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Thief who broke a woman’s back at Rickmansworth Tesco jailed

 Published on: 18th March 2019   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A speeding woman getaway driver has been jailed for three years and two months after she broke the back of a supermarket worker who was trying to stop her.

Lucy Turner, 32, pictured above left, who was sentenced today (Monday, March 18), sent Danielle Wood pictured above right, rolling over the bonnet of the car, into the passenger wing mirror and onto the ground, fracturing her third vertebrae.

Footage went viral of the blue Citroen C3, which was then being driven by a male shoplifter, as it rammed its way out of Tesco in Rickmansworth just before Christmas.

The shocking video showed members of the public trying to stop the hire car. But the driver, who has gone on the run, sped and swerved his way out of the car park.

St Albans Crown Court heard Turner’s accomplices, a man and a woman, had tried to steal £174 worth of alcohol. They were stopped and the Tesco store manager pushed shopping trolleys to block the car’s exit.

Tesco worker, Ms Wood, 26, was assisting in the road block when she saw the car travelling at speed towards her colleague. She shouted to him and moved onto the walkway towards parked cars, but was struck.

Ms Wood said: “I was petrified; I thought I would be wiped out. I was in agony. I knew I had broken my back. I was screaming ‘My back, my back!’”

She was taken to Watford General Hospital and, nearly three months after being hit, still wears a brace. 

In a victim personal statement, Ms Wood, who has a five-year-old son, said: “It happened two days before Christmas. It ruined Christmas for me and my family. I was released from hospital on Boxing Day.”

She said she has not had surgery as doctors are waiting to see if the break will heal naturally. At this stage, she does not know how long she will be in the brace, which she has to wear when out of the house.

Ms Wood said she had been hoping to start training as a manager at the store, but had now lost the ability to bend and do basic tasks. 

She added: “I fear I will always have pain. It hurts emotionally and physically.”

She said she and her partner had stopped planning their wedding.

Turner, of Haggerston Road, Borehamwood, appeared for sentence having earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of theft, attempted theft, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, using a vehicle without insurance, driving while disqualified, being the driver of a vehicle that failed to stop and failing to report a collision.

Prosecutor Richard Jones said:  “On December 23, Ms Turner and two others set out to steal from shops. She was the getaway driver.

“The modus operandi was to seize goods of high value and get out through the emergency exit.”

They first went to the Tesco store in Pinner and stole £600 of alcohol. The accomplices escaped through the emergency exit and got into the car, driven by Turner.

The man and the woman tried to steal the alcohol from the Rickmansworth store but could not get out through the emergency exit. They left by the main entrance, where they were intercepted by staff, said Mr Jones.

One witness heard the noise of a car revving loudly as if its tyres were stuck in mud. It drove the wrong way down the one way system at an estimated speed of 35 to 40 mph, hitting Ms Wood. At that stage the man was seated in the back.

Turner hit a grey Toyota MPV and then swapped positions with the man, who rammed their way out of the car park. 

The next day, December 24, Turner stole two packets of baby formula from the Co-op in Borehamwood.

Chantelle Stocks, defending, said Turner developed a drug addiction after the death of her son in 2008. She said she had met the other two involved in a crack den.

Turner, who had sobbed in the dock as Ms Wood read out her impact statement, had written a letter of remorse to the judge.

She had previous convictions for driving while disqualified, shoplifting and common assault. 

Jailing her, judge Caroline Wigin said:  “You were driving in a supermarket car park crammed with shoppers in the pre-Christmas period.”

She said Turner had a long-standing addiction to cocaine and heroin and had caused serious injury to Ms Wood “in the furtherance of crime.”

Referring to the victim, the judge said: “Every aspect of her life has been affected.”

In addition, Turner was banned from driving for four years six months.

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