Ballarat man faces court for armed robberies, drug trafficking

LAWYERS for a Ballarat man charged over the brazen armed robberies of two local businesses, and for trafficking  commercial quantities of heroin, say they are still waiting on police to provide conclusive evidence, a court has heard. 

in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, Brett Patrick Cummins, 41, of Mount Pleasant, appeared briefly via video link from the Melbourne Assessment Prison. 

Cummins faces multiple charges relating to the armed robbery of Haintz Pharmacy in March 2010 and a similar armed robbery of the Black Hill Post Office in February last year. 

He is also charged with trafficking heroin, theft of a motor vehicle and possessing an unregistered firearm. 

It is understood police are still analysing hundreds of hours of listening-device material, as well as more than 4000 intercepted phone calls. 

Mike Wardell, for Cummins, yesterday told Cummins’ committal mention hearing that he was waiting on transcripts of the material in order to prepare a defence. 

“It is anticipated that the material will be available in the next few weeks,” Mr Wardell told the court.

The court heard Cummins, who is now on remand after serving previous sentences, may apply for bail in the coming weeks. 

Charge sheets allege Cummins used a knife when he held up Haintz Pharmacy on March 23, 2010.

He allegedly stole prescription medication and $875 in cash.

On February 26 last year Cummins allegedly used a firearm to hold up the Black Hill Post Office, before fleeing with about $2800 in cash and two packets of cigarettes. 

It is also alleged that thousands of intercepted phone calls revealed Cummins was trafficking what police described as a “commercial quantity” of heroin. 

It was during these phone calls that police connected Cummins to the alleged armed robberies. 

Cummins will re-appear in Ballarat Magistrates Court on May 14 for a three day committal hearing.