Tesco slammed by driver wrongly accused of stealing petrol in 'ridiculous' mix-up

By Peter Hennessy & James Rodger & Alexander Smail

A driver who filled up his car at a Tesco petrol station has criticised the supermarket giant after it falsely accused him of stealing fuel.

Paul Patterson refuelled his vehicle with £35.22 of petrol at a station in the East Midlands, but was not prepared for what happened next.

The driver was surprised when he received a letter in which he was accused of taking the fuel without paying for it, and has now slammed the situation as "ridiculous".

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As reported by Birmingham Live, the retail chain has since apologised for the mix-up at the Tesco Esso station in Nottinghamshire.

However, Patterson was furious to have been wrongly accused of theft, and said if circumstances had been slightly different he would have had "no way" of proving his innocence.

He said: "I only found out about it when I got a letter from the force.

"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."

Patterson added: "I hadn't done anything wrong and I was being accused of being a thief. It's ridiculous."

Tesco has clarified the situation, saying it was the vehicle in front of Patterson's which actually had not paid.

The retailer blamed a CCTV mix up.

He continued: "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."

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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