By Caitlin Bewley
(3rd Yr Swinburne Uni)
A drug-driven burglary has heard Magistrate Leonard Brear tell the court, “this gentleman needs to understand the community has little patience for this type of offending.”
The 23-year old accused Lee Stewart, appeared on Friday 24 January, entering a guilty plea.
Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Steve Kent described the accused’s demeanour as “quite drug affected” after he had been smoking methamphetamine and cannabis in his home October 1 2019.
The prosecution told the court Stewart walked past a Dickson street (Bacchus Marsh) property and proceeded to look into the backyard after hearing an alarm coming from the house.
“It was at this time that Stewart noticed an estimated $10,000 worth of items inside the Dickson street garage, which he subsequently stole with an unknown co-accuser,” LSC Kent said.
The court heard the accused “took photos of the items” in an attempt to on sell them.
When interviewed on October 7 by police, Stewart said an “alarm was going off for a number of days which confirmed no one was home”. He also said his motive was “to get money for drugs.”
The accused’s lawyer described the incident as “unplanned” and “unpremeditated”, saying there was “significant utility in his plea and significant utility in his cooperation with the police investigation.”
Magistrate Brear said the accused has had community support.
“There is no doubt that what you’re telling me has been told to a Magistrate last year.
“No one has forced him to take ice,” Magistrate Brear said.
“He has continued to take ice regardless of orders made in court. The court cannot make your client say no to drugs.”
Stewart’s lawyer urged Magistrate Brear to consider a community corrections order with therapeutic based treatment for his client.
“[Stewart needs to] have discipline to say no to drugs and thieving from others. It’s his decision,” Magistrate Brear said.
Stewart was remanded in custody to reappear in court at a later date for sentencing.