‘Tricks’ of the past back to haunt addict after arrest

A 17-year-old mystery involving a sex worker in a van who turned a gun on his client has been solved thanks to a random arrest for drug possession in Wodonga.

Adam Kirbi had spent years recovering from drug addiction, but slipped back into old habits on September 14 last year when police spotted him getting out of a parked car in Conlan Circuit.

He was arrested in possession of 1.2 grams of ice and anxiety pills which he was not prescribed to have, and arrested on a warrant for unpaid fines from 2014.

When police entered his fingerprints into the system, it alerted investigators to an unsolved Melbourne case from 2001.

Crown prosecutor Alan Cecil told Wodonga Magistrates Court yesterday a man who was 44 years old on November 4, 2001, had sought the “personal services” of Kirbi on the streets of St Kilda.

Trouble started when the pair went for a drive in the victim’s van.

Barrister Sally Wilson said Kirbi was in his early 20s at the time, homeless and had a furious heroin addiction.

“He ends up on this day, for the first time, making the absolutely desperate decision that the only way he is going to make some money is by what is commonly known as ‘turning tricks’,” she said. “He’s got cold feet, he didn’t want to go through with it.”

Despite Kirbi’s desperate screams, the victim would not let him out of the van so he pulled a replica gun out of his pants and threatened the man until he was allowed to leave.

Passers-by reported Kirbi was shirtless and screaming in the middle of the road, claiming he had been raped.

Investigators reopened the case in late 2017 and arrested Kirbi, who was extradited from where he lives in Albury.

He yesterday pleaded guilty to threatening to inflict serious injury and two counts of drug possession.

Magistrate Fran Medina sentenced Kirbi to six months’ jail, but wholly suspended the term for six months, and fined him $500.

She said while the victim would have been scared, she accepted Kirbi also feared for his safety.

“I’ve taken into account these are largely historical matters,” she said.