independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Pensioner left with costs for great grand-daughter’s failed defamation case

A 79-YEAR-OLD great granny has been told by a judge she will have to pay legal costs for a failed defamation case involving her 11-year-old great grand-daughter.



Rita Reid, of O’Moore Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, who took the case on behalf of Nadia Hassan, also of O’Moore Road, now faces having to raise up to €10,000 in legal costs.



She told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court that in April 2009, when Nadia was nine, they were shopping together in Super Valu, Aston Quay, Dublin.



Ms Reid said she owned her own shopping trolley and having completed and paid for her shopping she and Nadia had left the shop to catch their bus.



The bus had pulled up at a stop close to the shop and Nadia had taken the trolley and run ahead to hold it for her great-gran, the court was told.



Ms Reid said that an assistant from the shop had run past her on the street outside the shop and had grabbed the trolley from Nadia. When she shouted it was all right and her great grand-daughter was helping her, the shop assistant had run back into the shop.



Judge Linnane heard that when Ms Reid and Nadia had returned to the shop the assistant had locked herself in a room and refused to come out, even for another staff member.



Kevin Lenahan, counsel for Brinkhall Limited, which trades as Super Valu, said Nadia, who was at school, was not being called as a witness and he asked for a direction dismissing the case on the basis defamation of character had not been proved.



He said there had not been any evidence of defamatory words having been spoken or of the identity of the alleged shop assistant.



Judge Linnane she agreed and dismissed the case with an order for costs against Ms Reid. She made the legal costs order after having been told there was no certainty her decision would not be appealed to the High Court.

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