Attacker featured on Facebook jailed

08 February, 2017
thief drives car at forecourt attendant

A man whose attack on a petrol station attendant was viewed on Facebook more than 71,000 times, has been jailed.

Scott Dearing, 30, of no fixed abode, drove into the attendant after stealing £120 worth of fuel from the garage in Park Road, Barnsley, on 4 December.

Dearing was jailed for 17 months at Sheffield Crown Court, having previously pleaded guilty to eight offences, including assault, dangerous driving and theft.

CCTV of the attack on Michelle Carr, a cashier at Intake Developments’ Park Road Garage, Barnsley, was viewed more than 71,000 times after it was posted on Facebook in an attempt to identify the driver.

It showed a man leaping into his car as Michelle approached and driving straight at her. She was thrown onto the bonnet and suffered bruising to her back, shoulder and leg.

The incident happened after another assistant noticed that the driver had taken a lot more fuel than the car’s capacity and Michelle went out to ask him what he was doing, and check that it was safe.

A crime report logged using the Forecourt Eye platform helped in the investigation by police. The report detailed a second incident in the neighbouring county of West Yorkshire of a drive-off fuel theft where the same vehicle was used.

The vehicle details and number plate were captured by Forecourt Eye on CCTV cameras at BP Ackworth in Pontefract, and instantly shared with the West Yorkshire Police Force using the Facewatch crime-reporting system.

Police in South Yorkshire investigating the hit and run incident at Park Road Garage were unaware of the second fuel theft at BP Ackworth until Forecourt Eye flagged it up. The information immediately widened the search for the driver and vehicle to two police force regions across the counties of South and West Yorkshire.

To view the CCTV footage click here.

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