A magistrate says the story of a young man who went from being school captain to committing several crimes is a “classic case” of the effects of the drug ice.
The 23-year-old Echuca man pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to driving while suspended, theft, theft of a motor vehicle, handling stolen goods, using methamphetamine and committing indictable offences on bail.
The court heard the man was caught driving in Echuca in the early hours of August 28, 2017, despite his licence having been suspended for 12 months in September 2016 for speeding.
He told police he was unaware his licence was suspended.
On August 8, 2018, CCTV footage at the Kyabram Club captured the man reaching behind him, picking up a mobile phone that was accidentally left beside a gaming machine by another patron, and putting it in his jacket.
He was later arrested, but told police he did not steal a phone.
He was bailed the following day.
On September 19, he was found near a vehicle in Victa Road, East Bendigo.
In the car police found a travel pouch containing some foreign currency and a 20-litre jerry can, two items stolen in a burglary at a Strathallan property two days prior.
Police also found the man’s phone, which held messages in which he said he was driving a Mercedes, as well as a video showing him driving a Mercedes and smoking methamphetamine.
Read more: Woman jailed for trafficking ice
A Mercedes was also stolen in Strathallan.
The man denied involvement in the burglary, and said he was picked up from Echuca that morning.
Defence lawyer Jacob Mildren said the man was once a school captain and entered employment after school.
Things were going well, he said, until he experienced a relationship breakdown at the end of last year and began using methamphetamine.
The court heard the man had since spent time in rehabilitation and now had a job.
Magistrate John Murphy said the man’s downfall following ice use was a “classic case”, and deferred sentencing to March.
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