A TEACHING assistant left on crutches after she was battered by a five-year-old is suing her school for £250,000 amid claims she's been dogged by chronic pain.
Aleksandra Aukett, 44, says she was traumatised by the frightening infant school attack in March 2017.
She suffered multiple soft tissue injuries when "punched, pinched and kicked" by the reception class pupil, who was "big for his age", while trying to keep order.
Ms Aukett, who stepped up to the witness box at Central London County Court using crutches, says she has not returned to work due to a fear of the “school environment” in the aftermath of her ordeal.
She is suing the London Borough of Hillingdon, the local authority responsible for overseeing the school, after claiming more should have been done to protect her in the workplace.
Barrister Gemma Witherington told Judge Richard Roberts the child – known as X – had already beaten up another youngster when Ms Aukett was hurt.
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She'd removed the other pupils from the room when X launched himself at her, punching her in the chest, pinching her and kicking her hips, groin and legs, it was heard.
The attack caused ongoing damage to Ms Aukett's lower back, chest and left buttock.
Medical experts said she's been plagued by chronic back pain, PTSD and depression in the aftermath of her ordeal.
"I'm still restricted," she told the court.
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"I'm nowhere near the level of mobility, fitness and health I was at before the accident."
Her barrister said X has learning difficulties and comes from a "vulnerable background".
However, she added: "This was a very nasty assault which had physical and mental health consequences."
Ms Aukett hadn't been warned about the lad's "violent tendencies" in advance, it was claimed – even though he was known for "physically assaulting other pupils and staff".
"It was reasonably foreseeable that this child would seriously injure either another pupil or one of the teachers," Ms Witherington said.
Lawyers for the London Borough of HIllingdon, which is denying liability, say Ms Aukett had been trained in how to restrain and de-escalate.
Roderick Abbott, representing the local authority, told the court his clients did everything in their power to safeguard staff and pupils from any risk posed.
He highlighted a specific pupil risk assessment for the five-year-old which pinpointed a risk of potential hazards.
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“This clearly identifies the risk of X being violent towards staff and pupils,” he argued.
The case continues.
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