Man falsely accused of stealing petrol slams Tesco over ridiculous blunder – Daily Record

A man falsely accused of stealing petrol from a Tesco fuel station has branded the incident ‘ridiculous’.

Paul Patterson, a bus driver from Highbury Vale, went to fill up his car at the Tesco Esso garage around 3pm on October 3, according to Nottinghamshire Live.

The 57-year-old spent £22 all together, £20 on petrol and £2 in the shop on Valley Road, Basford.

After making his purchases, he drove his car back into the forecourt to wait for his wife who was picking up groceries, before heading off.

However, he later received a letter from Nottinghamshire Police, stating that he was suspected of filling up his car with £35.22 worth of petrol and leaving without footing the bill.

Mr Patterson said: “They have got it completely wrong.

“I only found out about it when I got a letter from the force headquarters. If I had paid cash, which I nearly did and often do, and not taken a receipt, I would have had no way of prove I had paid for it.”

He added: “I hadn’t done anything wrong and I was being accused of being a thief. It’s ridiculous.”

Paul Patterson with the letter he received from Nottinghamshire Police.
Paul Patterson with the letter he received from Nottinghamshire Police.
(Image: Nottingham Post/Marie Wilson)

Tesco has apologised, saying a car had left the Valley Road fuel station without paying – and that a mistake had been made when identifying the vehicle involved.

The driver who didn’t pay drove off from the pump in front of Mr Patterson.

But Tesco said that Mr Patterson also pulled his car away from the pump before completing payment.

But Tesco clarified Mr Patterson did not leave the forecourt but that when CCTV footage was initially checked it looked like it was Mr Patterson who hadn’t paid.

Mr Patterson explained that he didn’t want to wait at the pump while his wife finished the shopping because he would have held other drivers up.

So instead he drove away and back into the forecourt to wait.

“I went back to the garage and showed them that I had paid them on my phone,” said Mr Patterson.

“It just so happens that I had proof of payment.”

The Tesco Esso petrol station in Valley Road, Nottingham
The Tesco Esso petrol station in Valley Road, Nottingham
(Image: Nottinghamshire Live)

Police Constable Adam Francis, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “When we receive reports of an alleged crime it is our duty to investigate.

“In line with standard procedure a letter was sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle providing details of the alleged offence and asking who the driver was on this specific date and time.

“Following enquiries it was established no criminal offences were committed and the matter was resolved.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We’re really sorry this happened. A car left our Valley Road petrol filling station without paying and initially a mistake was made when identifying the vehicle involved.

“Once the error was identified, we immediately apologised to the customer for the mix up.”

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