Trio plead guilty to Castlemaine burglary

THREE men charged over a Castlemaine burglary last year have pleaded guilty in Bendigo County Court.

Adam Scott Simmons, of Castlemaine, Anthony John Edwards, of Carisbrook, and Simon Paul Walsh, who is on remand at Port Phillip Prison, were arraigned on August 29 at Simmons' plea hearing .

All three men were charged with theft over the June 6 burglary, during which hundreds of dollars worth of goods were stolen.

Walsh, 36, was also charged with burglary and possessing a drug of dependence.

Edwards, 35, also pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and two counts of possessing a drug of dependence, including the highly-addictive drug ice.

The court heard the trio were at Simmons' Castlemaine home in the early hours of June 6 when Edwards asked Simmons to drive them to a Rowe Street property where they were going to reclaim items believed to be stolen from one of Edwards' associates.

Crown prosecutor Peter Jones said Walsh entered the home through an unlocked door and confronted a man who was sleeping in the lounge room.

He said Walsh pinned him down and had a brief discussion before releasing him and passing items through an open window to Edwards who had been waiting outside the front of the home.

The stolen items included a television, laptop, computer hard-drive, Bvlgari watch and iPod. 

The court heard a woman who was also in the home with her three children at the time of the burglary called police from her bedroom.

When officers arrived and arrested Edwards and Simmons, who was still in the car at the front of the home, Walsh fled the scene through the back door.

A search of the car found a 17-inch aluminium baseball bat, stolen property including a violin and its case, a wallet and a mobile phone, as well as Walsh's wallet which contained more than a dozen Xanax tablets.

Simmons' defence barrister Lucy Harnett told the court her client had no prior convictions and had been a reliable family man of good character until this offending.

She said during interview Simmons told police he believed he was helping Edwards and Walsh pick up items at a pre-arranged meeting and felt bad when he realised children were present.

"Looking back on it, it looks as dodgy as hell," Simmons told officers.

Ms Harnett urged the court to consider an adjourned undertaking, without conviction, arguing a criminal record would make it difficult for her client to find work.

But Judge Mark Dean said such a sentence might not be appropriate given the seriousness of the crime.

"It's a serious theft, it's not a shoplift," Judge Dean said.

He adjourned the case for sentencing on September 19.

Plea hearings for Edwards and Walsh are expected to be heard on September 17.

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