Troy Barnes faces court over failed robbery of police in Canadian State Forest

File photo of Troy Barnes.
File photo of Troy Barnes.

A Ballarat man allegedly involved in the failed robbery of two plain-clothed police officers earlier this year has been committed to stand trial in the County Court.

Troy Barnes, who faces 27 charges including attempted armed robbery and theft of a motor vehicle, appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday for a committal hearing.

The court heard from the police officers involved in the January 20 incident which saw them being blocked by three offenders in two stolen cars in the middle of the Canadian State Forest.

Senior Constable Luke McGregor told the court they were in an unmarked car patrolling the bushland looking for the stolen cars when they were set upon.

A gold Peugeot, with two teenage boys inside, and a red Opel believed to be driven by the accused took up positions to block the officers on a single-lane dirt track.

Senior Constable McGregor said he realised they were in a predicament when the driver of the Opel put a mask over his face and one of the occupants got out of the gold car.

"I said we're going to get rolled here," he told the court.

The second officer, Sergeant Kori Fraser, described the situation as "a bit surreal".

He said the teenager brandished what he believed was a knife, and said something similar to "this is our bush, give us 50 bucks" before he was arrested and the accused allegedly drove off in the red Opel.

Sergeant Fraser was questioned by Barnes’ lawyer, Christopher Farrington, at what moment he identified the accused in the state forest.

Sergeant Fraser said he noticed a young man with brown eyes and spiky hair in the red Opel when it attempted to perform a three point turn in front of the unmarked car prior to the blockade.

He told the court he later identified who he thought was the driver of the Opel during an image search of associates of the teenager they arrested.

The court also heard from a third officer who said he seen Barnes driving what he believed was another stolen car just over a month later.

Barnes was arrested at a Mount Clear property later that day with the alleged stolen car in the front yard.

Magistrate Mark Stratmann committed Barnes to stand trial at the Ballarat County Court next month.

At the conclusion of the hearing on Wednesday Barnes entered a plea of not guilty.

He will return to court on November 8 for a directions hearing.