Judge says ice the worst drug as he hears how man's life spun out of control

A COUNTY Court judge says the story of an armed robber whose life spiralled out of control at the hands of the drug ‘ice’ should be told in schools as a deterrent.

Hearing the case of Szabie Sziladi at the County Court in Ballarat yesterday, Judge Duncan Allen claimed ice was clearly the worst drug in the community and had the ability to almost instantly destroy previously wholesome lives, like that of Sziladi.

A former full-time chef, Sziladi is pleading guilty to robbing a taxi driver at knifepoint in August this year.

The case has been adjourned to allow for a psychological report, but Judge Allen spoke of the devastating effect ice had on Sziladi’s life.

Before trying ice for the first time at a work function in December last year, Sziladi lived a fulfilling and wholesome life, the court heard.

The 23-year-old was a full-time chef and had lived with his girlfriend for about four years.

However, within three months of first trying ice, he lost his job as a chef and his long-term relationship fell apart.

Just one month later, in April this year, he tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a moving car, spending two weeks in the Royal Melbourne Hospital with a fractured skull and spinal injuries.

Upon release, he continued to use ice until his drug debts became so severe that he robbed a taxi driver for $170.

Judge Allen said it was clear that ice alone had sent Sziladi into a “mire of disaster and hopelessness”.

“Someone should write a book about this case and send it around to schools,” Judge Allen said. “This is a tragically stark example of the impact of serious drugs, such as ice, have on people’s lives.

“His background demonstrates he is normally a person of excellent character. 

“Since (taking ice) his life has progressively unravelled.”

Sziladi’s defence counsel, barrister Tara Hartnett, requested a psychological report be granted before any verdict was made.

However she conceded a jail term was warranted, while Crown prosecutor Angela Moran pushed for a custodial sentence between 12 and 18 months.

Sziladi pleaded guilty at the earliest possible stage.

The case before Judge Allen is expected to resume in February, next year.

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