A man who was given stolen coins worth an estimated $32,000 to clear a $240 debt has found himself in trouble after selling them.
Travis Bathman, 40, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court to handling stolen goods and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
In July 2018, a selection of high-grade, pre-decimal coins worth more than $200,000 were stolen from an Epsom address, along with other less valuable coins.
Days later Bathman was given several of these coins to clear a $240 debt.
There is no suggestion Bathman was involved in the burglary.
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Bathman took the coins to Melbourne to sell and after being refused by numerous coin dealers, he found one who paid him $1900 by cheque.
These were later located and returned to the rightful owner, but they had been removed from their individual cases and handled, which diminished their value significantly.
Bathman was arrested in Shepparton and admitted to police he had taken possession of the coins and sold them.
Defence lawyer Madeleine Mein said Bathman did not know the coins were stolen initially, but became aware later when he looked into the value of the coins and discovered they were worth $32,000.
She said Bathman's drug use escalated after a serious car crash seven years ago that left him using a wheelchair and unable to work, but he had been clean for a year.
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Bathman did have a history of prior offending, Ms Mein said, but the most relevant offences occurred some time ago.
She asked the magistrate to consider a fine, or failing that, a community corrections order.
The court heard Bathman was still awaiting Transport Accident Commission payments following the car crash and was in receipt of the disability pension.
Magistrate Megan Aumair told Bathman that he should have reported the matter as soon as he realised the coins were stolen.
She convicted and fined him $1000, and ordered him to pay compensation of $1900.
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