POLICE have released a picture of the man who was jailed after smashing his way into a fish and chip shop to steal a charity box.
Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday, November 16 how Stephen King broke into the Big Fish in Nelson Street, Stroud and stole an air ambulance donation tin containing about £80 before taking a Smart car for a joyride.
Prosecutor Cathy Thornton said that at 7.30am on November 2, police received a call from the owner stating that the front door had been damaged and that a large rock could be seen inside the premises.
She explained how CCTV captured King – a 35-year-old homeless man – trying to shoulder-barge the door around 3.20am
“He disappeared for a few minutes and came back with a large rock and threw it at the door window and this time he smashed it. The culprit climbed through the broken glass into the shop and took the grey charity tin from the counter,” she said.
“The man was wearing a track suit jogging bottoms and was identified after he left a blood stain on an inner wall.”
The court was told that police went to Wesley Court, where King had been known to have recently been sleeping rough under a community stairwell, and found his belongings, which included the blood-stained jogging bottoms.
Both blood samples were later matched to King.
The court then heard how the driver of a Smart car had mistakenly left the keys in the ignition in Thrupp Lane during heavy rain on November 14.
“At around 12.30am police began to receive reports from residents living along a single-track road in the area, who had been awoken by the noise, of a motorist in a Smart car driving up and down the road in a suspicious manner,” said Ms Thornton.
“The Smart car was found with King located nearby.”
King pleaded guilty to stealing the charity tin and taking a car without consent.
The court was told that King had been recalled to prison as the offences put him in breach of parole conditions.
Jane Taylor, defending, said: “King is desperate to try and turn his life around. He needs proper medication for his drug habit.”
He was jailed for 42 days which will begin after his current prison term ends and he must also pay a £154 mandatory surcharge.