Stab victim returned to a life of crime after losing children

Theft: TK Maxx store in Fishergate Centre
Theft: TK Maxx store in Fishergate Centre
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A man who lost custody of his children after being the innocent victim of a stabbing, turned back to drugs and theft, a court heard.

Gary Stock, of Church Street, Preston was jailed by the city’s magistrates after admitting stealing seven pairs of sunglasses worth more than £180 from TK Maxx at the Fishergate Centre.

The 32-year-old also admitted the theft of an X-Box control pad worth £39.99 from Game and a DVD box set worth £20 from HMV in the city centre. He was sentenced to a total of 14 weeks behind bars.

Martine Connah, prosecuting, said Stock had been identified from CCTV pictures which captured him removing the tags from the glasses using a pair of wire cuttters before leaving the store without paying.

John Didsbury, defending, said Stock had struggled with drug addiction for a number of years, but had not committed any thefts during three years he had custody of his three children.

“But in September 2014 he was the subject of quite a serious assault when people broke in through the door of his house and stabbed him. The concensus was it was a case of mistaken identity. But what that did was it concerned social services who suggested it might be drug related and the children were taken off him. He began to use again, feeling sorry for himself, and started offending again.”