A MAN involved in two south-west burglaries that netted more than $180,000 did it to fund his ice addiction, Warrnambool County Court was told.
The court heard that shearer Adam Bradley Forbes, 45, now of the Melbourne Remand Centre, received $2700 and half an ounce of marijuana for handling stolen goods at Casterton and stealing a safe full of jewellery from a Coleraine farmhouse in 2012.
Forbes pleaded guilty to breaking into the farmhouse between June 8-10, 2012 and stealing a 200-kilogram safe containing 120 items of jewellery valued at $160,000.
He committed the Coleraine offences with fellow shearer and Melbourne Remand Centre inmate Tony Joseph Lucas, 44, who also pleaded guilty to the burglary.
Forbes also pleaded guilty to handling goods including tools, chainsaws and motorcycle helmets with a total value of more than $26,000 that were stolen from a Casterton business between May 13-14, 2012.
He also pleaded guilty to failing to answer his bail at the Hamilton Magistrates Court on September 5, 2012. Judge James Parrish heard sentencing submissions for Forbes yesterday but adjourned hearing submissions for Lucas until August 19.
Prosecutor Sally Flynn said Forbes told police he had been asked to collect the stolen goods from a nature strip at Casterton and take them to Mount Gambier and was given $500 and half an ounce of marijuana for transporting the goods. She said both Forbes and Lucas had gone to a farmhouse at Coleraine during the 2012 Queen’s Birthday long weekend because they knew there was a safe there — Lucas having previously sheared at the property.
Matt Senia, for Forbes, said the murder of two of Forbes’ close friends in Casterton in 2011 and his daily addiction to methamphetamine, or ice as it is commonly known, had sent Forbes into a “dark time in his life” and he had lost his sense of reality.
Mr Forbes’ partner and their two young daughters had also left him because of his abuse of alcohol and drugs, Mr Senia said.
Both Forbes and Lucas were remanded in custody and their cases adjourned until August 27 for sentencing.