Dad, desperate for drugs, pawns Christmas gifts: court

A MAN stole his son’s Christmas presents and pawned them for drug money before filling a syringe with his own blood and planning to commit further offences, a court has heard.

Joseph Daryl Eastcott, 33, was supported by his parents when he appeared in the dock of Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, where he was released on credit bail while awaiting sentence.

The court heard Eastcott also caused problems in the police cells when he was arrested on December 29, urinating on the floor and then attacking a police officer after he rang the emergency button.

Defence lawyer Jon Irwin said his client, who was a former student of his, was in a poor mental state at the time and was acting out of desperation.

“He’s a threat to the community, he’s a threat to himself and he doesn’t want to be that man,” Mr Irwin said.

Mr Irwin said Eastcott had only started using drugs in the past couple of years after he became addicted to oxycontin following an accident in which a balcony collapsed.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent detailed the offending, saying police first arrested Eastcott last Friday after he pawned a Playstation 3 and games belonging to his housemate along with games his son had gotten for Christmas.

But as soon as he was released Eastcott went back and stole more goods from his housemate.

Senior Constable Kent said Eastcott eventually went to his ex partner’s house, who was worried and took his phone, car keys and gave him sleeping pills. He was arrested the next day.

Magistrate Peter Couzens said the primary concern was getting Eastcott into a rehabilitation facility.

Eastcott is due back in court for sentencing on January 30. Eastcott pleaded guilty to charges including theft and assault police.