Driver slams Tesco after he’s wrongfully accused of stealing £35 worth of petrol

Bus driver Paul Patterson, 57, from Highbury Vale, Nottingham, said he filled up his car and then drove back round into the forecourt to wait for his wife

Paul Patterson says Tesco and police “have got it completely wrong”

A furious driver has slammed Tesco after he was wrongly accused of stealing fuel from one of the supermarket giant’s petrol stations.

Paul Patterson, 57, said it is “ridiculous” he was branded a thief when he filled up his car at a Tesco Esso petrol station in Basford, Nottingham.

The bus driver, from Highbury Vale, told NottinghamshireLive that he paid £22 in total – £20 for his petrol and £2 in the shop – during his stop there at around 3pm on October 3.

Mr Patterson said he drove back round into the forecourt, where he waited for his wife who was doing the shopping, before the pair drove off.

The bus driver filled up his vehicle at this Tesco petrol station


Nottingham Post / BPM Media)

But he later received a letter from Nottinghamshire Police saying he was believed to have filled his car up with £35.22 worth of fuel and driven off without paying.

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.”

Tesco has apologised to Mr Patterson, saying a car had left the fuel station without paying and Mr Patterson’s vehicle was mistakenly identified as the one that drove off.

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

Tesco said Mr Patterson did not leave the forecourt but that when CCTV footage was initially checked it looked like he was the driver 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.

Tesco has apologised to Mr Patterson


Nottingham Post/Marie Wilson)

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

He said: “I went back to the garage and showed them that I had paid them on my phone.

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

Police Constable Adam Francis 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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