Bail breach excused

A LIMESTONE Coast man placed on home detention for multiple firearms crimes has escaped punishment for breaching bail conditions after failing to charge his ankle tracking device a dozen times.

Noel Jeffrey Wadsley, 37, appeared in Mount Gambier District Court last week before Judge Geraldine Davison charged with breaching bail.

Wadsley is currently serving a 16-month prison sentence on home detention after he was convicted of numerous firearms-related crimes in October last year.

The charges stemmed from a police search on August, 2018 of Wadsley’s Tantanoola address which uncovered firearms allegedly stolen during break-ins at Tarpeena, Penola and Millicent.

A mobile phone with pictures and footage of a co-accused handling and discharging the firearms was also discovered, as well as Facebook messages attempting to supply the firearms to others.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the court heard on June 1 this year, Wadsley failed to comply with a condition of his home detention bail agreement after not charging his ankle bracelet tracking device.

A progress report showed the defendant had already been reminded 11 times in the past to recharge his ankle transmitter.

Defence counsel argued there were proper grounds to excuse the bail breach, citing a number of mental health conditions diagnosed in Wadsley’s childhood.

A letter from Wadsley’s employer also stated he worked 10 to 12-hour days, six days a week, which contributed to fatigue when he arrived home.

“It is my submission that on those days, Mr Wadsley had been working these extended hours and was unable to recharge his anklet,” he said.

Judge Davison said it was clear when the defendant wanted to do something, he did it properly.

“When he does not want to do what he is told to do because it is inconvenient, annoying, something he would not normally have to do, he arches up,” she said.

“It seems to me, what Mr Wadsley is missing in all of this is the fine line Judge Cuthbertson was on during the last occasion as to whether he should be put into custody or not,” he said.

“He is just not doing what he needs to do.”

The prosecutor said Mr Wadsley’s unwillingness to comply with the most basic conditions of his home detention sentence had effectively meant the department was unable to perform its function.

“His attitude towards DPP staff in my submission, should not be tolerated,” she said.

After submissions, the prosecutor and Judge Davison agreed there was a concession proper grounds had been met.

Home detention conditions were not revoked and Judge Davison excused the bail breach.