Albion Park Rail alleged opal thief back in court after leaving rehab | Mercury of Illawarra

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A man accused of being part of a $500,000 opal theft from Albion Park Rail has again faced court after running away from drug treatment. Lachlan Alcock, 28, was arrested in Barrack Heights on Friday afternoon after leaving Oolong House without notice the night before. He was free on bail, on the condition that he report directly to Nowra police if he leaves the rehabilitation centre. Read more: A man in court after a series of robberies in the Illawarra Alcock faced Wollongong Local Court on Saturday, where clerk Peter Ritchie found his bail breach had been established. Barrister Anthony Stewart called for Alcock’s release and told the court his client left Oolong House because of the drugs and he didn’t want to take the risk after he “made good progress “. The court heard Alcock completed all but three weeks of a 16-week program during his first attempt at rehabilitation since becoming a heroin addict aged 12. Mr Stewart said Alcock did not go straight to the police because he wanted to see his children. before turning himself in to the police, but admitted that it was a bad decision. Alcock had also sought to participate in other rehabilitation programs, he said, but was unsuccessful. Read more: Six unique places to stay and glamp in Illawarra But police prosecutor Sergeant Anna Comer opposed bail, saying Alcock already had warrants for his arrest on his record and that he was out on bail for alleged “extremely serious” offences. Alcock was arrested in Melbourne last May after allegedly trying to sell some of the stolen opals to an Albion Park Rail address three months prior. On February 10 last year, four intruders armed with a machete and a gun broke into the house, where they arrested a man and assaulted a woman before fleeing with gold opals. worth about half a million dollars. The court heard that case was still in local court, while Alcock also had appeals against incapacitated driving convictions and an ongoing police pursuit in district court. Read more: All photos Wollongong Religious Discrimination Bill protest clerk Peter Ritchie says Alcock was released on bail as a last chance to show he was serious about his rehabilitation , but that he left without proper discharge, referrals, or continued support. Mr Ritchie said a new pardons scheme needed to be put in place. Alcock remains in custody and will appear in court again on Monday. The Illawarra Mercury newsroom is funded by our readers. You can sign up to support our journalism here. Sign up to receive up-to-date emails below…

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