Mistaken theft claim costs shop €70,000

Wed, Jul 18, 2012, 01:00

A mistaken accusation of theft against a group of six “browsing” schoolgirls has cost a Dublin shop €70,000 in damages and legal costs for slander and false imprisonment.

Circuit Court president Mr Justice Matthew Deery yesterday approved a €7,500 settlement offer by Claire’s Accessories UK Ltd to mother-of-one Jacqueline O’Reilly (17).

Barrister David Conlan Smyth told the Circuit Civil Court it was the sixth case he had settled in relation to a single incident in the company’s store at the Ilac Centre, Dublin, in October 2008. He said the cases against Claire’s Accessories UK had been settled for €7,500 each, with costs. Legal costs for such cases in the Circuit Civil Court average between €4,000 and €5,000.

Mr Conlan Smyth said Ms O’Reilly, St Theresa’s Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin, had been browsing in the shop, which specialises in jewellery and accessories, with five of her friends when all of them were accused of having stolen two pairs of earrings.