EXPERT investigations into a suspected explosive device found in Warrnambool last Thursday are expected to take a couple of weeks, while the man who allegedly made the device was yesterday jailed.
Brett Butler, 40, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to three counts of theft and single charges of burglary and possessing cannabis.
He was convicted, fined $350, imprisoned for 12 months and will have to serve three months in jail before being eligible for parole.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said if the device was classed as an explosive then Butler would be in a lot more trouble, but yesterday the magistrate was only dealing with burglary, theft and drugs charges.
Police alleged that last Thursday Butler went to the Hopkins Road milk bar at 12.30am where he forced open a roller door. He stole 17 cartons of cigarettes valued at $2200 and two charity tins containing $700.
Police arrested Butler at 5pm that day and searched the house where he was staying, across the road from the milk bar. There officers found 79 packets of cigarettes, two opened charity tins, a small amount of cannabis and a suspected explosive device.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Nathan Brown said he had been instructed that investigations into the explosive device would not be completed for a couple of weeks by Victoria Police members.
Defence counsel Jonathan Makary said he had instructions from Butler and it seemed unlikely his client would be charged with offences relating to the suspected explosive device.
Mr Klestadt said Butler had a long criminal history and last Thursday night committed a burglary on a commercial premises in an attempt to obtain money to return to Queensland.
He said it was an ill-conceived burglary committed on a milk bar across the road from where he was living and it was clear Butler thought little about the possible consequences.
Mr Klestadt said the offending was so serious that a jail term must be imposed.