body language.”
Witness Cameron Rankin outside Aberdeen High Court.
The 26-year-old then told of hearing “scuffling noises” and seeing Ibeabuchi and the man “grappling” near the exit of the shop. Mr Rankin said he assumed the guard was restraining the man, who he thought was potentially shoplifting and ran to help. He continued: “I didn’t realise he was being ejected from the shop.
The guard pushed the male from the store but he lost his footing and unfortunately struck his head on the pavement.”
‘I saw him lying there’
He added he was “shocked” at the situation and had not expected the man to be pushed. Mr Rankin said: “The guard seemed to have his arms around the male which suggested to me that the male was putting his force into trying to get out of the shop and the guard was restraining him. I would say he was putting up a resistance.”
His former colleague Holly Dunbar, 24, told the court she heard the “crack” of Mr Galkins’ head hitting the ground. She said he had been “loud and aggressive in the store” and also believed he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ms Dunbar said: “I saw the security guard push him out of the store then I heard the crack of his head against the pavement.
I went to the door and saw him lying there. He didn’t move.” She added that she believed the push was “overly forceful”.
Court documents allege the fall causing Galkins severe injury, permanent impairment and permanent disfigurement.
Ibeabuchi also maintains a not guilty plea to a second charge of failing to appear at an earlier court appearance in Feburary 2018.
The trial continues on Monday.
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