Boy, 5, cleared of theft gets £6,300

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A boy, aged five, who was wrongly accused by a supermarket of stealing a bag of crisps has won €7,500 in damages for defamation of character.

An Irish court heard that Tadhg Mooney, from Balbriggan in County Dublin, had been in a branch of Lidl with his mother, Rachel, on 24 June 2009 when a shop assistant grabbed his arm and made the accusation. His barrister told the Circuit Civil Court that her client had suffered injury to his reputation and had been caused to suffer distress. She added that the shop assistant's grabbing of the boy's arm amounted to false imprisonment and assault.

Lidl Ireland Ltd offered to pay Tadhg, who is now six, €7,500 (£6,300) in damages and cover his costs. The family's lawyer, Dermot McNamara, said that his mother had shown a receipt for the bag of crisps to the store, but had not been taken seriously by the shop manager.