A MAN was already on bail, accused of a three-day crime spree in central Victoria, when he crashed a car while high on drugs, a court has heard.
Luke Courtney-Clack, 23, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Tuesday. He had been charged with 30 offences, including theft, possessing a drug of dependence, and careless driving.
Police alleged some time between 8.50pm on May 12 and 6.35am the next day, Mr Courtney-Clack went to an Ascot address where he stole the registration plates from a white Ford ute parked in the driveway.
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The vehicle's owner noticed the plates were missing that morning and contacted police. The registration plates were valued at $30.
The court heard that some time between 5pm on May 12 and 11am on May 13, Mr Courtney-Clack allegedly entered an open shed at a Newbridge address while the owners were home.
Police alleged Mr Courtney-Clack stole the key to a Holden Rodeo ute, the key to a John Deere ride-on mower, and Milwaukee tools valued at $1800.
The court heard that at 9am on May 13, a witness saw Mr Courtney-Clack and another unknown man allegedly searching through a shed in Elmore.
The witness confronted the men and they fled to a white Ford Ranger, which had been reported as stolen in November 2019.
Police alleged Mr Courtney-Clack and the other offender drove away, crashing through several fences as the witness followed them by car. The witness notified police of the incident.
The court heard then some time between 3pm on May 13 and 2.40am on May 14, Mr Courtney-Clack allegedly went to a Strathdale address where a Holden sedan was left unlocked.
It is alleged Mr Courtney-Clack entered the car and stole two cameras, worth $700 in total, and one packet of cigarettes.
Police patrolled the area at 2.50am after they received reports of a suspicious loiterer.
Officers saw the Holden sedan's side door open and notified the owner, who confirmed items had been stolen.
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The court heard some time between 8pm May 13 and 8.20am on May 14, Mr Courtney-Clack allegedly stole a tyre from a Ford Ranger parked at a Strathdale address. The tyre was valued at $1500.
Police alleged about 10.20pm on May 14, Mr Courtney-Clack was driving the stolen white Ford ute in Strathdale when he crashed into a tree.
Witnesses called triple zero but Mr Courtney-Clack allegedly left the scene with a bag of stolen tools before emergency services arrived.
The white Ford ute was towed and assessed by detectives. The court heard the bonnet had been painted a different colour and a new tailgate had been attached. The stolen tyre was also on the vehicle.
Police alleged they also found 45 cartridges of ammunition and tools in the ute. Mr Courtney-Clack's fingerprints were also allegedly found on the car.
Mr Courtney-Clack was arrested on May 23 and interviewed at the Bendigo Police Station. He denied all of the alleged offending and was ultimately released on bail.
The court heard then about 1.30pm on July 3, Mr Courtney-Clack was driving on the Midland Highway in a gold Holden Commodore he had bought.
Police alleged the car left the road and crashed into traffic signs and a tree.
Witnesses called Triple Zero and police arrived to find Mr Courtney-Clack unconscious in the driver's seat.
The court heard he briefly regained consciousness and became aggressive, so the paramedics sedated him.
It is alleged about 25 grams of the drug GHB was located in the centre console of the car, along with $6100 in cash in a blank envelope.
Mr Courtney-Clack was brought to the Bendigo hospital for treatment and a blood sample showed he had methamphetamine in his system.
The 23-year-old faced court for the charges, but was again released on bail.
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About 5.50pm on July 15 this year, Mr Courtney-Clack and another man were allegedly captured on CCTV footage at a Bunnings store in Bendigo.
The court heard a small ziplock bag containing methamphetamine fell out of his pocket.
The court heard then on September 13 this year, two off-duty police officers saw Mr Courtney-Clack sleeping in a running vehicle.
The officers approached him but he was unresponsive. While the off-duty officers called for police, Mr Courtney-Clack woke and attempted to flee but the officers stopped him.
It is alleged he was screaming and lashed out at the officers and paramedics who arrived on scene.
Police checks of the vehicle showed it was an unregistered car that had been stolen from a Kennington address in July.
Police searched the car and allegedly found a crystal substance and a clear liquid believed to be GHB. Drug paraphernalia was also allegedly found in the car.
Acting Sergeant Peter Clarke told the court Mr Courtney-Clack would be an unacceptable risk of re-offending if he was released on bail.
He said police believed Mr Courtney-Clack would fall back into bad habits and would not comply with bail conditions.
Defence counsel Courtney Hart told the court Mr Courtney-Clack should be bailed as he had already served 65 days in pre-sentence detention.
Ms Hart said his next court date was listed for early January, meaning he would spend more than 100 days in prison before he could contest the charges.
The defence counsel said Mr Courtney-Clack had good rehabilitation prospects given his young age, and had stable accommodation.
But magistrate Patrick Southey said he was concerned the community would be at risk if Mr Courtney-Clack was released.
"What troubles me most of all is that he might have another car accident," Mr Southey said. "He is incapable of keeping a car on the road because he's so drug affected.
"I'm concerned he would kill someone on the road. That would be entirely foreseeable."
Mr Courtney-Clack's bail application was refused and he was remanded in custody. He is due to return to the Bendigo Magistrates' Court in January.
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