A CRIMINAL battling cancer stopped using chemotherapy and took to using “out of control” amounts of meth after leaving jail, a court has heard.
Wodonga man Matthew Joseph Butler, 29, was agitated and still withdrawing from ice in the dock of the Wodonga Magistrates Court on Thursday.
When told he wouldn’t be sentenced for a break-in at The Finer Things of Life in Beechworth, which netted $33,000 worth of jewellery, he raged at the magistrate or his lawyer.
“F---ing hell … you f---ing piece of s---,” he said as a police officer urged him to calm down.
He appeared to say he could “kill this c---” as the matter was adjourned.
“I’ve had to come backwards and forwards because of this f---ing rat,” he said of travelling to hearings, pointing to the front of the court.
Lawyer Mario Vaccaro said his client had been diagnosed with melanoma in 2015 when being sentenced to an 18-month stint in jail.
Butler had been told he had four years to live, and received treatment behind bars, but took to smoking methamphetamine when he was released instead of receiving chemotherapy.
“Using ice … you’re telling me (it’s) his way of dealing with a melanoma, which he hasn’t dealt with upon his release?” magistrate David Faram asked.
Mr Vaccaro said it was a way to cope with the short life expectancy “in his head”.
Butler smashed his way into the Beechworth jeweller – allegedly with 33-year-old Dusty Lyons – about 2am on April 9.
About 100 jewellery pieces were stolen and swapped for drugs or sold for drug money.
Necklaces were found in Butler’s room at his mother’s Thomas Mitchell Drive home days later, with items also seized from his mum’s room.
He had committed other break-ins at Beechworth, Myrtleford and Bright on March 12 or 13, taking about $500 in cash and causing more in damage.
He was arrested Monday.
As the 29-year-old was appearing before court, detectives were appealing for information to track down Lyons, who has a warrant out for his arrest.
The 33-year-old is thought to be living on the Border.
Butler will return to court for sentencing on July 26.