Man, 24, faces 77 charges

A 24-year-old Elmhurst man who allegedly committed a series of offences in the Ballarat region six weeks after being released from prison has been refused bail.

Samuel Heywood was remanded in custody to reappear in the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court for committal hearing next March, after his bail application was refused on Wednesday.

Heywood faces 77 charges which include three aggravated burglaries, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, armed robbery and multiple thefts of cars, one of which was found burnt out in Bungaree.

The police summary read 20 pages of alleged offences in the Ballarat, Geelong and Werribee areas between May and July, including a burglary which involves the theft of a firearm.

Police also alleged Heywood was involved in an armed robbery where a victim was confronted by a male with a metal bar who made demands for their phone and money.

Heywood’s lawyer, Richard Foley, told the court a number of new circumstances had risen since his previous bail application which he believed showed why his client should not be kept in custody. Mr Foley said Heywood had now been assessed suitable for the credit bail program which would assist with any drug use issues while on bail.

He also said Heywood had undertaken urine samples while in prison which showed he was free of drugs.

He added Heywood’s father was willing to take him in and keep him on his farm where he could not re-offend.

But the Office of Public Prosecutions argued Heywood had been offered treatment for drug use in the past in the way of community corrections orders, but he breached them.

Describing the alleged behaviour as “utmost concern to the community, the prosecutor opposed bail saying they believed there were no conditions which would deter Heywood from re-offending.

Heywood’s bail application was refused and he was remanded to reappear in court next year.