Shocking CCTV shows greengrocer dragged along road by his own truck as he tries to stop robbery

Simon Garner

This is the moment a brave greengrocer was dragged 50ft by a speeding truck before he was flung into a parked car as he tried to stop a thief.

Fruit and veg merchant Stuart Timmins, 48, clung on to his Mitsubishi Shogun which was loaded with apples as it sped away from his workplace at high speed.

He heard the door slam and went outside his business in Gornal, West Midlands, to investigate the noise when he spotted yob Chase Edwards, 30, in the driving seat.

The fearless dad-of-one leapt onto the side-step of the two-tonne 4x4 and tried to smash the driver's window and grab the keys as it raced away at 40mph.

Shocking CCTV footage shows Stuart desperately clinging from the red and silver truck before losing his grip and falling into the road.

The clip shows the heart-stopping moment the wheels of the trailer – laden with nine crates holding hundreds of apples – narrowly misses Stuart's head.

Edwards was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday for various thefts, robbery, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

He pleaded guilty to the theft of Stuart's Mitsubishi - which has never been recovered - and was jailed four seven years, four months.

The truck's trailer went over Stuart's left leg, smashing it in two places.

Stuart suffered a complex fracture of the tibia and fibula in his left leg as well as cuts and bruises.

He had two operations, one to stabilise his leg initially and a second to insert 17 permanent pins and two plates.

Stuart, who is still unable to walk three months after the incident, on March 25 this year, described the 'horrifying' ordeal.

He said: "The penny didn't drop for one minute that he shouldn't be there then I thought 'hang on, he's trying to nick my car', by which time he'd got the car started.

"Naturally, instinct took over and I jumped on to the side step.

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"He was gathering speed and I was desperately trying to smash the driver-side window and gain access to the ignition keys to cut the engine.

"Unfortunately the window didn't break as planned, by which time we had turned the corner at the top of the drive and we were heading down the street gathering speed.

"I thought 'I have either got to hang on and suffer the consequences or let go' and I chose to do the latter.

"In your mind's eye it was just a bit of a tumble and a roll and then you come to a halt.

"But as the footage shows it was a lot more graphic, a lot more horrific, and my injuries show that."

Stuart, who is still unable to walk and faces further medical procedures and months of gruelling physiotherapy.

He added: "Being self-employed I'm just thankful for good family and good friends that we are managing to continue on with the business."

Speaking after Edwards was jailed, Sergeant Clive Steedman, from Dudley Police's Offender Management Team, said: "We hope that this sentence gives some closure to Mr Timmins as he continues to recover from his ordeal.

"We are pleased that the court recognised the severity of the crime and as a team, we will be working with the offender upon his release, along with support agencies, to help prevent re-offending."