A man who stole £800 of alcohol from 3 supermarkets to pay off a drug debt after his children were threatened has appeared in court.
45-year-old Darren Stride, of no fixed abode, appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with 11 counts of theft from a shop and 1 count of going equipped.
The court heard from the prosecution that Stride had stolen £460 of alcohol from Tesco in Ryde, £259 worth from Morrisons in Lake and £80 worth from Sainsbury’s in Newport on dates between September and November this year. He was eventually caught outside Morrisons in Newport and was found to be carrying pliers, which he used to cut off security tags in each store.
It was revealed before Magistrates that Stride had stolen the alcohol not for his own consumption, but to sell on to pay off a £4,000 drug debt owed to 4 or 5 different dealers.
Defending, Barry Arnett said his client previously sold tools and a car in a bid to clear his drug debt, which had built up from taking amphetamines ‘on tick’. Once the money had dried up threats were made to his 3 teenage children with suggestions from the dealers that Stride should steal to make money.
A pre-sentence report from Probation highlighted that Darren Stride is now clear of drugs and is starting a new job as a chef on Friday. They noted 21 previous offences and that Stride had last been in court in 2016.
Magistrates handed Stride a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation days, 130 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay compensation to the tune of £799, as well as £85 costs and a £95 surcharge.
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