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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Parole likely for ice addict who stole in ‘induced state’

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A former ice addict and father of a young child was in an ‘induced state’ when he stole $1,850 from a Casino pub cash register and committed eight paypass frauds with two different ATM cards.

Eugene Ralph Walker appeared for sentence in Lismore Local Court on Monday, after doing ‘exceptionally well’ at a residential drug rehabilitation program, according to Magistrate David Heilpern.

He was represented by solicitor Kylie Anderson-Clarke, who asked Mr Heilpern not to take any action against Mr Walker for breaching several good-behaviour bonds, considering the age of the offences he was placed on the bonds for.

When Mr Walker was at The New Tattersalls Hotel playing poker machines on April 28 last year, he saw the attendant empty cash from some machines.

He was then captured on CCTV entering the bar area, after the staff member moved away, opening the till and removing $1,850 cash, using a key that had been left in the draw.

Then between 8 am and 8.15 am on May 29, Mr Walker went to a residence on Rayner St, Casino, and stole a man’s mobile phone.

The man told Mr Walker to get off his property and, when he failed to leave, the man called police.

At Lismore on August 5, when Mr Walker stole five litres of valvoline motor oil, valued at $44.95, from the Mobil Food Mart on Ballina Road, he was again captured on CCTV.

Then, on January 6, Mr Walker was at a Casino woman’s home when he stole her visa debit card and went on a spending spree.

That day he bought cigarettes and petrol totalling $49.50, twice.

The card was used three times on January 7 to buy items including fuel, cigarettes and soft drinks, totalling, $169.75.

A week later, on January 14, Mr Walker was at Goonellabah between noon and 1.51pm when he was given a debit card that he knew had been previously stolen.

That afternoon, Mr Walker attempted to use the card four times, and was successful twice, making purchases of fuel totalling $27.49 and Bundaberg Rum $57.99, at Lismore.

In sentencing Mr Walker on Monday, Mr Heilpern acknowledged him for completing a three-month residential drug rehabilitation program at Moree, and for the ‘extremely positive’ comments on a letter to the court.

‘The key to his current success is the support of his partner who is the mother of his two children,’ Mr Heilpern said the letter stated.

After being arrested on January 31, the court heard Mr Walker was bailed to drug rehabilitation on March 22, which he completed on June 12.

Taking this period into account, Mr Heilpern sentenced Mr Walker to eight months jail, with a non-parole period of four months.

He was also ordered to pay $1,850 in compensation to The New Tattersalls Hotel.

‘You were in an ice induced state,’ Mr Heilpern said.

‘You were stealing to pay for your drug addiction.’

‘As he had done well over the past five months, Mr Heilpern urged Mr Walker to continue on the same path for the sake of his family, who were supporting him in court.

‘You completed three months in rehab and you have done exceptionally well there,’ he said.

‘Look at the reasons you have to keep out of jail.’

Due to time served in custody and at drug rehabilitation, Mr Walker was eligible for parole on Monday. (June 26)



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