Drug use leads man to ‘weird’ offending, defence lawyer says | The Courier

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Drug use leads man to 'bizarre' offending, defence lawyer says | The Courier

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A passerby who checked on a man who was slumped over the wheel of his car while stopped at an intersection in Ballarat found a syringe and other related items when he opened the car door to help. The man, Damian Francis Murray, attempted to drive away while the good Samaritan was on the phone to emergency services, a court has heard. The 48-year-old pleaded guilty to 20 charges during an Online Magistrates’ Court hearing on Monday. Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Repac said police later found Murray unconscious in the driver’s seat half hanging out the door. Murray was also charged for stealing a mop and bucket from Stockland Wendouree, using a stolen credit card at Creswick IGA, speeding 30km/h over the limit in Creswick while driving unlicensed, a petrol drive off and stealing a car fridge from the back of a ute. During arrest he told police he was being a ‘drug affected a**hole’, the court heard. Defence lawyer David Tamanika said Murray was arrested on June 17 and had spent 33 days in pre-sentence detention. He said his client had experienced significant abuse and trauma as a child and as an adult and his offending began after being diagnosed with cancer and becoming addicted to heroin. Mr Tamanika said the offending before the court occurred after financial stress and a relapse into drug use. “I think he is quite ashamed of himself at this point in time. He had the supportive partner and the caravan park he was managing and he is letting this all slide through his fingers,” he said. ALSO IN THE NEWS: “The starting point is to try to get him back into the community.” Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said Murray’s offending went back ‘a long way’ and he had been given a number of opportunities on community-based orders. “I am not at the view at this stage that the 33 days is an appropriate sentence before release,” he said. Murray will be assessed for a community corrections order and will return to court on Thursday. If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thankyou very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.

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A passerby who checked on a man who was slumped over the wheel of his car while stopped at an intersection in Ballarat found a syringe and other related items when he opened the car door to help.

The man, Damian Francis Murray, attempted to drive away while the good Samaritan was on the phone to emergency services, a court has heard.

The 48-year-old pleaded guilty to 20 charges during an Online Magistrates’ Court hearing on Monday.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Repac said police later found Murray unconscious in the driver’s seat half hanging out the door.

Murray was also charged for stealing a mop and bucket from Stockland Wendouree, using a stolen credit card at Creswick IGA, speeding 30km/h over the limit in Creswick while driving unlicensed, a petrol drive off and stealing a car fridge from the back of a ute.

During arrest he told police he was being a ‘drug affected a**hole’, the court heard.

Defence lawyer David Tamanika said Murray was arrested on June 17 and had spent 33 days in pre-sentence detention.

He said his client had experienced significant abuse and trauma as a child and as an adult and his offending began after being diagnosed with cancer and becoming addicted to heroin.

Mr Tamanika said the offending before the court occurred after financial stress and a relapse into drug use.

“I think he is quite ashamed of himself at this point in time. He had the supportive partner and the caravan park he was managing and he is letting this all slide through his fingers,” he said.

“The starting point is to try to get him back into the community.”

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said Murray’s offending went back ‘a long way’ and he had been given a number of opportunities on community-based orders.

“I am not at the view at this stage that the 33 days is an appropriate sentence before release,” he said.

Murray will be assessed for a community corrections order and will return to court on Thursday.

If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thankyou very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.