Monday 23 October 2017

Mother defamed by store after anti-shoplifting alarm went off

Saurya Cherfi

AN anti-shoplifting alarm system, which was going off on a daily basis in a Dublin sports store, was unfit for purpose, a judge said when he awarded a mother of three damages for defamation.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the system went off in J.D. Sports at The Square, Tallaght, Dublin, on May 10, 2013, as Sirina Kenna and her three children left the shop.

She told the Circuit Civil Court she froze instantly and had been asked by a staff member to go back into the store.  Her bags had been passed through the security barriers several times as the alarm would not stop ringing.

Ms Kenna, of Cushlawn Avenue, Tallaght, told her barrister Tom Hogan that the incident lasted several minutes and she and her children had been upset and aware of passers-by watching them.

Conor Kearney, counsel for J.D. Sports, said Ms Kenna returned to the shop of her own accord.  She had never been suspected of theft.

Staff member Niall Burke said he had wanted to help Ms Kenna as the alarm system at the time would be activated on a daily basis by security tags from other stores.

Judge Groarke, awarding her €7,500 damages, said he believed the store had tried to help Ms Kenna but on seeing the incident that day any reasonable person would have concluded that she had committed a crime. 

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