Prolific thief returns to court

A THIEF went on a shoplifting spree just two days after being sentenced for six other thefts.

Matthew Stock, 37, of Devonshire Road, appeared in custody last week at Hastings Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to two charges of theft.

Jeremy King, prosecuting, said: “On Wednesday May 11 he was caught on CCTV taking two boxes and two bottles of wine from the Spar in Kings Road, St Leonards.

“At 3.45pm the same day he went into Superdrug in the town centre and took three bottles of aftershave valued at £87.

“He was stopped by security officers and fully admitted the offences to police.

“He told police he had sold the wine for £12 but needed more money to pay his bills so had gone into Superdrug.

Mr King added: “On the Monday before he was sentenced to a nine-month drink and drugs rehabilitation community order after admitting six counts of theft.”

The court heard he had numerous previous convictions including shoplifting offences

Aiden Harvey, defending, said: “He is now on methadone and has not used heroin since the order was imposed.

“These offences were committed not to sustain a habit but to pay his bills.”

Magistrates sentenced Stock to a 12-month conditional discharge.