Friday 23 February 2018

Former HMV security guard says firm falsely accused him of fraud

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A FORMER HMV security guard, dismissed for what he has called completely untrue allegations that he defrauded the company, has taken a case for unfair dismissal.

Paul Murphy (28) was dismissed for alleged "gross misconduct" when the company claimed he fraudulently used a staff discount to purchase a PlayStation Vita.

The computer science graduate, from Naas Road, Dublin, worked for the retailer from 2008 until he was dismissed in April 2012. The Employment Appeals Tribunal heard he held a number of jobs in those years, including as a cashier – a "position of trust".

The tribunal heard that HMV employees were entitled to a 30pc discount on any shop item, except for new hardware, and were able to purchase returned items using the discount.

Giving evidence, Mr Murphy explained that a customer had returned a PlayStation Vita to the Blanchardstown store in Dublin.

The security guard sought and received authorisation from his supervisor and bought the unit using the discount.

But following a stock take, it emerged that a new unit had gone missing from the store. Mr Murphy was called to a meeting and accused of using the discount to buy that unit.

He was suspended and later dismissed, despite writing to a HMV regional manager protesting his innocence and a statement from a supervisor supporting his version of events.

It was later discovered that work experience students on placement in the shop had put the new console out with old boxes and later returned to steal it, he told the tribunal.

The company did not appear to contest Mr Murphy's version of events or to argue that his dismissal was fair.

The tribunal, having listened to Mr Murphy's evidence, said it would issue its findings in due course.

Irish Independent

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