A MINE worker battling an ice addiction has been bailed to live in Sydney, accused of escaping from Oxley police and a raft of other property crime offences.
Blake Memorey has been ordered out of Gunnedah, and must not go within 100km of the town after he was conditionally released in Tamworth Local Court.
He's facing two counts of escaping custody; aggravated break-and-enter; goods in custody; trespassing; larceny; break, enter and steal; and damaging property, but did not enter pleas to the charges.
He was arrested in Gunnedah this week, accused of breaching bail and the property offences across town in late-June - part of a reported spike police have been investigating.
Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor Susanna Gidlow said Memorey had "lost his employment at the Boggabri Coal mine", and a was a 21-year-old Aboriginal man,
He was supported in court by two women, and Ms Gidlow said he "has strong family support in the community"; had never been in custody; and had a "very limited record.
She argued against the strength of the police case for escaping custody because he "attempted to run from police"
"He does have an issue with illicit drugs," she conceded.
Magistrate Julie Soars said Memorey was "on a very significant salary," but "is the issue with the ice?"
"Yes," Ms Gidlow conceded.
She said Memory could live with family in Sydney under house arrest which would take him away from Gunnedah and "the negative influences".
"We say cause can be shown on the basis of his age ... while the matters are serious, there would be alternatives to full time custody," Ms Gidlow told the court.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Pawsey opposed bail and said it would be the third escape police custody for Memorey and he was an unacceptable risk of further serious offending; failing to appear; and would put community safety at risk.
Ms Soars ultimately granted bail after hearing submissions, ordering Memorey to stay out of Gunnedah; see a doctor for his drug addiction; stay out of trouble; and live in Sydney under a curfew.
"You're a young man with a lot to offer with a build up of matters," she told him, warning him he "must strictly comply".
"If it's a drug issue that's driving this ... any further offending could show you facing a very strict show cause hurdle ... or bail refused".
The case returns to court later this month for pleas to be entered.
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