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Pair sacked over '69 cent packet of jam tarts'


Elton 'John' Moran pictured at his Coolock home yesterday.

Elton 'John' Moran pictured at his Coolock home yesterday.

Elton 'John' Moran pictured at his Coolock home yesterday.

Two men sacked from their jobs for eating jam tarts have said they are innocent and were fired on the basis of suspicion with no proof.

Elton John Moran (41) and his colleague Peter Boyne (34), both from Coolock, were dismissed from food giant Keelings after an investigation into the missing tarts that included a reconstruction on the warehouse floor.

A subsidiary of the company, Keelings Logistics Solutions (KLS), based in Ballymun, sacked the men after concluding that they had tampered with the jam tart packet.

An Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) hearing was told that KLS had a zero-tolerance policy in relation to staff tampering with goods.

But both men insist they are innocent, though they say they cannot raise the funds to appeal against the ruling of the tribunal.

"I am disgusted. I have been branded a thief," said Mr Moran (inset). "I have no job now. Why would anyone risk their job over a 69c packet of tarts? I don't even like the things."

Mr Moran said he had been eating a chocolate bar he bought from a vending machine and said there would be CCTV footage of that purchase.

"We were sacked on the basis of CCTV of our body language and we can't afford to take it any further," said Mr Boyne.

The investigation into the missing tarts was sparked by CCTV footage of the warehouse floor showing alleged suspicious activity on January 25, 2012.

A security man saw Mr Boyne and Mr Moran step away from a storage cage and could see they were eating. They said they were sharing a Mars bar.

The EAT found the men's evidence "was not credible" and on the balance of probability they did tamper with the stock.

It also found KLS's investigation, disciplinary meetings and appeal were fair and objective and dismissed the men's claim for unfair dismissal.