Jail for apologetic robber

Headshot of Pierra Willix
Pierra WillixBusselton Dunsborough Times

A 44-year-old man who repeatedly apologised while committing armed robbery at the Broadwater Pharmacy last year has been sentenced to five years in jail.

The man appeared in the Busselton Supreme Court last week charged with armed robbery and although he maintained a plea of not guilty, a jury found him guilty after a five-day trial.

The court was told about 5.50pm on January 9 last year, the man walked into the pharmacy heavily disguised, wearing a mask, wig and winter clothing, brandishing either a 30cm machete or knife and demanding pharmaceutical drugs.

At the time, three pharmacy workers and three customers were inside, with the man telling them “no-one would get hurt” if they did what he said.

After the bag he was carrying was filled with $3500 worth of drugs, the man left the pharmacy and ran down Holgate Road.

The father of one of the pharmacy workers had seen the man running away and chased him down, taking a photograph that would later be used by police in their investigation.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin said while witnesses reported that during the robbery the man had been “polite and well-spoken” and apologised for the “inconvenience”, the incident had left multiple people terrified.

“While you were rampaging through the area you caused considerable alarm and concerns to residents,” he said.

“The robbery of pharmacies is far too prevalent.

“Pharmacists are entitled to go about their job without fearing people like you will enter their premises flourishing weapons and demanding drugs like you did.”

During sentencing the court was told when police had searched the man’s home they had been unable to find any of the drugs.

However, they also could not find any evidence as to whether they had been sold on the black market.

The man was also sentenced for breaching two intensive supervision orders that had been imposed after two separate burglary offences in 2016.

He was sentenced to a total of six months for those two charges and will serve a total of 5 1/2 years in jail, which will be backdated to his arrest in January last year.

He was made eligible for parole.

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