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Woman Accused of Theft Settles Defamation Claim


Woman Accused of Theft Settles €75,000 Defamation Claim

A Dublin woman, who alleged she had been accused of stealing a €1 shopping bag from Dunnes Stores, has settled her €75,000 defamation claim for an undisclosed sum against the shopping chain.

Catherine Duff, with an address at Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin, told the Circuit Civil Court Thursday that security man Giedrus Pieka had shouted at her: “You did not pay for the bag…you were going to steal that bag.”

Pieka denied having spoken the words and told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that he had discreetly asked a check-out operative at Dunnes Stores, North Earl Street, Dublin, if she had checked through the plastic “bag for life” with Duff’s groceries. He had been told she had not.

He told barrister Frank Crean, counsel for Ms Duff, that his client had called him “a f*cking foreign bastard” during the incident at the check-out.

Mr Crean, who appeared with O’Hanrahan Lally Solicitors, told Pieka in cross-examination that he had not stated in his direct evidence he had seen Ms Duff pull the price tag off the bag and throw it away.  Mr Pieka said that while he had not thought it important at the time he was saying it now.

“I didn’t think that was important but now I remember it,” he told Mr Crean. Judge Groarke said Mr Pieka’s new evidence in cross-examination had become a very important part of the case and the suggestion had not been put to Ms Duff when she was in the witness box.

Ms Duff denied she had shouted at Pieka and claimed such evidence if presented to the court would be “so not true.”

She said she had taken the bag for her groceries and had put it up on the check-out desk and believed the lady on the desk had scanned it through with her groceries.

Mr Crean asked for some time to discuss a new development with his client. A short time later he told Judge Groarke that the case could be struck out with an order for taxation of Ms Duff’s legal costs. Details of the settlement were not disclosed in court.

Source: Irish Independent

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