A man who allegedly decided to take the fight against drugs into his own hands and lit a fire in a unit while a teenage boy was inside - believing it to be the home of someone else - has been granted bail.
Echuca man Aaron Brooke applied for bail in Bendigo Magistrates’ Court this week, having been charged with aggravated burglary and arson.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Darren Dean told the court Mr Brooke was sitting on the banks of the Campaspe River in Echuca with a bottle of vodka on October 29, when he allegedly became agitated about the problem of ice use in the town.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Dean said Mr Brooke allegedly decided to do something about it himself, and went to the Crossen Street unit he believed was the home of a person involved with drugs.
The court heard Mr Brooke allegedly stood outside yelling abuse, before making his way inside, where he continued to yell.
But the detective said he “got the wrong unit”, and inside was a 17-year-old boy having a shower.
The boy remained in the shower until he heard the noise cease, Detective Leading Senior Constable Dean said, then went out and found a fire in the lounge room.
The teenager managed to extinguish the fire with a towel, the court was told.
The court heard Mr Brooke continued to look for the person he was after, but was arrested following an alleged altercation in Pascoe Street.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Dean said Mr Brooke made “frank and open” admissions to police in relation to the incident, stating he was sick of drugs and decided to take matters into his own hands.
He said he agreed to the defence’s proposed bail conditions, but voiced concern Mr Brooke was “only one bottle of vodka away” from repeating such behaviour.
Defence lawyer Nicholas Rolfe said his client had problems with alcohol, but was seeking a place at a rehabilitation facility.
Mr Brooke’s parents supported their son in court and told magistrate John Murphy they were willing to contact police if their son consumed alcohol while on bail.
“I’m prepared to take that risk,” Mr Murphy said, in granting bail to Mr Brooke.
Mr Murphy gave conditions of bail that included thrice-weekly reporting to police, a curfew, and that Mr Brooke not attend licensed premises or consume any alcohol.
Mr Brooke must also undertake any treatment that may be directed by his doctor.
Mr Murphy told Mr Brooke to appreciate the presence of his parents, telling him many people who appeared in court had no one to support them.
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