Man in court on burglary, assault charges | sister pleads for support for drug addicts

THE sister of a man charged with holding a knife to a stranger’s throat has called for more help for drug addicts.

Giving evidence in the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Celeste McMurray said her brother Luke McMurray had been let down by a lack of services.

“Everyone makes choices but there is not enough support,” Ms McMurray said.

“We’ve done everything a family should do.”

McMurray applied for bail after four months in custody but was denied by magistrate Cynthia Toose.

“This is a very, very serious charge,” Ms Toose said.

“You pose an unacceptable risk of reoffending or failing to appear.”

McMurray faces six charges; aggravated burglary with an offensive weapon, aggravated burglary with a person present, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, assault with a weapon and unlawful assault.

Informant Detective Senior Constable Steve Campbell told the court McMurray was

celebrating a birthday with friends at a Drummond Street house on April 27 when they went to an Urquhart Street park, near the Western Oval.

He said the group spoke briefly to a girl staying overnight at a nearby house before returning to Drummond Street, where they realised a mobile phone was missing.

They returned to the house the girl had entered to inquire about the phone’s disappearance, but she was unable to help.

McMurray then allegedly started kicking the front door before the male owner appeared.

It is alleged he then held a knife with a 20-centimetre blade at the man’s throat before punching him in the face several times.

After the man’s wife threatened to call police, McMurray ran off and was later located in the rear yard of his girlfriend’s Corbett Street house.

The phone was later found to be at the Drummond Street property.

The court heard McMurray had been a heavy user of alcohol and drugs and had a significant prior criminal history.

McMurray will face a committal hearing on October 16.