A DUBLIN man who was "recklessly" accused of stealing two boxes of nappies has won damages in the Circuit Civil Court for defamation of character.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane said that store owner Charlie Tracey should have checked his CCTV footage before accusing Francis Dunne (55) of stealing Pampers nappies in June 2012.
The court heard that Mr Dunne had walked past C&T Stores, at Philipsburgh Avenue, when Mr Tracey pulled up alongside him in his car.
He told Mr Dunne that a member of staff thought he had taken the nappies from outside C&T Stores without paying.
Mr Dunne told the court that as he passed Mr Tracey's shop he was carrying boxes of Pampers nappies that he had bought in another store. He told his barrister, Dermot Francis Sheehan, that Mr Tracey had "interrogated" him about the nappies and had checked the boxes he had been carrying.
Mr Dunne, of Spring Garden Street, Ballybough, said he had been intimidated by Tracey's "arrogant" behaviour and he had shown him a receipt to explain that he had purchased the nappies elsewhere.
Mr Dunne told Mr Sheehan that later that day he and his sister had gone to the C&T store and had asked for an apology from Mr Tracey who, they told the court, had "dismissed them".
Mr Tracey claimed he had seen Dunne outside his shop where nappies had been shelved. He had askedhim where he had got the items after checking with his staff that no-one had bought nappies.
He said that when Mr Dunne had told him he had bought them in another store he had apologised for the misunderstanding but denied he had been reckless and arrogant or had blocked Mr Dunne's path.
Judge Linnane, awarding Dunne €5,000, said she accepted he had been intimidated.
It had been open to Mr Tracey, who had been reckless in his handling of the situation, to check the CCTV before approaching Mr Dunne.