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Crime spree caused by ‘brain cells fried’

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By Caitlin Bewley
(2nd Yr Swinburne Uni)

Drug induced criminal offences saw a 29-year-old man on the fringe of a jail sentence in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrate’s court February 22.
Before Magistrate Ron Saines, the court heard Joshua Ford was allegedly driving a motor vehicle on multiple occasions between March and August of last year under the influence of illicit drugs.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Ivan Blomley alleged that on March 2 2018 the accused was travelling along Doveton street, Invermay Park (Ballarat) when spotted by police.
After being intercepted, the accused was asked to provide his driver’s licence and undergo a preliminary breath test, which came back negative.
Ford was later asked to provide a sample for a preliminary oral fluid test, with the toxicology report returning a positive result for the illicit drug ‘speed’.
When interviewed by police, it was alleged the accused said he had used the illicit drug “Wednesday arvo” and that he “didn’t think it’d still be in his system”.
Ford’s offending continued on June 16 last year when he was alleged to have broken into an Invermay home under the influence of illicit drugs.
The court heard the accused smashed the glass panel of the victim’s laundry door, proceeding to go through the main bedroom’s drawers and cupboards.
According to the prosecution, the break in was witnessed by a neighbour who, after attending the crime scene, noticed a milky liquid throughout the house along with a strong chemical smell.
When interviewed by police, the accused allegedly said he “couldn’t remember if he entered the house” and that his “brain cells were fried from Xanax”.
“He was on a combination of substances and he doesn’t have a clear recollection of it [the break in],” the accused’s lawyer told Magistrate Saines.
“You’ve had ten years, at least, of being in and out of jail,” Magistrate Saines said.
“I can accept that this was an expression of being in a serious drug affected state.”
Ford was convicted and fined a sum of $3000, plus $124.30 in costs. His licences were cancelled and disqualified for 12-months and was ordered to partake in a community corrections order for 12-months.