Addict guilty of theft charges goes back to jail

A BALLARAT career criminal, jailed twice in recent years for armed robbery, was again jailed for 10 months on Monday after pleading guilty to a long list of fresh charges.

Matthew Beacham, 37, was in breach of a community corrections order he received in April when his latest drug-fuelled offending took place. 

Beacham pleaded guilty in Ballarat Magistrates Court to charges including theft of a motor car, theft, shop-theft and dealing in property suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

The court was told Beacham stole a car from Camp Street on May 18 before using it in a number of thefts around the city. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Pepe Brown said Beacham drove the stolen car to Maxi Foods in Latrobe Street about 9.30am on May 19, attempting to use a bank card he found in the car to pay for items including cigarettes. 

The court heard police tried to intercept Beacham a short time later near Safeway in Sebastopol, but he refused to pull over, leading police on a “dangerous” pursuit through the supermarket car park.

Senior Constable Brown said Beacham reached speeds of 50km/h in the car park, with pedestrians nearby. 

On another occasion Beacham, the passenger in a car, was found by police with two vials of adrenalin, cannabis and stolen number plates, the court heard. 

David Tamanika, for Beacham, said his client had “a significant prior history”, adding that relapses into drug use generally motivated Beacham’s offending. 

Mr Tamanika said Beacham, a qualified baker, had been working towards getting his life back on track in recent months, but said a job offer fell through when a court appearance in April was publicised in a newspaper. 

He said Beacham had since “relapsed completely”, using drugs including cannabis, methamphetamine and alcohol. 

Magistrate Clive Alsop said the offending was too serious and Beacham’s list of priors too long to warrant another corrections order. 

Beacham has already served 13 days in detention.


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