Monday, September 12, 2011

Thief Meets Woman Online, Uses Her for Getaway Car

by Tony Bassett

A mother-of-two had a 'first date from hell' after she was duped into becoming the getaway driver for a thief she met on Facebook.

Leah Gibbs, 23, had planned to spend an evening watching a DVD and getting to know 21-year-old Adam Minton. But instead, when she arrived at his home, he asked her to give him a lift - claiming he briefly had to visit a friend.

She drove him to a shopping area, where he left her for five minutes. When he returned in a panic he ordered her to: "Go, go, go!"

She drove back to his house, but as his personality had changed and he had become rude towards her, she decided the date was over. Just as he was trying to coax her into the house, the police arrived and they were both arrested.

Miss Gibbs was astonished to find police accusing him of robbing a betting shop at knife point, and her of being his accomplice.

She was forced to spend a night in a cell before police accepted her story and she was freed. Minton has now been jailed for four and a half years.

Miss Gibbs, from Tylorstown, South Wales, said: 'I thought I would be ending the night in Adam's arms. Instead, he had landed in the long arms of the law and I was facing jail.

'I'm not a bad person. I was duped. It could have happened to anyone.'

She was only freed when Minton convinced police she had not been involved and knew nothing about the robbery. She added: 'I'm grateful he told the police I knew nothing of the robbery, but still bitter he involved me.'

Minton had worn a black bandana and threatened a cashier with a large kitchen knife. He got away with £250. But the cashier was able to give police the car's registration number which led to the prompt arrests.

Merthyr Crown Court heard last month that Minton first told police he carried out the robbery because of a drug debt. He later claimed he had a gambling problem. The court also heard he had a record for violent offending. The incident is the latest ‘date from hell’ to emerge and follows Twitter users taking to the social media site to speak of their own experiences.

The tales were posted online this week after columnist Rhodri Marsden shared his own disastrous experience at a pub in Clapham.

He wrote on Twitter: 'I've just walked past the Firefly, where I went on a date in 2002 that was so bad I heard myself say "So, what's Wigan like, then?"'

He later explained: 'We had nothing in common, and nothing to say. The silences became excruciating. She was from Wigan, and I actually heard myself saying: "So, what's Wigan like, then?"'

The post led to hundreds of his 17,000 followers telling snippets in up to 140 characters.

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