An 18-year-old man involved in a string of break-ins and robberies has been
offered one more chance to turn his life around.
Joshua Fuller appeared inthe Ballarat Magistrates’Court on Thursday September 29.
Police alleged that over an eight-day period Fuller broke into a number of local businesses and community clubs, included the Springbank, Gordon and Ballan Recreation Reserve clubrooms and the Ballan Hospital Opportunity Shop.
The string of break-ins commenced on September 18 of this year when Fuller gained entry into the Springbank clubrooms through an ajar window, the court heard.
Accompanied by three unknown people, Fuller fled the premises empty handed after the club’s security alarm system was set off.
On the same evening, Fuller attended the Gordon clubrooms, where he forced open a side door to gain entry. The man and the three unknown co-accused allegedly entered the club bar and stole 12 slabs of beer and a black colour television, the court heard.
Two days later it is alleged Fuller gained entry into the Ballan Hospital Opportunity Shop (Opportunity on Inglis) by forcing open the rear door. A computer hard drive, $60 worth of donations and an assortment of watches and jewellery were stolen from the premises. On September 26, Fuller appeared on CCTV cameras outside the Ballan Recreation Reserve Tennis Clubrooms. A silver Subaru Sedan, driven by Fuller, was also captured on the footage. Fuller notices the CCTV camera pointing at him and flees the premises with an
unknown accomplice. Five minutes later he is alleged to have returned witha black jumper over his face.
Police alleged Fuller gained entry through a window and broke the door handle of the fridge, in an attempt to steal more alcohol, before accidentally setting off the alarm system and fleeing the premises again.
On September 28, police observed Fuller working on a car in O’Hagen Place in Bacchus Marsh. Upon closer inspection, the vehicle was identifed as the one seen at
the Ballan Football Club two days prior. The vehicle was subsequently searched and nine Carlton Draught beer cans were found in the boot, which Fuller admitted were those taken from the Springbank Football Club.
The accused, who was already on two sets of bail following a number of driving offences including theft of registration plates, driving an unregistered vehicle and driving with a learners permit without supervision,was arrested and remanded in custody.
Appearing before the court on Thursday, Fuller was supported by family members.
His lawyer, Mr McKenzie, said the 18-year-old’s life had taken a turn for the worse after a recent introduction to “bad company” and the drug ice.
“My client’s life has really unravelled in recent times.It spiralled downwards afte rhe began dabbling recreationally in the drug ice and therefore being in bad company, however when I saw him yesterday in the cells I could tell that he was extremely distressed,” Mr McKenzie said.
“This has been a big wake-up call and a very sobering experience”.
However, Magistrate Robertson said one’s actions should not depend on the people they spend time with.
“I do not swallow the line that this has to do with the people you are hanging out with. You are an adult and you are responsible for your own actions,” she said.
“You have potential to be better than this and you need to wake up to yourself, because if you keep coming back you will go to prison.
“I will give you one more opportunity but you have to treat this very seriously. It’s time to do something and it’s time to grow up”.
Fuller received a 12-month Community Corrections Order, including 120-hours of community work and ongoing drug assessment and treatment.
He was also ordered to pay $1,600 in compensation.