A man who stole an electric bike from a Shepparton hotel will be given an opportunity to demonstrate he can engage with treatment for drug and alcohol issues before being sentenced.
At Shepparton Magistrates’ Court, Mathiang Kuol pleaded guilty to nine charges: two counts of theft, stating a false name, possessing a drug of dependence, dealing in property suspected to be proceeds of crime, possessing cannabis, possessing a prohibited weapon, committing an indictable offence on bail and failing to answer bail.
Senior Constable Caitlin McLeod told the court Kuol attended the Victoria Hotel on January 13 and stole an electric bicycle that had been secured to a tree. It was heard Kuol was able to snap the tree in half and remove the lock.
Kuol was then intercepted by police on January 24 after being seen riding a bike without a helmet, and initially provided a false name.
Police said Kuol was in possession of a wallet containing a number of stolen credit cards in other names along with a small quantity of Lyrica, a schedule four poison.
Sen Constable McLeod said Kuol was apprehended by police on April 22 in relation to an active warrant for his arrest. When searched, police found cannabis, a syringe containing cannabis oil, and knuckledusters.
Kuol also pleaded guilty to stealing a bike on January 19, a $3570 Dutch cargo bike.
Defence counsel Laurence Waugh asked the court to consider placing Kuol on a sentence deferral so he could show he could take appropriate steps to address drug addiction. He said he believed Kuol had a traumatic past, having immigrated to Australia in 2003 after being born in Sudan before moving to a camp in Uganda.
Mr Waugh added heavy drinking and methamphetamine use was a large cause of Kuol’s “dysfunctional living”. He said he had put Kuol in touch with a social worker and he had undertaken an intake assessment.
Magistrate Ian Watkins agreed sentence deferral was appropriate to allow Kuol to show how he could engage with rehabilitation and treatment.
Mr Watkins agreed with Mr Waugh’s assessment that Kuol was otherwise at risk of serving a term of imprisonment.
The matter was adjourned until July 5.