Former Birmingham and Hull midfielder Bryan Hughes had given Stanley the lead in the 13th minute with his first goal in three years. Hughes was set up by on-loan striker Stockley and he fired home from 12 yards out via the inside of the post.
Accrington bossed the first half with Craig Lindfield going close and captain Andy Procter trying his luck from long range.
Torquay, who were on a six-game unbeaten run, forced a save out of Ian Dunbavin through winger Billy Bodin. But six minutes before half-time Gulls striker Rene Howe was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on defender Dean Winnard.
The 10 men battled hard after the break but Stanley were looking for a second goal to kill the game off. Lindfield was denied by visiting goalkeeper Robert Olejnik while Stockley had a close-range effort saved. The teenager then got the ball and carved something out of nothing by lifting the ball over Olejnik’s head after 62 minutes.
Stanley were reduced to 10 men when Luke Joyce saw red for dissent 12 minutes from time. In a lively finish, after 89 minutes, Kevin Long got on the end of a Padraig Amond cross five yards out to make it 3-0 before Torquay got one back in injury time when Chris McPhee fired home from 12 yards.