A life defined by crime, a body destroyed by drugs; all laid bare before school kids in a lifestyle video launched today.
After gaining tabloid notoriety in ‘the Noughties’ as the UK’s most prolific burglar, Stuart McCormick wanted to go into schools as a warning to others and be a living example to youngsters of what not to do with their lives.
But the drugs have taken their toll on his health to such an extent that personal appearances are no longer viable. Instead, he tells his story in “Dying for a fix” a seven minute video that many will find shocking.
“If I could turn back time I would. I mean, I regret everything I’ve done”, confesses Stuart, 43 from Cheltenham, with searing honesty. “I’ve lost everything, basically. Friends, family, my health. I’ve lost most of my life due to prison. It’s just destroyed me”.
Year 11 students at Archway School, Stroud, watched spellbound as they became the first to see the video during a special assembly this morning.
“He doesn’t look like the same person at all”
This is what some of them had to say:
‘I can’t believe how different he looked from before. He looks like a completely different person. I was really shocked that he had admitted to all those crimes.
‘I wish he had gone a different way about solving his problems but I can see why he felt it was the only way to go.
‘The video made me more aware of the affects drugs can have on you. It also made me think how much pain he must have experienced to go down that route.’
‘I think the video is really good to show how people are really struggling with taking drugs and how it can change your life completely,
‘He doesn’t look like the same person at all. It’s quite shocking that drugs can have a hold on your life like that,
‘The videos helps to show people what damage drugs can do, because before he took the drugs he looked so healthy and now he looks so weak and nothing like he did before.
‘I haven’t experienced anything with drugs but I am aware that there is a drug problem. The video is a great way to get the message out about how drugs can take a hold of your life”.
“This is the reality of life”
Head Teacher Kieran Smith said, “I think it has been entirely impactful on the students. They have watched an extremely powerful story from the actual person who’s experienced it.
“It’s all very well hearing it third hand from another adult but hearing the story from the person is extremely powerful and you could see from the faces of the students this morning, they were transfixed by his story.
“This is the reality of life, isn’t it. If students can be educated first hand by somebody who’s made those choices and regrets them, if they can be encouraged to make the right choices by seeing the experiences of somebody else, I would absolutely support showing the video in schools”.
“Dying for a fix” has been produced by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Gloucestershire Constabulary to be shown in schools around the county as part of the PCC’s ‘public health’ approach to preventing crime.
A public health approach to policing is defined as promoting the proactive prevention of crime, working with partner organisations to solve problems, create cohesive communities, improve data-sharing, and promote evidence-based practice
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Evans said: “You cannot help but be moved by the compelling testimony in this video. It is a clear demonstration of how drugs ravage your body, create misery and lead to criminality that creates yet more victims.
“I don’t want more people to suffer in the way that Stuart and the victims of his crimes have. That’s why we’re sharing this video as part of our public-health approach to crime prevention which intervenes early and stop problems escalating. This video is brutally honest, and I want to send a clear message to anyone involved, or considering being involved with illegal drugs, that this is the reality of the decisions you are making.”