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Judge finds Tesco had no reason to hold mum-to-be

A HEAVILY pregnant mum-to-be was on her way to pay for goods at a supermarket customer service desk when store detectives stopped her and had her arrested for theft.

Josephine Tyrrell (28) said she had just stepped out of the main part of Tesco in Dundrum Town Centre to go to the "10 items or less" till to avoid queuing twice when security detained her.

She pleaded in tears to be allowed to pay but ended up in court charged with shoplifting.

Ms Tyrrell was found not guilty after Judge Ann Ryan said she accepted she was on her way to pay. The judge dismissed the case. Ms Tyrrell, of Sandyford View had denied stealing from Tesco, Dundrum Town Centre in an incident on May 18, 2009.

She had put the nail varnish, fake tan and cosmetics into the spare space in a six-pack wine carrier that had five bottles in it, had a hair straightener under her arm and had stopped to take a phone call when staff confronted her.

Security manager Glen Shankland told Dun Laoghaire District Court he watched Ms Tyrrell on CCTV.

He said she left the store, passing all points of payment and had around f160 worth of goods when he stopped her.

Mr Shankland said green floor tiles began at the exit from the store and once the accused stepped on them she was "on Town Centre property".

Ms Tyrrell said in evidence she had showed security and gardai her bank card and cash she had to pay for the goods.

She explained that she was six weeks away from giving birth and was buying cosmetics to take to hospital. She put the cosmetics into the container with the wine.

She added that the store was open-plan and she did not realise she was leaving it.

The judge said Ms Tyrrell had clearly not concealed any of the items she was accused of taking.