Saturday 24 February 2018

CCTV suggests defamation allegations against toy shop involving father and toddler son were a 'set-up' says judge

Ray Managh and Saurya Cherfi

CCTV footage suggested that allegations of defamation against a shop and its security staff had been a set-up, a judge has ruled when dismissing damages claims for €100,000

Judge Jacqueline Linnane said she believed security guards at Smyths Toys in Blandchardstown Shopping Centre, Dublin, had been entitled to stop Alan Joyce and his then nine-year-old son, David, as they left the store on June 24, 2012.

She said that while security guards had noticed Mr Joyce in the store that day, they could not have known a toy his son was holding when leaving the store had been bought earlier by the boy’s aunt, Adeline Joyce.

Barrister Brian Conroy, for the store, said CCTV footage revealed that Adeline Joyce had purchased the toy earlier, had gone back into the store and had planted it underneath a buggy before David picked it up later.

Mr Conroy said the boy’s father had not mentioned to members of security, when asked to produce a receipt, that the toy had been bought earlier by his sister. Instead he had insisted on members of the Garda being called.

The court was told the boy’s aunt and Mr Joyce’s sister, Adeline, had shown her receipt only when gardaí arrived.  Mr Joyce, of The Cottage, The Ward Lower, Co Dublin, denied he had been on the phone with Adeline just before the Gardaí turned up.

He sued the store and security company Manguard Plus Limited, of Newhall, Naas, Co Kildare, for €50,000 damages for defamation. His son David, also of The Cottage, The Ward Lower, had separately sued the defendants for €50,000 damages through his godmother, Annette Joyce.

Judge Linnane said the CCTV footage clearly showed that Adeline Joyce had been on the phone. She and her brother had been very unconvincing  in their evidence and CCTV footage would suggest “the incident was a set-up.”

The judge dismissed the two €50,000damages claims and awarded the costs of each claim against Mr Joyce and David’s godmother, Annette Joyce.

Irish Independent

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