Second Cellarbrations bottle-o robber pleas guilty

A second man has admitted to the armed robbery of the Daylesford bottle shop earlier this year.

Appearing at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday, Micha Walker, 29, pleaded guilty to armed robbery at the Cellarbrations store in May this year and committing an offence while on bail.

In August, co-accused Matthew Dargan also pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery.

Walker was originally facing five separate charges relating to the robbery, but the Crown prosecutor agreed to reduce this to two charges in return for a guilty plea 

In exchange for Walker’s plea, prosecutor Raelene Maxwell agreed to withdraw three charges relating the handling of stolen tobacco. 

Court documents obtained by The Courier show Walker and Dargan entered the store in Vincent Street Daylesford shortly before 6.30pm hearing hooded clothing hiding their faces.

When Walker entered the store, he threatened a male customer with an imitation hand gun before turning on the store’s attendant. 

The frightened customer retreated to the back of the store with his 17-month-old son and called police. 

Walker and Dargan then emptied the store’s cash register and cigarette stand into plastic bags and Walker used pillow cases he brought with him to steal 14 bottles of alcohol. 

The court heart that during the robbery, Walker pushed an imitation hand gun to the face of the store attendant while using his free hand to stuff cash from the till into his pants pockets. 

The two thieves then fled the store to a nearby car waiting in an adjacent lane having stolen almost $2000 in cash, over $1000 in alcohol and almost $9000 worth of cigarettes. 

Police later located a large kitchen knife in the lane way that CCTV footage showed was in the possession of Dargan during the robbery. 

Investigations undertaken by police led to a search warrant being executed on an address in Sunbury on Tuesday, May 16.

It was at this Sunbury address police were able to recover a large proportion of the stolen tobacco along with empty alcohol bottles from the robbery in Daylesford. 

Walker was taken in for questioning at the Bacchus Marsh police station the same day where he admitted his involvement in the robbery at the bottle shop, but said he did not know why he did it.

Walker, who has been in custody since his arrest in May, will return to the Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat to wait for a further appearance at the County Court. 

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt referred Walker’s case to the County Court at Ballarat on the circuit starting October 23.