A St Leonards man denied in the Supreme Court in Launceston that colourful characters brought stolen items to his work premises in exchange for drugs.
Heath Maxwell Lethborg, 42, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of receiving stolen property in 2018-2019.
The Crown alleges Mr Lethborg had possession of stolen items and the knowledge that they were stolen when police visited on May 1, 2019.
The stolen items, an agreed fact in the trial, were a Mitsubishi Canter truck, a Bobcat, a Karcher, two trailers, lighting equipment, a Honda scooter and radio equipment.
After giving evidence in his trial, Mr Lethborg was cross-examined by crown prosecutor Ian Arendt.
Mr Lethborg said police had previously visited his premises near Killafaddy in July 2018 asking about stolen items.
He admitted he was smoking ice at the time of the police visit and that a lot of stuff was seized.
He said his drug use could vary from a point (of a gram) a day to a point a week.
"How much was a point of ice?" Mr Arendt asked.
"No idea," Mr Lethborg replied.
"I suggest the reason why all these colourful characters Luke Walker and Liam Dougherty were coming was to bring stolen property in exchange for ice? Mr Arendt said.
"I say that is incorrect," he replied.
"Why don't you know the price? [of ice] then," Mr Arendt asked.
Mr Lethborg denied that he turned a blind eye saying that he had tried to stop people from bringing items but was afraid of being burnt out.
He agreed with a suggestion that he had suspicions about Messrs Walker and Dougherty.
"And that was that they were persons who may steal things?" Mr Arendt asked.
"Yes," Mr Lethborg replied.
Mr Lethborg gave evidence that Mr Dougherty worked on changing the cab on a stolen Mitsubishi Canter.
"I had others working there as well," he said. "Who?" Mr Arendt asked.
"Jimmy," Mr Lethborg said.
"Where did Jimmy come from? Mr Arendt followed up.
"From his mother I suppose," he replied.
Mr Lethborg said he had bought a stolen Bobcat for $28,000 cash at St Marys.
Mr Arendt asked him if he had followed up with the seller after the Bobcat was seized by police.
"No, I couldn't find him," Mr Lethborg said.
But he said he knew his surname and would recognise him if he saw him again.
Mr Arendt asked where on Mr Lethborg's bank statements were withdrawals of $28,000.
"You never withdrew cash to purchase a Bobcat," Mr Arendt suggested. "I definitely did," he replied.
In his closing address, defence counsel Grant Tucker said that it was unfortunate that the receipt for the Bobcat was lost.
He said police had not realised until three weeks after the May 1 raid that a Canter on site was stolen.
"Police came back on May 21, if it was a dodgy deal done dirt cheap it would have been hidden out of the way," he said.
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