Thief mowed down granddad at Crofton garden centre

Spring Green Nursery, Pontefract Road, Crofton
Spring Green Nursery, Pontefract Road, Crofton

A grandfather was mowed down by a thief as he tried to stop him fleeing from his family’s garden centre.

Pensioner Roger Pell, 76, was thrown to the ground after he was struck by a car outside Spring Green Nurseries, on Pontefract Road, Crofton.

Christopher Ogley outside Wakefield Magistrates Court

Christopher Ogley outside Wakefield Magistrates Court

The vehicle was being driven by Christopher Ogley, who had stolen three glass vases, worth £73, from the centre which is run by Mr Pell’s sons.

On Monday Wakefield Magistrates’ Court heard how Ogley had hit Mr Pell with an open door of his car and then reversed over him.

Mr Pell was left with tyre marks on his body and clothing and spent a night in hospital after suffering severe bruising and a broken finger.

His grandson Jonathan, who works at the garden centre, repeatedly punched Ogley in the face through the open driver’s side window of the car to stop him.

But Ogley struck another two vehicles in the car park before fleeing the scene during the incident just before 5pm on August 16.

Ogley, 43, of Cambridge Street, Castleford, admitted assaulting Roger Pell and causing him actual bodily harm in relation to the car incidents.

He also admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and theft of the two glass vases.

The case was committed to Leeds Crown Court for sentencing later this month and Ogley was granted bail on the condition he must not go within 50 yards of Spring Green Nurseries.

Speaking after the hearing Jonathon Pell said his grandfather was “shaken” by the experience, which had delayed his recovery from a recent major stomach operation.

Mr Pell, 25, said: “If it had been a bigger vehicle it could have been a lot worse.

“It was unfortunate my grandad was there at the time. He is retired, but spends a lot of time here. I was the first one to go out, not knowing that my grandad had followed.

“I didn’t really think about it (trying to stop Ogley). Anyone would do the same to stop a member of your family being injured any more.”