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Father charged after confrontation over wedding dress

Christopher Gilmore just wanted to save his daughter's wedding day after her gown had not been delivered.

But instead the 52-year-old, of Theodore, was charged with furious driving after the owner of a collapsing Fyshwick bridal shop stood in front of his truck and blocked his path.

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Father charged after confrontation with bridal store owner

CCTV footage tendered in court shows Chris Gilmore in his truck leaving the bridal shop, while the shop's owner tries to stop him. His daughter had paid for her dress, but the shop had been closed down and staff would not give it to him. So he took it and tried to drive away. NO SOUND.

A Canberra magistrate on Monday threw out the charge after viewing CCTV footage of the incident from November 2014.

Court documents said Mr Gilmore had gone to the Hills In Hollywood bridal store to collect his daughter's wedding dress about 10.30am on November 13.

Dozens  and dozens of brides lost dresses or down payments when the store dramatically shut in October last year.

The store has since reopened under new management who are working hard to turn the brand around.


Mr Gilmore told police that his daughter had paid for her gown but the store had since closed and the owner Eileen Arnold could not be contacted.

His daughter's wedding was only a few weeks away and the outstanding dress was causing the family grief.

Mr Gilmore had noticed the store had been open as he drove past so went in to inquire about the outfit, including showing her paperwork for proof of payment.

But Ms Arnold refused to let him take a dress.

He recognised his daughter's gown from pictures, so grabbed it, attempted to leave, and a minor struggle ensured.

Mr Gilmore then got into the truck and attempted to drive away, but Ms Arnold, holding a veil, ran onto the road and blocked his escape.

He drove forward but she refused to move, so he reversed, and tried to drive away in the opposite direction before she blocked him again.

She eventually moved when members of the public intervened.

Ms Arnold can be seen in footage walking back to the store with a veil in her hands.

Ms Arnold told the police that Mr Gilmore had intentionally rammed her with the vehicle, making contact with her left arm.

He denied making contact with her body and the matter appeared for hearing in court on Monday.

CCTV footage of the incident showed Mrs Arnold blocking the path twice, as Mr Gilmore inched forward  pushing her out of the way.

Defence barrister, Jack Pappas​, argued that the footage clearly showed his client had not driven in a dangerous manner.

Mr Pappas said the defendant had made every effort to turn away from Ms Arnold, including reversing and turning to drive in the opposite direction to avoid her.

Magistrate Bernadette Boss agreed, dismissing the charges and ordering costs against the prosecution.

Outside court, defence lawyer John Davis said: "This is yet another example of the DPP running matters that are doomed to fail from the start, costing the public purse considerable, irrecoverable expense.

"My client is obviously very pleased with the outcome, but he is disappointed the difficulties in proving the charge against him were not acknowledged earlier. 

"He is, of course, relieved the AFP have been ordered to pay his costs."