Friday 26 May 2017

Exclusive: Teens accused of stealing chocolate from Dublin shops threaten to sue store owners for defamation

*Claim they have been humiliated after being refused service
*Give shop owners seven days to respond
*Claim they should be compensated

Stock picture
Stock picture
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A number of teenagers who have been accused of stealing from shops in Dublin city centre have issued solicitors letters to shop owners threatening to sue for defamation.

In one of the letters, obtained exclusively by Independent.ie, the teenager claims the shop owner accused him of previously stealing from the shop and refused to serve him.

He also claims he was called a “scumbag” and a “p**ck”.

The shop owner has denied these allegations and states he has CCTV footage to prove otherwise.

He did refuse to serve the teenager as he claims he has previously stolen chocolate bars from the shop.

The letter then outlines how the teenager intends to sue for defamation unless he receives proposals for compensation within seven days – due to being subjected to “defamation, embarrassment and humiliation”.

The solicitor states that the shop owner’s actions, by way of inferential meaning and innuendo, implied that their client had committed a criminal offence.

It also stated that he has suffered “hurt, distress, anxiety and has been held to ridicule and contempt of right minded thinking members of society”.

According to one shop owner, other shops in the Parnell Street area have received a similar letter from the same firm.

Irish law allows a person to sue for defamation in a shop.

A number of cases have appeared before the courts in previous years concerning shop defamation.

Three sisters were each awarded €2,500 for being defamed in a shop in Blanchardstown.

They had been pram shopping in Mamas and Papas at the time.

All three sisters told the Circuit Civil Court that a man who was not an employee of the store and who was carrying a baby in his arms, had shouted at them like he was crazy and told them to “put the pram down and get out”.

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