Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
March 24, 2014

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The Video Surveillance Report 2020

Toy Shop Defamation “Set-Up” Thwarted by CCTV

Toy-shop-trucksA defamation claim brought against a security firm and a Dublin toy shop has been thrown out of court after CCTV footage contradicted the claimants’ story.

Alan Joyce and his young son, David, sued Manguard Plus Ltd and Smyths Toys in Blandchardstown Shopping Centre for €100,000 after they were prevented from leaving the store by security staff on June 24, 2012.

The security guards’ suspicions were aroused about a toy clutched by David – nine years’ old at the time – as the pair left the Smyths Toys store .

The defamation case centred around whether Alan Joyce produced a receipt for the toy before or after the garda were called.

Addressing the court on behalf of the store Barrister Brian Conroy said CCTV footage revealed that the boy’s aunt, Adeline Joyce, had purchased the toy earlier, returned to the store and planted it underneath a buggy, from where David later picked it up.

Asked to produce a receipt by security staff, the boy’s father failed to mention that his sister had purchased the toy earlier, said Mr Conroy. Alan Joyce had instead, suggested the barrister, insisted that staff call the garda.

In dismissing the damage claims Judge Jacqueline Linnane said security guards at the store had been entitled to stop Alan Joyce and his son as they left the store.

She said that while security guards had noticed Mr Joyce in the store that day, they couldn’t have known the toy held by his son had been bought earlier by someone else.

Judge Linnane said that evidence given by Alan Joyce and his sister was unconvincing and footage from the store’s Multisys-installed Mirasys/Axis cameras suggested that “the incident was a set-up.”

The court was told that Adeline Joyce had shown her receipt only when gardaí arrived. The judge said that CCTV footage clearly showed Adeline on the phone to her brother immediately before the Gardaí arrived, a claim Alan Joyce had denied.

The judge dismissed both claims – Alan Joyce and his son, through his godmother, Annette Joyce, had sued the defendants separately for €50,000 each – and awarded costs against Mr Joyce and David’s godmother, Annette Joyce.

“We’re very pleased with this outcome,” said Multisys managing director Eoghan Carroll.

“It goes to show that reliable playback of usable footage is worth the investment. In this case just one defended court case has saved substantially more than the initial system cost.

“We don’t believe this would have been possible on a low quality system.”

Iain Cameron, MD of Mirasys UK, said: “Smyths Toys Superstores decision to invest in a high quality surveillance system from Mirasys and its partners has proved a wise one.

“This investment has ensured that they are highly protected from crime against them in all its forms and provides an instant and quantifiable return on their investment.”

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[…] defamation claim brought against a Dublin toy shop by a father and son after an arrest on suspicion of stealing a toy has been dismissed.  The Judge […]