A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy who was wrongly accused of stealing a bag of crisps in a Lidl store has won €7,500 damages for defamation of character.
Barrister Alison McIntyre told the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that Tadhg Mooney was also falsely imprisoned and assaulted when a shop assistant grabbed his arm.
She said Tadhg, of Braemore Drive, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, was in the local Lidl store with his mother, Rachel, on June 24, 2009 when the incident occurred.
In defamation proceedings brought against Lidl Ireland Ltd the court was told that Tadhg, who is now aged six, had been caused to suffer distress, inconvenience and injury to his credit and reputation.
Ms McIntyre told Circuit Court president, Mr Justice Matthew Deery that a member of staff spoke defamatory words “he took the crisps” about Tadhg before grabbing him by the arm.
She said she was recommending acceptance by the court of a settlement offer of €7,500 and costs by Lidl. She said the boy had been unable to attend court but his mother was present and was satisfied with the offer.
Judge Deery approved the offer and directed the money be paid into court funds until Tadhg is 18.
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