26 July 2022

'This is bulls**t': Man fronts court on 34 offences with more charges expected

| Claire Fenwicke
ACT Law Courts

Many of the homes and vehicles allegedly broken into by Mr Heard were unlocked. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A 38-year-old man has labelled his alleged offences “bulls**t” as he fronted ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (25 July).

Joel William Heard was arrested on Saturday (23 July) after he was identified by patrolling officers in Ainslie as a person wanted in connection with “several offences” since May 2022.

Mr Heard allegedly tried to run away when he was asked to stop by police but was apprehended after a short chase.

He appeared in court to face 34 charges made up of offences covering burglary, theft, minor theft, three counts of driving a motor vehicle without consent, 14 counts of obtaining property by deception, nine of unlawful possession of stolen property, three of using number plate not properly issued, failing to stop for police and failing to appear after a bail undertaking.

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Police alleged Mr Heard had been involved in offences over the past few months, including:

  • The theft of a black Mercedes SLK350 from a Franklin home on 10 June. Police claimed the home was “ransacked” during the incident.
  • The theft of a red Kia Rio from a Turner home on 19 June, where a passport, laptop and mobile home were also stolen.
  • A burglary in Harrison on 19 June during which several apartment storage cages were broken into and camera equipment, guitars and musical accessories were taken.
  • A burglary in Lawson on 20 June during which a wallet and mobile phone were taken. It’s alleged a credit card from the wallet was later used for fraudulent transactions in the Weston area.
  • The theft of a white Toyota Yaris and silver Nissan X-Trail from a Braddon home on 24 June.
  • Burglaries in Campbell on 2 July, where bank cards were stolen from several residences and vehicles, which were then used in Paywave and bank fraud offences in several suburbs, totalling more than $26,000 in cash and goods.
  • An incident on 8 July where a Mercedes A250 failed to stop for police in Braddon.
  • A burglary in Turner on 23 July during which a silver Volkswagen Golf, phone and bank cards were stolen.

At the time of his arrest, police said Mr Heard was in possession of multiple items, including bank cards, Medicare cards and licences stolen in some of the burglaries.

It’s also alleged Mr Heard failed to appear in court on 30 June after he was granted bail for other alleged offences on 23 May.

Police enquiries into a large number of fraudulent transactions are continuing, as are investigations into further offences related to the stolen property and stolen motor vehicles.

Further charges were likely.

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Mr Heard did not apply for bail, but as his charges were read, he exclaimed, “this is bulls**t”. His mention also had to be delayed after an outburst to allow Mr Heard to calm down.

He also claimed police had not given him access to medical assistance for injuries sustained during his arrest.

“Mate, I get bashed by the police and they won’t let me see an ambulance or anyone,” he said to the Magistrate.

“I’ve been stuck in the cop shop since Saturday night … I’ve got a big f**king gash in the back of my head.”

Mr Heard has been remanded in custody to reappear in court on 15 August.

Police said homes and vehicles had been left unlocked in a “high proportion” of the alleged burglaries. Police reminded the community they could educate themselves further on how to avoid being victims of property crime as part of the Outsmart the Offender program.

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