A fast-thinking TrustFord employee chased and apprehended a car thief who pushed aside a salesman before speeding from the AM100 retail group’s Castleford forecourt in an £8,000 Audi A1.
But the salesman, who was not physically injured in the incident, was left with “ongoing psychiatric symptoms" following the drama at the Ford dealership on Park Road, Castleford, on November 3, Leeds Crown Court heard this week.
Duane Cale, of Churchfield Grove, Rothwell, Leeds, was jailed 11 months in a hearing at Leeds Crown Court in which he pleaded guilty to the attempted theft of the premium German hatchback.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that an off-duty police officer had initially alerted members of dealership staff to Cale after seeing him acting suspiciously.
He later asked a salesman about finance on the Audi A1, but after a look under the bonnet he pushed the man aside and fled in the car.
Robert Galley, prosecuting, said that a colleague witnessed the robbery and gave chase in a Ford Focus before boxing Cale in at a nearby roundabout – blocking his escape.
Leeds Crown Court heard that the defendant, who was disqualified from driving at the time of the attempted robbery, had made threats to bite and stab the members of TrustFord staff as a struggle ensued prior to the arrival of police officers from West Yorkshire Police.
Reporting on the case, the Yorkshire Evening Post stated that, in his summing up, Judge Neil Clarke said the TrustFord salesman involved in the November 3 incident had been left with “ongoing psychiatric symptoms”.
Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Cale accepted that he had behaved foolishly.