Drug addict with $200-a-day habit granted bail

Blake Canny.

Blake Canny.

A young Ballarat man who allegedly turned to drug dealing to support a $200-a-day ice habit has been granted bail.

Blake Canny, 23, appeared in the dock of the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Monday flanked by two custody officers following a string of alleged drug trafficking and theft offences in recent months.

The court was told in February police officers executed a search warrant at a Ballarat house while Canny was in bed, allegedly finding a pocket knife, scales and three handheld radios.

Officers said he was arrested before being interviewed at a station, where he admitted he had been trafficking drugs to support his $200-a-day ice addiction.

Canny’s defence lawyer said his client suffered from serious mental health conditions including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia before he lost his job mid-last year, spiralling into drug abuse and not seeking “the correct redress for his problems”.

The lawyer pushed for him to be released from jail and called for a community corrections order to be imposed, saying Canny’s Queensland-based father had offered to give his son a job so he could start afresh and break his cycle of drug dependency.

Canny’s father had flown from interstate to be in court for the bail application along with his mother, girlfriend and grandparents, who all sat in the public gallery watching on.

Magistrate John Doherty pointed to Canny’s extended family while he was in the dock, saying “everyone in this courtroom wants you to stop”.

Mr Doherty found Canny had few previous criminal convictions and had strong support from his family, increasing his prospects of rehabilitation.

Standing in the dock, Canny told Mr Doherty he wanted to kick his ice addition and move to Queensland to start working.

He said he had mixed with the wrong crowd in Ballarat and “fell into the trap” of ice addiction. 

“It will put me back in the same position if I go back onto it,” Canny said.

“I’ve let my family down.”

Canny was granted bail and will appear again in court in September to be sentenced.

Mr Doherty told Canny he expected him to remain sober until the next court date after going without drugs while in custody, saying “you either live up to a promise or you don’t”.

“You can have your future if you want it … it’s your choice, it’s that simple.”