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Man on plane loses his €75k claim after Armani watch theft

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Alan Collins allowed his bag to be searched

Alan Collins allowed his bag to be searched

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Alan Collins allowed his bag to be searched

A Dublin security officer who turned out his pockets and had his carry-on luggage searched by police on a plane following an alleged theft at Dublin Airport has lost his €75,000 claim for defamation.

Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain said airport police, as agents of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), had at all times behaved responsibly in their investigation into the theft of a Giorgio Armani watch.

Snatched

Barrister Shane English told Alan Collins in the Circuit Civil Court that the DAA was not only categorically saying he was not the thief who snatched the watch from a woman's check-in basket at security or from duty free, but was also categorically saying he had never been a thief.

Mr English told Mr Collins, of Fortlawn Drive, Blanchards-town, that he was wrong in claiming he had been accused of stealing the watch in duty free, as there had been no such theft.

The theft, as shown on CCTV, had taken place from a basket that had passed through a security check.

Mr Collins claimed he had been approached while sitting with his partner on a Ryan- air flight about to take off for Alicante on April 22, 2017.

He said he had been one of a number of men who apparently bore a resemblance to each other, and was spoken to by airport police officers Aisling Sutcliffe and Jessica O'Brien.

He claimed they said to him: "We wish to speak to you concerning a theft from duty free. You were seen on CCTV taking a watch from duty free."

Mr English told Mr Collins it was impossible for these words to have been spoken to him since there had not been a theft from duty free on that day.

Counsel said he had been invited to step off the plane for the sake of privacy but had refused.

He had voluntarily turned out his pockets and had allowed his carry-on bag to be searched at the service area on the plane.

Officers Sutcliffe and O'Brien told the court they had not accused him of stealing a watch from duty free.

Dismissing Mr Collins' €75,000 claim, the judge said she did not accept the police officers had spoken the words complained about.

She made no order regarding costs.


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