Serial Preston shoplifter leapt from balcony to escape police and was on the run for weeks

A serial shoplifter who leapt from a first floor balcony to evade police has been jailed for 14 months.

Joshua Corey, 26, had already committed a string of shopliftings across Preston when police visited his home - but after his escape he was at large for two weeks.

This picture of Corey was circulated when he went on the run (Credit: Lancs Police)

This picture of Corey was circulated when he went on the run (Credit: Lancs Police)

The total of the goods he stole amongst to more than £1,000, Preston Crown Court was told.

READ MORE: Man wanted after escaping from police in Preston

He admits escaping lawful custody, 21 counts of theft, and an attempted theft.

Hanifa Patel, prosecuting, said he mainly targeted two shops in Preston - Tesco Express and Co-op, but also stole from a post office, newsagent and Spar shop in the city between August and October.

She said police went to his last known home address on Birkdale Drive, Ashton, Preston, after viewing CCTV of a theft.

Officers saw clothing belonging to Corey, and he returned a few moments later.

Miss Patel adds: “ The officer describes him as looking quite shocked.

“They approached him and said he’d be placed under arrest. He told the officer to f*** off.

“The officer placed one cuff on his wrist. The defendant then tried to lower his leg across a balcony - the officer tried to keep hold of him and at this stage was more worried for his welfare than him escaping.

“He did drop from the balcony around three metres to the floor.

“The officer lost his grip and the defendant managed to make good his escape.

“Having escaped he then continued committing offences of shoplifting.”

He was eventually caught on November 12.