Guard who struck youth with basket is awarded €20,000
The Irish arm of supermarket giant Tesco has been ordered to pay more than €20,000 to a security worker who struck a youth with a shopping basket.
The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) awarded €20,885 after finding that Olatunji Lyinolakan had been unfairly dismissed by Tesco Ireland Ltd following the night-time incident at one of its stores.
In his evidence to the EAT, Mr Lyinolakan admitted to striking the youth in the middle of the body with the shopping basket after beginning work at 10pm on September 2, 2010.
Mr Lyinolakan told the tribunal that the youth threatened to kill him and his family.
According to the EAT, CCTV footage of the incident at Tesco in Celbridge "showed six youths congregating outside the store... interfering with shopping trolleys and signs, urinating and making monkey gestures towards a security guard".
The footage, according to the EAT, showed the youth who was struck following Mr Lyinolakan into the store on a couple of occasions and the youth then smashed the security gates.
In his evidence, Mr Lyinolakan said that he made two calls to the gardai and they told him that they were on their way. After approaching the youths a third time a scuffle ensued where he was placed in a head grip by the youth.
He said that he felt threatened, believed that he used reasonable force, and that he tried to defend himself when hitting the youth with the basket.
An unnamed Tesco store manager at the hearing claimed that Mr Lyinolakan's actions on the night represented serious misconduct and the security guard was dismissed by letter in November 2010.
After finding that Mr Lyinolakan was unfairly dismissed, the EAT awarded the sum of €19,000 under the Unfair Dismissal Acts and a further €1,188 under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.