Duo wins €9,000 over 'robbing scumbags' remark
TWO businessmen, allegedly described by a security man as "f***ing robbing scumbags," have each been awarded damages in court against a filling station and its security company.
Alan O'Brien, a 41-year-old self-employed car salesman, of Charnwood Dale, Clonsilla, Dublin, told his solicitor Howard Synnott that the security man had publicly accused him of being in Topaz, Blessington Road, Tallaght, Dublin, every day robbing the place.
He said he dealt on a daily basis with his friend Brian Healy, who owned a garage and four houses just next to the Topaz filling station, which both of them visited several times a day for coffee.
On November 18, 2010, he poured out two drinks at the coffee dock in the store while Mr Healy went to the counter to pay for them. As they left the store, the security man grabbed Mr Healy and shouted: "Get back in the shop. You f***ing robbing scumbags are in here every day robbing the place."
Both Mr O'Brien and Mr Healy, a motor trader, of Gael Aras, Slade Road, Saggart, Co Dublin, said they had been frightened by the security man's attitude until the manager had intervened and said the coffees had been paid for.
Counsel for Mr Healy, John P Kehoe told the Circuit Civil Court that both men denied having told the security man he would "regret this" and that there was trouble coming his way.
Judge Matthew Deery, awarded both men €9,000 each and costs against Topaz Energy Group Ltd, Beech Hill, Clonskeagh, Dublin, and Ashjen Ltd, trading as At Risk Security Group, Centrepoint, Oak Road, Co Dublin.
He was satisfied a confrontation had arisen out of an inquiry about payment raised by the security guard and that words had been spoken implying they had stolen product when it was quite clear to other staff that this was not the case.