‘Callous’ thief who left Upminster delivery driver for dead is jailed
- Credit: 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.
- 1 Travel disruptions to look out for this week across east London
- 2 East London man charged with six terrorism offences
- 3 Heritage: How Gallows Corner got its sinister name
- 4 Twelve Havering properties sold for more than £1m in October
- 5 Hanukkah 2021: Five ways to celebrate in east London
- 6 Warnings of ice across London amid plummeting temperatures
- 7 How The Apprentice's Thomas Skinner pivoted his business to weather Covid
- 8 Covid survivor, 16, urges people to get jabbed after months in hospital
- 9 Free parking to 'boost Havering's high streets' for Christmas season
- 10 Restrictions tightened as Omicron detected in Brentwood
“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.