Two men will learn their fates in the County Court on Wednesday, after pleading guilty to a raft of burglaries and firearm offences across greater Ballarat.
Troy Anthony Briscoe and Cooper Stuckey appeared in County Court in Ballarat on Tuesday, after they were arrested last year.
Briscoe pleaded guilty to failing to answer on bail on October 22, 2022, as well as theft, theft of firearms, obtaining property by deception and burglary.
The 40-year-old also confessed to possessing a trafficable amount of firearms.
Meanwhile Stuckey pleaded guilty to stealing firearms on November 10, 2022 as well as possessing a trafficable number of firearms including shotguns and rifles.
The 25-year-old also pleaded guilty to going to a Colac-Ballarat Road property in Enfield four days later, stealing firearms and possessing a trafficable quantity of rifles and shotguns.
He also submitted a guilty plea for charges related to a November 20, 2022 spree at Newlyn North where he stole a large car, causing damage to a caravan on the way out.
He also pleaded guilty to stealing jewelry, alcohol and power tools.
The court, under Judge John Smallwood was told that in a phone call a week after his arrest on November 25, 2022, Briscoe indicated that he may have still had other firearms - and they were somewhere in the community.
Defence lawyer Briana Proud said the 40-year-old was making a statement in the call.
"All he's saying is that he knows where they are," she said.
Ms Proud told the court there was no evidence the Buninyong man was planning any activities with any guns that were unaccounted for.
Judge Smallwood disagreed.
"He literally says in the phone call from prison: Where's all my bang bangs?," he said.
"He wants to know where they are.
"What possible purpose would you have these firearms for?
"Where are the rest?
"Are they for stick-ups around Ballarat?"
The court was told that of the eight stolen firearms, three had not been recovered.
Stuckey's defence lawyer Robert Morgan told the court his client was stealing guns to sell and support an ice habit.
"These guns are used in stick-ups," Judge Smallwood said.
"End of story."
The Newlyn owners said in a victim impact statement they felt invaded and woke at every small disturbance at night since last year's burglary.
Their statement said they had faced costly insurance battles, leaving them with a cheaper replacement car that was unable to tow their caravan. The court was told this had left the aged pensioners $11,500 short.
"These people have no idea the trouble they have caused," they said in the statement read in court.
"And of course they don't really care."
The court was told both suffered deprived childhoods with drug-or-alcohol addicted parents.
Mr Morgan said Stuckey was remorseful, realised the gravity of his behaviour, and was doing all he could to get his life back on track.
The court was told the 25-year-old grew up in a home affected by family violence.
"He's acknowledged the seriousness of the charges and has not applied for bail," Mr Morgan said.
"He's done everything he humanly can to improve his life - including courses to get over his addiction to methamphetamine.
"He's also read the victim impact statements and now sees it all in a sober light.
"He feels absolutely dreadful."
The judge was told Stuckey had been a model prisoner, was arrested without incident and cooperated with authorities to direct them to stolen firearms.
"He has some prospects of rehabilitation and is still relatively young," Mr Morgan said.
"He's trying to better himself.
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"I would consider a lengthy period of parole."
Briscoe's defence lawyer said her client was not charged over the Newlyn thefts and statements related to it were not admissible in his case.
"Yes but he is complicit in all this," Judge Smallwood said.
"He's (also) taken two kids to a burglary where firearms were stolen."
The court was told Briscoe - a Bunjalung man from Lismore, NSW - grew up in "extreme deprivation" and suffered ADHD.
"He was introduced to intravenous drugs by helping his parents to take drugs," Ms Proud told the court.
"He was homeless in his early life and had limited schooling.
"The doctor's report also says that he's never had a model of pro-social behaviour - especially as a child.
"It's an understatement to say he's had a deprived life."
She said Briscoe was a father-of-six and had taken a special interest in one - a teenager - who was already involved in the justice system.
"Mr Briscoe talks in a future-focused way about being there for his son," she said.
"He's acknowledged that he wants to get a job - and his relationship with this child might be his turning point.
"The will and enthusiasm for Mr Briscoe to make changes to his life are there."
Ms Proud said her client would also benefit from intensive drug-and-alcohol support.
The pair will be sentenced on Wednesday.
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