Man sues for defamation over toy duck incident

Wed, Feb 6, 2013, 00:00

A Dublin man who claims he was falsely accused of stealing a toy duck he was considering buying for his son for Christmas has sued for defamation.

David Mongan claims a security guard at Smyth’s toystore, Belgard Road, Tallaght, asked him loudly in front of other shoppers: “Where is the duck? I know you have it. I want to see it. Take it out. I’d like to see where the duck is and what have you done with it.”

Arising from that alleged incident on November 27th, 2007, Mr Mongan, Ballyboden, Rathfarnham, has sued Smyth’s Toys; Smyth’s Toys Holdings; Smyth’s Toys Properties Ltd; and a security company, Goldforce Ltd, trading as Goldforce Security Management.

In his action before a jury and Mr Justice Eamon de Valera, Mr Mongan alleges that following the incident he suffered from depression which became so bad he at one point considered taking his own life.

The defendants have denied defamation and claim the words complained about were never used.

Different location

In evidence yesterday Mr Mongan said he went to Smyth’s shop with his wife Deirdre and brother-in-law William (then aged 11) and went down one aisle while his wife went to a different location.

Mr Mongan said he was looking for a present for his then one-year-old son, also named William. He decided to get a walking-talking duck and told his brother-in-law to bring the duck to his wife so she could have a look at it, he said.

He said he was approached by the security guard, named in court as Chris Kabile.

Mr Mongan said he denied having the duck and asked to speak to the shop manager. The security guard had acted in a loud, aggressive and intimidating manner, he said.

At the checkout, he was joined by his wife, who had the toy duck in her basket, he said. He was told by one person in a managerial role the security guard was entitled to question him in the way he had.

The hearing continues.