A WENDOUREE man was found with drugs and weapons after leading police on a high-speed pursuit while high on the drug ice, a court heard yesterday.
Justin Kenneth Richardson, 29, pleaded guilty to more than 20 charges in Ballarat Magistrates’ Court where it was revealed police found ice, commercial fireworks, a large hunting knife and a baseball bat in the Nissan 4WD he had earlier stolen on April 2 this year.
The confessed Ballarat drug trafficker, who until yesterday had been in custody for 161 days, wiped tears from his eyes and smiled at his two young children in the court as he received a sentence which saw him walk free.
Magistrate Peter Mithen ordered Richardson to undertake a 12-month community corrections order, while imposing a three-month jail term that has ultimately been served.
Detailing the offending to the court, police prosecutor Senior Constable Chris Jones said that during one of many offences Richardson produced fake receipts in a bid to convince police that more than $6000 in cash he was found with on March 15 had been lent to him by his father.
“There were errors on that receipt,” Senior Constable Jones said.
Arrested on March 25 when he attended Bacchus Marsh police station to try and get the cash back, police seized a mobile phone that detailed drug trafficking “on a daily basis”.
Richardson pleaded guilty to charges including drug trafficking, drug possession, theft of a motor car, possessing unauthorised explosives, retention of stolen goods, possessing a controlled weapon without lawful excuse and dealing with property being the proceeds of crime.
Richardson’s defence lawyer Erin Ramsay said her client had been in the grip of an escalating ice addiction during the offending.
Detailing Richardson’s minimal criminal history, Ms Ramsay said Richardson had “spectacularly debuted into the criminal justice system”.
Ms Ramsay said Richardson, a successful employee in the horse racing industry, was introduced to ice through people he met through his partner’s father.
Richardson was ordered to perform 150-hours of unpaid community work and to undertake drug and alcohol counselling. His license was cancelled for 12-months.