Thief awaits fate: Ice addict behind bars as magistrate decides

AN ice-addicted burglar, who remained behind bars over the weekend while a magistrate pondered his future, will know his fate tomorrow.

Troy Strange pleaded guilty to charges including theft, burglary and criminal damage when he faced ­Mildura­ Magistrates’ Court on ­Thursday.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Al Heintze told the court that between October 5 and 6, Strange broke into Red Cliffs Fire Brigade and stole soft drink, chips, alcohol and cricket balls.

The next day, the court heard, Strange broke into Burns & Co and stole items including a stereo system, LED lights and car wheel rims totalling $1340 in value. 

He and a co-accused were recorded by CCTV at the property.

Sen-Constable Heintze said that on October 12, Strange went to Mark Wells Auto with a co-accused and acted as a lookout while the co-accused broke in.

A search warrant at his house uncovered a number of the stolen items, the court heard.

Defence counsel Gavan Tellefson told the court Strange was a contributing member of society until a few years ago when he suffered a serious injury in a “household accident”.

He said his arm went through a window pane and “practically cut it off”. 

Mr Tellefson said this incident was the catalyst for his ice use, after he was unable to work.

He said Strange didn’t understand the effect the drug ice had on him but believed it drove him to commit the offences.

“It’s a story that has become common place in the courts,” Mr Tellefson said.

“He is a man who has fallen off the perch in a big way.”

Mr Tellefson asked Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge to consider a community corrections order, taking into account the background to his offending and that his girlfriend was going through a difficult pregnancy.

Mr Lethbridge said he needed time to consider Strange’s sentencing and remanded him in custody until tomorrow.

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