26 Sept 2022

Man convicted of putting reduced price stickers on full-priced items in Penneys in Dundalk

Man convicted of putting reduced price stickers on full-priced items in Penneys in Dundalk

Dundalk courthouse

A 45 year old man accused of removing stickers from reduced items in a local Penney's store and placing them on full-priced items, was convicted following a contested hearing at Dundalk district court last week.

Stefan Covaci with an address at Glenwood, Dundalk denied a charge of making gain or causing loss by deception arising out of the incident at The Marshes Shopping Centre, Dundalk on August 28th 2020.

A cashier told the court last Wednesday the price wasn't showing correctly when a customer presented items with a reduced sticker at the till.

She called her team leader over who put the lower price, marked on the sticker, through on the system.

The court heard that CCTV footage was no longer available due to a technical issue.

A security guard gave evidence of seeing the defendant acting suspiciously around 6pm. 

He reviewed the footage and saw him remove some stickers from the 'reduction' area and put them over the full price on the price tag for two or three items.

He added after reviewing the initial scene for a few seconds, he switched to live mode and followed the defendant with a camera.

Two receipts were handed into the court - a copy of the sale with the 'reduced' stickered items and a copy of the items in store which cost €11 more.

The Defence barrister argued that under a Supreme Court ruling CCTV footage must be proved as evidence and claimed there had to be a doubt over what the security guard viewed live and what he viewed back.  

He added there was no evidence before the court of the clothing or the labels and the cashier had not identified his client as the person making the transaction.

However Judge Máire Conneely said taking the evidence as a whole she was satisfied the accused had been identified.
After hearing the delivery driver and father of two  had 20 previous convictions that were of some vintage - mainly for road traffic offences, Judge Conneely imposed a €250 fine and fixed recognizance in the event of an appeal being lodged. 

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