Accused blames mental health

AN ICE user who went on a rampage at the Cape Nelson lighthouse complex in Portland and caused damage worth$56,500 says he was mentally impaired.
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Zachery Thomson, 27, of Outlook Ride inMelton, appearedin the Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a contest mention hearing on Monday. He was charged with more than 20 offences.

The court heardMr Thomson went to the lighthouse where he damagedweather bureau equipment, started a fire which blacked out the district, cut wires, damaged water tanks releasing 90,000 litres of water, drove at residents, punched a man and tried to steal a dog before he was arrested.

The defence case is that an ice-induced psychosis reduced Mr Thomson’s culpability and allows thecourt to impose a lighter sentence.

Barrister AllanSharpsaid Mr Thomson was “trying to savehumanity from aliens” duringintense delusions.

Magistrate Ron Sainessaid he did not see thatlighter sentencing principles had been enacted and Mr Thomson’s behaviour was aggravated by his ice use.Hesaid Mr Thomson had functioned well during 2014 and 2015 when he was not abusing ice.

In a sentencing indication, the magistrate said he would impose a 12-month jail term which would involve a parole period, followed by a community corrections order.

The case has been adjourned for a contested hearing on March 3with the court to call on two medical witnesses.

Mr Saines said the offendinginvolved repetitive, high-level property damage, interfering with public installations and private property as well as putting people in danger.

Mr Thomsonhas spent 140 days in custody.

Police said Mr Thompson rammeda gate at the PortOf Melbourne on the evening of August 29,causing damage worth $4228.

On August 31 Mr Thomson drove his mother’s carto the Cape Nelsonlighthouse where he damaged themeteorological compound, the court heard.He used rubbish to start a fire which burnt through a mains power and caused a blackout.

Mr Thomson damaged satellite equipment, four buildings,a back-up generator and cablesto maritime equipment putting shipping in danger.Hesideswiped a vehicle,drove at a man,committed burglaries and thefts on the outskirts of Portland, stoleitems including a $20,000 station wagon and puncheda man to the face.

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