Facebook and first dates - how it can go seriously wrong...

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Law & order, Social networks

How exactly does a young mum, aged 23, end up as a getaway driver in an armed robbery instead of going on a hot date with an old friend she reconnected with on Facebook?

In the teeny tiny town of Ferndale, about 20 miles north of Cardiff in Wales, Leah Gibbs was exchanging flirty messages with 21-year-old Adam Minton.

She told The Mirror, “I was so excited about going out with Adam...He was tall, dark and ­handsome with twinkly eyes – it ­was ­a welcome break from ­the grind of being a single mum looking after my two daughters...".

When she arrived at Minton's house the following day, he immediately asked her for a lift to the local betting shop Ladbrokes. She relunctantly agrees, assuming he wanted to place a bet. (I can't help but think that has got to be a clue to the man's character, but there you go...)

He ran out of Ladbrokes, a knife in hand and a bandana covering his face, towards the car and screamed "Drive, drive, drive" as he jumped in. (Now you see, again, I can't help but think that the whole knife and bandana thing is yet another good reason to lock the door and speed off WITHOUT him...)

A Ladbrokes' employee had deployed a silent alarm and gave the cops Leah Gibbs' registration plate number. It wasn't long before the cops caught up with them.

She spent the night behind bars and was released the next day, when Minton admitted to acting alone. He made off with £245, about $390 USD.

Minton has been handed a four-and-a-half year jail sentence.

Ms Gibbs has reportedly concluded that "it was a date from hell."

This is not the first time that Facebook meetings have led to sour evenings. You might remember the shocking story of a Facebook blind date and a supermarket robbery. You can watch video below.

(Enjoy this video? Why not check out the SophosLabs YouTube channel?)

Ending up as a getaway driver on a Facebook date may be an end to an evening which is hard to predict, but remember to always be careful about who you meet up with online.

Not everyone may be worthy of the title of "Facebook friend".

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8 Responses to Facebook and first dates - how it can go seriously wrong...

  1. Diane · 1482 days ago

    I have met hundreds of people from the internet and have no horror stories. Why? Because I am not stupid. Who in their right might goes to a strangers house??? You meet at a public location and you take someone with you. You drive your own car and never leave with that person until you have had enough "dates" with them to know who they are.

    By the way, I am married to man I met on the internet, so I am well aware of how great the internet dating experience can be. But, be careful. Most people are great, just don't be stupid in allowing the few crazies into your life.

  2. Candy · 1482 days ago

    If a woman (or man, for that matter) doesn't have common sense in "real" life, why should she have it in her cyber life?

  3. They B. Stoopid · 1482 days ago

    If one ignores blatant red flags, one cannot whine about having to take their medicine.

  4. Ribena · 1482 days ago

    He ran into ladbrokes with a knife in his hand, how could the first thing you do not be to drive off?

  5. schmunzelmonster · 1482 days ago

    Facebook is not required to get into this kind of pickle. A young lady with a baby in a pram knocked on my door and I invited her in out of the pouring rain. I still haven't quite worked out how I fell for it... but before long I was driving her around the rougher areas of Catford. Eventually it dawned on me that we were on a drugs run and I was looking after her baby while she did her deals.

    • Warren · 1482 days ago

      He he, how ingenious of her.....................and amazing that anyone could put up so much front. Gosh the young ones are so tricky these days...........

  6. alittleart · 1482 days ago

    This was someone she already knew before she started chatting to them on Facebook, so not then so very much a "beware of the dangerous internets" kind of tale. No masked identity, no faked photos; just a date gone wrong in a small town.

  7. Orange Rhino · 1415 days ago

    I had a date with a young woman I met on a social networking site. She wore an impressive business suit. As I waited in the car, she went into a big downtown building and stayed more than an hour. When she finally emerged she had pulled off a Ponzi scheme, netting $150 million. Over drinks later, she decided she didn't like me, and left----giving me a mere $3 million. Although the money is nice, it is only a small part of the loot. I feel oppressed. Watch out whom you date--young people have no sense of equity any more, it seems.

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About the author

Hi. I am a social, brand and communications expert with 10 years in senior roles in the tech space. I'm currently Sophos' s Global Director of Social Media and Communities. Proudest work achievement? Creating and launching award-winning Naked Security. Outside work, I am a mean cook, an avid reader, a chronic insomniac, a podcast obsessive and blogger .