Korumburra’s Graham Kelly is led from the Wonthaggi Magistrate’s Court last Friday after being convicted of 51 offences, most if not all of them related to his ice addiction, according to his lawyer.
AN EIGHT month crime spree by a Korumburra ice addict, during which he ran up 51 serious charges, was stopped in its tracks in the Wonthaggi Magistrates’ Court last week when the man was sentenced to 18 months in jail with a minimum of nine to serve.
Forty year old Graham Kelly pleaded guilty to all charges brought against him by police with his legal counsel, Mark Woods of Tyler, Tipping and Woods, explaining to the court that a terrible dependence on crystal methamphetamine was at the root of his client’s trouble.
“Effectively his offending can be explained by three letters; I-C-E and also by G-H-B (the drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate),” Mr Woods said.
“His usage of the drug has escalated from 1/2gm to 1gm a day, costing him between $250 and $300 a day.”
Mr Woods said his client had gone from holding down a solid job with a respectable South Gippsland firm 12 months ago, to a shocking ice addiction, triggered by several medical issues including a painful back condition.
“He had two back surgeries planned but self-medicated and got himself addicted to methamphetamine.”
The resulting crime spree, mostly across the suburbs of Melbourne, included an aggravated burglary, car theft, numerous drug possession charges, cannabis trafficking, handling stolen goods, and many driving offences.
On one particularly bad night in September, he stole car keys from a house in Highett, while the occupants were asleep upstairs, and crashed the rental car into a taxi in Richmond before fleeing the scene only to leave his id, cash, drugs and an iPhone behind on the seat of the car.
But Mr Woods said his client had decided to face up to his wrongdoing by not taking issue with the charges or the police summary of his offences, and not following the matters individually around to courts all over Melbourne. Mr Woods said he deserved some discount in sentencing for that.
Magistrate Steven Raleigh agreed with Mr Woods that addiction to ice was indicated in nearly all the offences committed by Kelly but he counted by saying that it was his client’s choice to take up ice in the first place.
“Once you start using ice you’re going to get hooked,” Mr Raleigh said, praising the State Government for committing to a $45 million Ice Action Plan in recent days.
“But there are cases such as this when prison is the only alternative.”
Mr Raleigh made reference to his dangerous driving, drug offences and an especially worrying shift into burglaries when handing down a penalty.
Mr Kelly was sentenced to 18 months jail with a non-parole period of nine months. He was ordered to make restitution to the car rental company for $24,460 for the written-off vehicle, disqualified from driving for 18 months and hit with a modest $1000 fine for some of the drug and traffic offences.
A handcuffed Mr Kelly was taken back to the police cells in the Wonthaggi Police Station at the conclusion of the hearing.
Guilty of 51 offences
Here is a summary of the offences provided to court by Police Prosecutor, Senior Constable Andrea Webster:
• July 2, 2014: Police executed a search warrant and found cannabis, drug paraphernalia including scales, white powder and empty zip-lock bags in Mr Kelly’s Lonsdale duffle bag at a Melbourne address.
• July 19, 2014: He was seen by police using his mobile phone while driving disqualified outside Flinders Street Station. Disobeyed a direction to pull over.
• August 7, 2014 [11.40am]: Passenger in a white Mitsubishi Magna registered to him when pulled over by police in Hampton East. Police discovered an empty deal bag, bottle of clear liquid (GHB), kitchen knife. A pat search at the Moorabbin Police Station revealed a bag of methamphetamine and bag of cannabis secreted inside his pants.
• August 11, 2014: Passenger in a car intercepted by police in Pakenham. Police seized drug paraphernalia including syringes, empty deal bags, three bags of white powder and a silver foil package containing white powder, plus a quantity of “green leafy matter”.
• August 16, 2014: Caught by police driving while disqualified in Malvern Road, Toorak (having lost his licence for five years on May 24, 2012.)
• September 11, 2014 [12.49am]: Police saw the accused using his mobile phone while driving his Mitsubishi Magna in Fawkner. Couldn’t produce a licence.
• Overnight on September 25/26: Committed the aggravated burglary of a house at Highett, gained entry through the unlocked front door and stole the keys to a Nissan Altima while occupants were asleep upstairs. Seen driving in an erratic fashion along Punt Road, attempted to pass a taxi but collided with the rear of the vehicle causing extensive damage and writing off the stolen rental car, at a loss of $23,460 to the owner. Left the scene without providing details but police located Kelly’s wallet in the car containing his id and $250. They also located a bag with $1300 in $50 and $100 notes. And they found a quantity of methamphetamine, cannabis, GHB, a bottle of bourbon and two mobile phones.
• December 6, 2014: Police called to a location in Highett, searched a car and the accused locating three mobile phones, a bag containing a bottle of GHB, empty zip-lock bags, scales, two bags containing 0.5gm each of speed and ice. Police also located another bag with 40ml of GHB, a backpack with 90ml of GHB, $505 in cash and a stolen Toshiba laptop computer, a large hunting knife and smaller knives under the seat. The centre console had a container of syringes.
• Overnight on December 31/Jan 1, 2014/15: Burglary at a house in Elwood, stole personal items including an iPod, iPad, TV and iPhone some of which were discovered during the search of a house in Korumburra on January 19.
• February 14, 2015: Accused attended an address in Belgrave where he was seen by a neighbour. According to police he came back the next day, illegally entered the house, ate a container of ice cream and was in the process of stealing some items when he left “in a rush” leaving behind his sunglasses, $250, a Ned Kelly cigarette lighter and his iPhone. Police recall him wearing the same sunglasses at a previous interview.
• February 20, 2015: Breached conditions of his bail, by not attending the Korumburra Police Station as required. Found by police sleeping outside a hotel, where they located a small quantity of white powder, a bottle of GHB in the boot of the car with scales and other drug paraphernalia.
• Friday, March 6 (day of court proceedings in the Wonthaggi Police Station): Wonthaggi Police searched the accused after he had been transferred to Wonthaggi from the Melbourne Remand Centre and they found, secreted in his shoe; a match head, striker and cigarette paper. He was charged with being in possession of prohibited items while in jail.