Teacher demands apology after being wrongly accused of petrol theft (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Liz Gray from Buckhurst Hill was falsely accused of stealing petrol in Epping but has received no apology from Shell
A primary school teacher who was wrongly accused of stealing petrol is furious the firm has failed to apologise to her.
Liz Gray and her family filled up their car with £50 worth of petrol at the Shell garage on the Wake Arms Roundabout in Epping before heading off to celebrate her birthday at a friend's house Twickenham on November 30.
After enjoying their day out, the family returned home to Willow Close in Buckhurst Hill.
Just as Mrs Gray and her husband had put their two children to bed, the police knocked at the door.
Mrs Gray, 35, said she had no idea what was about to happen. She said: “At first I thought maybe something had happened to someone in my family when they asked for me but then they said that it had been reported that I had stolen fuel.
“It was awful. I really started to doubt myself but then they said a completely different amount to what I had put in my car.
“I used a pay at pump machine and my car was verified before I even put the fuel in.
“My daughter woke up and it was frightening for her because she had no idea what was going on.”
Mrs Gray was not arrested by the two officers but was told she must prove payment to the petrol station, which accused her of stealing £22 worth of fuel, as soon as possible.
When she got her bank statement a few days later, she sent it to both the main company and the individual garage.
But despite proving her innocence, she has still had no apology from Shell, almost two months later.
She said: “I do think that they should be named and shamed.
“It doesn’t take long to say sorry. They sent the police to my door and they haven’t even responded to me.”
Mrs Gray, who is currently on maternity leave from her job at Buckhurst Hill Primary School, added: “I feel like my car is marked when I go into a petrol station and it’s horrible to think that the school children living down my road could have seen the police coming to their teacher’s house.”
Shell has been asked to comment.
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