Sunday 17 November 2019

€10,000 for teenage girl who had her photo put on shop wall after alleged shop-lifting

Ray Managh

A 13-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl was "having no hand or part" in a bid by two friends to take two cans of beer from an off-license without paying for them, a court heard today.

Barrister Padraig Lyons told the Circuit Civil Court that when, in March of last year, Danika Hopkins’ friends popped two cans of beer into her bag she simply dropped the bag on the floor and walked out of the shop.

“Danika did not want to engage in such behaviour,” Mr Lyons said.

“Unfortunately, not only was she blamed for taking goods without paying for them, the management put up a photograph of her in the shop.”

Mr Lyons said the photograph included Danika and her two friends and carried a notice underneath stating: “These girls are not to be allowed in this shop.”

He told Judge Matthew Deery that the shop in Pearse Street, Dublin, was owned by KWBC Supermarkets and Off Licenses Ltd, Ballyphehane, Cork, and management had refused to take down the photograph.

Danika’s parents, James and Lisa, of Canon Mooney Gardens, Ringsend, Dublin, had brought gardai to the shop and they had directed that the photograph be taken down. The photograph had been kept up for a fortnight.

Mr Lyons said the shopowners had offered Danika a sum of €10,000 damages in settlement of her claim for defamation of character and he was recommending it to the court.

He said Danika, now aged 15, and her parents accepted that the offer meant they accepted she was not guilty of any wrongdoing on the day.

Judge Deery approved the offer.

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