Supermarket zero tolerance polices are wasting court time says Judge

Judge John O'Connor
Judge John O'Connor

A JUDGE has said retailers with zero-tolerance policies on shoplifters but who then fail to make their witnesses available to give evidence in trials are wasting garda time.

Judge John O'Connor's comment today at the Dublin Children's Court came during the case of a 17-year-old boy charged with stealing a 54 set of hair straighteners and cosmetics worth 12.99 from a shop at the Ilac centre in Dublin on December 7th.

The case was adjourned until January 6th when the teenager will be expected to enter a plea.

Judge O'Connor told the prosecuting Garda that in relation to theft matters he will summons witnesses if they do not turn up for the trial: “I have had to much experience of zero-tolerance from supermarkets and not turning up”.

Recently other shoplifting cases at the juvenile court have been dismissed as a result of witnesses employed by retailers not being available.

“If they do not turn up here on a hearing date I am going to witnesses summons them because it is wasting garda time,” Judge O'Connor said.

A case was thrown out last week after the juvenile court heard a retailer was too busy to let a staff members come to give evidence in the trial of a teenage boy suspected stealing two packets of sweets.