Drug problem blamed for dramatic daylight robbery

A MOUNT Pleasant man followed a woman out of a Ballarat bank and grabbed her cash in a dramatic daylight robbery last Friday, a court has heard.

But his getaway did not go as planned.

The theft was witnessed by a bystander who chased the robber, Joshua Adrian Ford, 25, into a laneway off Windermere Street.

Police caught him hiding in a laundry shortly after.

The details of the robbery were revealed in the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, when Ford pleaded guilty to robbery, driving while disqualified and breaching a suspended sentence.

Appearing tearful, he sat in the dock with his head bowed, just metres from his father and partner in the courtroom.

Reading from the agreed court summary, police prosecutor Gerard Barrow said Commonwealth Bank staff saw Ford wearing a blue hoodie and reading a newspaper in the waiting area of the branch at noon on Friday, shortly before the theft.

Here, Ford observed a 43-year-old woman withdraw $1800 cash in $100 notes and place it in an envelope in her purse.

He ran up behind her as she walked to her car and pushed her sideways, grabbing her purse and mobile phone.

A 42-year-old man saw the robbery and took off after Ford, confronting him in a laneway off Windermere Street.

Ford threw the victim’s mobile phone at the man chasing him, then got into a black Ford Territory with South Australian number plates and sped off.

Leading Senior Constable Barrow said police tracked the registered owner of the car to a house in Mount Pleasant, where they arrested Ford hiding in a rear laundry and retrieved $1800 in cash.

Ford was already serving suspended sentences for burglary and driving offences.

Urging the court to consider minimising the amount of jail time his client served, defence lawyer David Tamanika said Ford had a problem with ice, and the drug had triggered the offence.

“A lot of his problems through the courts have been in relation to difficulties he’s faced in relation to his drug use,” Mr Tamanika said.

“We’ve got a young man who has made a very serious 

mistake.

“He’s got family and friends there for him.”

Magistrate Michelle Hodgson said the robbery was a “very serious offence” and she would permit the prosecution to submit a victim impact statement before handing down a sentence.

Ford was remanded in custody and will re-appear in the Ballarat Magistrates Court tomorrow.

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