Accused thief had $1000-a-day ice habit: court told

A YOUNG Ballarat man accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars in goods, including an Order of Australia medal, in a series of brazen burglaries and thefts has been refused bail.

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Ryan Cousins, 22, and co-accused Ricky Stewart, 19, are charged with almost 100 offences between them, most of them burglaries and thefts committed around Ballarat between May 11 and June 9 this year.

Opposing Cousins’ bail in Ballarat Magistrates Court on Monday, a constable from the Ballarat Divisional Response Unit said Cousins committed the offences, along with Stewart, while already on two counts of bail for separate offending.

The police officer said Cousins was in the grip of a $1000-a-day ice habit and was an unacceptable risk to the community if released.

The court heard Cousins and Stewart allegedly stole cars, tools and valuables in more than 10 thefts and burglaries around Ballarat recently.

In one alleged burglary of a shed in Redan, the pair stole tools, a guitar and the victim’s Order of Australia medal, the court heard.

The pair allegedly burgled another shed in Melbourne Road on May 22, stealing tools, golf clubs and jewellery valued at $20,000.

Other alleged thefts included that of a $40,000 Volkswagon van and more than $40,000 of personal valuables from a property in Miners Rest.

Cousins and Stewart were arrested after police executed search warrants on a number of properties, finding some of the stolen items including a quad bike at Cousins’ father’s property.

The court heard Cousins had been bailed on April 2 this year over charges of theft, dealing in property suspected of being the proceeds of crime and handling stolen goods.

Mike Wardell, for Cousins, called his client’s mother who gave evidence she would offer her son a place to stay and alert police if he breached his bail.

Mr Wardell said the police case against Cousins was weak, adding the evidence linking his client to the alleged thefts and burglaries was “almost nil”.

But magistrate Peter Mithen disagreed, saying the police case was strong and that Cousins was an unacceptable risk to the community.

Cousins was remanded in custody and will re-appear in Ballarat Magistrates Court at a later date.