Wigan ex-serviceman pledges to turn his life around appearing in court

An ex-squaddie promised a court he wants to turn his life around after admitting he twice drove off without paying for petrol.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 11:22 am
Wigan and Leigh Courthouse, where the hearing took place

Luke Maddock, 19, of Logwood Avenue, Worsley Hall, had been struggling financially after discharge from the army, justices heard.

But at Wigan and Leigh Courthouse the teen made a heartfelt plea for leniency, promising to turn his life around following the recent birth of his son.

The court heard Maddock was first spotted filling up his Vauxhall Corsa with £49 of fuel at the Euro Garages station in Goose Green, before driving off without payment. Two months later he did the same, this time failing to stump up a further £53.

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Wigan and Leigh Courthouse, where the hearing took place

Defending, Karen Moorfield said Maddock had been discharged from the army last November for reasons undisclosed to the court. He had been struggling to find work since but was desperate not to claim benefits.

Maddock had tried to pay for the fuel on the first occasion, she said, but when his card was declined by the pay-at-pump machine, he “panicked” and drove off. But he was fully aware he did not have the means the second time, yet filled up anyway and fled.

Ms Moorfield said Maddock wanted to “knuckle down” and set a positive example for his son born in February.

Addressing the bench, Maddock revealed he had “a lot of different things going on with my mental health. I got to a certain point where I thought ‘screw it’, and I didn’t care about what happened to me.”

He expressed regret and said setting a good example for his baby was “something that motivates me to get me through the week.”

The chair told Maddock: “The bench is always interested in people who have served their country.

“What we have heard from you at the end was also very helpful. We are extremely pleased to hear that you are determined to turn your life around.”

He was given a 12-month community order, 130 hours’ unpaid work, a 15-day a rehab activity requirement, pay £103.61 compensation to the garage and £170 in costs and victim surcharge.