Search

‘Callous’ thief who left Upminster delivery driver for dead is jailed

14:08 29 January 2014

David Fletcher was critically ill in hospital

David Fletcher was critically ill in hospital

Archant

A thief who ran over a delivery driver with his own van, before wiping his fingerprints from the vehicle and leaving his victim for dead, has been jailed.

David Fletcher, from Upminster, was working in Purfleet, Essex, on July 9, when Leonard Willsher, 41, and another man, jumped into his lorry and drove off.

Mr Fletcher, 58, gave chase, clinging to the lorry’s wing-mirror, but was pushed in the face by Willsher, who was driving, and fell to the ground.

He was run over by his truck, leaving him with serious, multiple injuries.

Willsher, from The Fremnells, Basildon, was sentenced to three years and eight months at Basildon Crown Court yesterday after admitting his part in the crime.

After sentencing, Mr Fletcher’s family issued the following statement: “We would like to thank the team at Essex Police for their hard work and dedication.

“We would also like thank to all those who helped David, from the witnesses who helped care for him when he was lying injured in the road, the Essex Air Ambulance and the staff at Royal London Hospital.

“We know that without the first class care he received, David would not be with us today.

“We have drawn comfort from the fact that for every person like the defendant and his accomplice, there are countless others that have shown so much kindness and care.”

Willsher’s accessory has never been found.

Det Chief Insp Lucy Morris said: “Despite causing near-fatal injuries, Willsher did nothing to help his victim, but was observed wiping his fingerprints from the lorry before running off, leaving his victim for dead.

“However we have not closed this enquiry yet. Willsher has, so far, refused to identify the man who was with him.”

Anyone who wants to speak to DCI Morris can call Essex Police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Willsher admitted causing grievous bodily harm, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking and driving whilst disqualified.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:31
Dennis Kutyauripo, 22, says he

The older brother of a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed to death by his former friend, has said he “feels sorry” for the killer.

Yesterday, 15:01
Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, was murdered in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthentic

A 17-year-old boy was today convicted of stabbing his former friend to death outside a birthday party, just over a year after the incident.

Yesterday, 17:00
From left, Havering Council's head of clinical practice Dave Tapsell, director of children's services  Tim Aldridge, and Robert South head of care resources

Despite Ofsted inspectors rating a vulnerable children’s service as requiring improvement, its department head remains optimistic.

Yesterday, 16:50
A man was robbed at knifepoint earlier today outside Tesco Extra, Rainham. Picture: Havering MPS Twitter

A man is in police custody after a male was robbed at knifepoint.

Yesterday, 16:11
Diana award winner Kieran Goodwin in his home

This week, Romford’s Kieran Goodwin, chief executive of youth charity World Youth Organisation (WYO) which celebrated its first anniversary, picked his top 10 all-time favourite tunes.

Yesterday, 14:30
Harry and some of the toys he donated with Michelle Fitzgibbons and the mascot of Romford Shopping Hall, Roary.

An 87-year-old avid stamp collector and a big ‘Dulux’ dog were to thank for a big bundle of toys being donated to children in hospital.

Yesterday, 13:05
More than 40,000 trees will be planted across London. Picture: PA.

Havering is set to benefit from an influx of 250 trees as part of plans to make London one of the greenest cities in the world.

Yesterday, 12:00
Picture taken on the top floor of the leisure centre where the ice rink will be.

With two housing zones and plenty more going on in Havering this year, the Recorder has compiled a list of some of the developments due to take shape over the coming months.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now