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Tatura man granted bail despite drug trafficking allegations

By Shepparton News

A Tatura man has been given another chance at freedom after being bailed on Tuesday, with a magistrate warning him it would be his final chance.

Gurhan Baser, 26, faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court after being arrested on Monday for allegedly breaching previous bail conditions which barred him from visiting Shepparton.

Despite police telling the court they had information suggesting Mr Baser is actively trafficking methylamphetamine and in possession of a firearm, allegations which have not yet been proven or seen any charges laid, a magistrate granted him bail on strict conditions.

“This is your last opportunity ... bail is no joke, it provides you with an opportunity to remain free pending the resolution of your matters,” magistrate David Faram said.

“You choose whether you remain free or not to get the treatment you need and address your behaviour.”

Shepparton police Detective Senior Constable Lance Wiltshire told the court Mr Baser was on bail at the time of his arrest for a number of offences including driving while suspended, possessing a quantity of cannabis, possessing 18 grams of methylamphetamine and drug driving.

The court heard Mr Baser is also facing multiple charges of failing to comply with bail conditions.

Sen Const Wiltshire said Mr Baser's current bail conditions prevented him from entering Shepparton unless to attend court; he must not use drugs, not drive a motor vehicle, must reside at an address in Oak Park, abide by a curfew and report to a police station.

The court heard on April 21 this year Hawthorn police attended the accused's bail address where they spoke to a male who stated Mr Baser never resided there and had not been spoken to for several months.

On May 4 Mr Baser attended a towing company in Shepparton to collect an impounded vehicle, and staff contacted police.

“We attended to arrest the accused for breaching bail ... when we attended the accused hid inside the toilet of the business next door before fleeing on foot,” Sen Const Wiltshire said.

He was arrested, charged and interviewed at Shepparton Police Station.

Sen Const Wiltshire said information received also led police to believe the accused was trafficking drugs and in possession of a firearm, however this intelligence was yet to be proven as the accused refused to give police the PIN to his mobile phone despite a warrant being issued by the court.

Mr Baser was charged with failing to comply with this order.

“We believe he is an unacceptable risk for endangering the safety and welfare of the public ... (he is a) serious risk to the community.”

Mr Baser's lawyer Megan McKenna said the offending which brought her client before a court on Tuesday was further down the offending scale compared to other charges he faces.

She said her client informed her the phone did not belong to him and therefore he could not provide police with the PIN because he did not know it.

She argued that any time spent in custody on remand would likely exceed any sentence that was imposed for the offending, submitting that a custodial sentence was "not likely".

Ms McKenna said her client had extensive support from his family who were willing to provide a stable address for Mr Baser to reside if granted bail.

“(Mr Baser) is very well known to local police — it would be easy for police to check on him and ensure he is complying with bail conditions,” she said.

Ms McKenna said it was important for her client to address his underlying drug issues which were the "driver in the bulk" of his offending.

Magistrate Faram granted Mr Baser bail with strict conditions, warning him that police would be checking in to ensure he was complying.

“Police will arrive at your address at night, if you are not home a warrant will be issued for your arrest and I can tell you, you will stay there until these matters are finalised,” he said.

Mr Baser is expected to face court again in July.

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