€9,000 Awarded to Teenager Incorrectly Accused of Stealing Can of Coca Cola

At the Circuit Civil Court Judge John O’Connor has given his approval for a €9,000 compensation settlement for a teenager who was apprehended at a Tesco store and incorrectly accused of not paying for a can of Coca Cola.

In Court barrister Maeve Cox informed the Judge that Luke Wall (15) was falsely imprisoned in a small room while security reviewed CCTV coverage that recorded the alleged theft on December 30, 2018.

Ms Cox, who was in court with John O’Leary Solicitors, said argued that regardless of the fact that that Luke had told those apprehending him that he had paid for the beverage at the self-service checkout in Tesco, The Square, Tallaght, he had been pulled by the arm and forcibly brought back into the shop.

Following this, she told the court, Luke had been held in a small room with a different security worker while the CCTV had been reviewed and it had been investigated fully if he had paid for the item in question.

Judge O’Connor was informed that Luke, of Brookview Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24 had been put through a mortifying string of events due to defamatory statements having been made against him in front of a friend and a number of other customers in the shop.

Luke, via his father Patrick Wall, had sued Tesco Ireland Ltd and security firm OCS, One Complete Solution, Unit 38 Airways Industrial Estate, Swords Road, Santry,Dublin, for damages for defamation and false imprisonment.

Ms Cox informed the Judge that when Luke had informed his father in the car park about the incident his dad had gone into the Tesco shop and had asked the security man for his name but he had refused to identify himself to him.

She added that the security worker responsible for the incident had told Luke: “Come back in here, you didn’t pay for that item”. He then grabbed hold of him and then dragged him back into Tesco. Five minutes later the guard, having reviewed the security footage, informed the youth: “I see you did pay for the item. I’m sorry I didn’t check the CCTV first.”

Judge O’Connor, as he was approving the €9,000 settlement, said he though that the compensation offer was reasonable given the string of events that transpired – legal costs were also awarded to the defence team.