‘Overzealous’ Lidl security guard broke shoplifter’s leg


A Lidl security guard has appeared in court after he broke a shoplifter’s leg when he tackled him to the ground.

Leandro Da Silva kneeled on the culprit’s body to restrain him before spotting a second thief and piling her on top of the man, leaving him in agony.

The city’s sheriff court heard the 28-year-old had received no training from his security firm before being stationed in the Lidl, reports The Daily Record.

The court heard Da Silva was informed by his bosses that his job was to “stop shoplifters and apprehend them”.

He appeared at the court on Friday, October 14, and admitted a charge of assaulting David O’Connor to his severe injury and restraining him with excessive force.

Fiscal depute Xander Van Der Scheer said Da Silva had been working as a security guard in the Nicolson Street branch in Edinburgh.

Mr Van Der Scheer said that a man and woman entered and “proceeded to steal items” before being spotted by the accused.

The pair, identified in court as O’Connor and Natasha Robertson, became “verbally abusive” when Da Silva approached, the court heard, and a “struggle ensued” when the guard made to restrain O’Connor.

Mr Van Der Scheer said: “At that point, the accused grabbed Mr O’Connor and the pair of them fell to the ground. The accused fell on top of Mr O’Connor who stopped struggling.”

He added Da Silva “lay on top of Mr O’Connor with his knee pinning him to the ground”.

The prosecutor said Robertson approached and Da Silva “grabbed the female shoplifter by her hand and dragged her on top of Mr O’Connor, who was still lying on the ground”.

He said: “This effectively resulted in a situation where Mr O’Connor is on the floor, the female shoplifter is on top of him, and the accused is restraining both of them.

“This pile-up, if I can call it that, has then dissolved.”

The court heard another staff member put O’Connor in the recovery position while an ambulance was called.

O’Connor suffered complex fractures to the tibia and fibula in his left leg and also developed deep vein thrombosis.

He underwent at least two operations, the court heard, including having screws inserted to the injuries.

Mr Van Der Scheer said it was “unclear” from the CCTV exactly when and how O’Connor suffered the broken leg during the altercation with Da Silva.

Defence agent Murray Robertson said Da Silva was hired by a security firm and given “no training whatsoever” before being deployed at Lidl.

Mr Robertson said Da Silva spoke of his employers telling him his job was to “stop and apprehend shoplifters”, something he had “disabused” his client of.

The solicitor said Da Silva resigned following the incident on January 27 2020 and had no intention of working in the security industry again.

The court was told O’Connor and Robertson admitted to police they were in the store to shoplift.

Mr Robertson said Da Silva, a first-time offender who now works as a stock controller, had been “overzealous in what he was doing”.

Sheriff Roderick Flinn agreed Da Silva had been “overzealous”, adding it “wasn’t helped by the absence of training from your employer”.

The sheriff fined Da Silva, of the city’s Gilmerton area, £140.





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