Sainsbury’s sacks worker of 20 years after he took bags for life without paying when he was 'tired'

18 April 2024, 08:03

Niamke Doffou was sacked after taking bags for life from his employer Sainsbury's without paying
Niamke Doffou was sacked after taking bags for life from his employer Sainsbury's without paying. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A Sainsbury’s employee who worked for the supermarket for 20 years was sacked after taking some bags for life without paying after a night shift.

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Niamke Doffou chose the ‘zero bags used’ option on a self-checkout as he packed up a £30 shop after his shift, a tribunal heard.

Bosses sacked him after watching CCTV of the transaction and deciding he could no longer be trusted.

Mr Doffou, claimed he was “tired and unaware of what he was doing”.

A judge threw out his claim of unfair dismissal saying it was ‘hard to argue’ with the decision after the theft of the bags ,which cost less than £1 each.

He was sacked for gross misconduct in October 2022.

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The tribunal heard he made ‘more than one trip’ to get bags to pack the shopping despite selecting the zero bags option and checking his receipt.

He accepted that Sainsbury’s has a zero tolerance policy to theft.

The tribunal was told: “[The disciplinary hearing chairman] 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.

“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.”

Employment Judge Eleena Misra KC 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.”