Sainsbury’s worker sacked after not paying for 30p bags for life during £30 shop

The Sainsbury’s employee was sacked after working at the London supermarket for nearly 20 years

Alexander Butler
Thursday 18 April 2024 22:16 BST
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The employee had worked at the supermarket since 2003 (file image)
The employee had worked at the supermarket since 2003 (file image) (PA Archive)

A Sainsbury’s worker was sacked after working nearly 20 years for the supermarket because he took shopping bags without paying for them.

Niamke Doffou was let go in 2022 after failing to pay for multiple bags for life from Romford Sainsbury’s Superstore where he had worked since 2003.

Mr Doffou bought around £30 worth of food, pillows and bedding for visitors staying at his home after a busy night shift but was caught on CCTV making a number of trips to get the bags, which cost customers between 30p and 65p.

Despite claiming he was “tired and unaware of what he was doing”, the native-French speaker was hauled in front of bosses and sacked after they decided the supermarket could no longer trust him.

The East London hearing was told: “The disciplinary chair formed the view that he had deliberately selected the zero bags option on the self-checkout knowing full well he would need some to put his bulky shopping in.

Have you been affected by this incident? Email alexander.butler@independent.co.uk

Mr Doffou claimed he was tired and unaware of what he was doing after failing to pay for the bags (file photo)
Mr Doffou claimed he was tired and unaware of what he was doing after failing to pay for the bags (file photo) (PA)

“This in turn she concluded meant that Sainsbury’s could no longer have trust in Mr Doffou as an employee even if the bags did not cost as much as his shopping had.”

An employment judge agreed with the supermarket giant and threw out the claim.

Eleena Misra K.C said: “Having considered all of the evidence before me I concluded that the claim for unfair dismissal is not well founded and is therefore dismissed.

“The CCTV footage and receipt clearly proved to Sainsbury’s that Mr Doffou took bags for life without paying for them.

“Sainsbury’s carried out a reasonable and proportionate investigation into the alleged conduct and he was given a full opportunity to respond.

“Mr Doffou’s explanations were not deemed to be credible explanations and Sainsbury’s was entitled on the evidence to conclude that he had committed misconduct notwithstanding the low value of the bags taken.

“Once the decision maker had concluded that he had acted dishonestly and committed theft, it is very hard to argue that the decision to dismiss fell outside a reasonable band of responses. I find that it was within such a band.”

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