Crime roundup

Elderly man attempts to stop pharmacy robber, man charged with attempted bank robbery and pharmacy robbery, man tries to import “small pharmacy” of steroids

Gold Coast: A man has been sentenced to four years in prison for offences including a pharmacy robbery where a 79-year-old man attempted to stop him by hitting him with a pole.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that Harry Robert MaGrath went to a pharmacy in Nerang in June 2019 wearing a jumper on his head and carrying a bag which contained a handle that resembled either an axe or hammer.

Mr MaGrath told the pharmacist to fill a bag with Valium and oxycodone, which she did. During this time the pharmacist noticed a fake sawn-off shotgun in the bag.

Once he had the medicines, Mr MaGrath demanded that the woman lock herself into the back of the store, after which he was beset by cleaner Colin New, who took hold of a pole and began to hit Mr MaGrath in an attempt to make him drop the bag.

Mr MaGrath then pushed the older man over, took out a tomahawk and threatened to hit him with it.

He was later arrested at a Carrara storage shed while Mr New went to hospital with cuts and some pain.

Mr MaGrath pleaded guilty on charges relating to the incident as well as a series of other drug and weapon offences, and was sentenced to four years.

Taking into account that Mr MaGrath had already served 428 days in prison, he is eligible for parole immediately, the Bulletin reports.


Sydney: A man faced court on Thursday charged with the alleged attempted robbery of a bank and the armed robbery of a pharmacy on Wednesday.

Around 10.30am on Wednesday a man entered a bank on the Old Princes Highway, Sutherland, and allegedly threatened staff with a knife, demanding cash and saying that he had a gun.

“The security screens were activated, and the man fled empty-handed in a Holden Cruze,” police say.

“Officers from Sutherland Shire Police Area Command established a crime scene and commenced inquiries.”

Then at about 11.30am, officers from Liverpool City Police Area Command responded to reports of an armed robbery at a pharmacy on the Hume Highway, Liverpool.

They were told that a man, armed with a hammer, had entered the store and allegedly threatened staff, demanding cash and drugs.

“The staff members were able to seek refuge in a storage area and the man ran from the store, fleeing in a Holden Cruze,” police said.

“Following extensive inquiries by Sutherland Shire and Liverpool Police Area Commands, an off-duty police officer recognised the man at a shop on the Princes Highway at Blakehurst about 5.40pm.

“The 42-year-old was arrested and taken to Sutherland Police Station where he was charged with attempted robbery while armed with dangerous weapon, robbery armed with offensive weapon, unaccompanied learner, and receive/dispose stolen property.”


Perth: A Tasmanian man has been ordered to pay almost $20,000 in fines and court costs after attempting to smuggle a “small pharmacy” of steroids into Australia.

The 31-year-old was searched by Australian Border Force officers when he returned to Perth on a flight from Malaysia on 10 July, 2019. At the time the man was a FIFO worker in Western Australia.

An x-ray of his baggage showed anomalies and when officers conducted a physical examination they located the following items:

  • 39 x 1ml ampoules in boxes labelled ‘Testobolin – Testosterone Enanthate’.
  • 75 x Oxandrolone tablets in a box labelled “Oxanobol”.
  • 328 x Oxandrolone tablets in a box labelled “Anavar”.
  • 70 x Stanozolol tablets in a bottle labelled “Stano M10”.
  • 150 x Stanozolol tablets in a box labelled “Stanztab 10”.
  • 2 x 10ml vials of Nandrolone Decanoate labelled “Nandrobolin-250”.

On his Incoming Passenger Card the man had declared he did not have any “goods that may be prohibited or subject to restrictions, such as medicines or steroids”.

He later admitted to purchasing the steroids from a pharmacy in Thailand, and claimed they were for personal use.

ABF Investigators charged him with two offences, and after pleading guilty he was sentenced in the Perth Magistrates Court on one count of importing prohibited imports, being various quantities of anabolic or androgenic substances, at Perth International Airport. This attracted an $11,000 fine.

He was also sentenced on one count of making a false or misleading statement to an officer, and fined $4,000 for this offence.

He was also ordered to pay the Prosecution’s costs of $4,733, taking the total penalty to $19,733.

The Magistrate also rejected an application by the man’s lawyer for a spent conviction after the Commonwealth’s lawyer argued the offending was not “trivial”.

ABF Regional Commander for WA James Copeman said the man knew it was illegal to import steroids, or Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs into Australia without a permit.

“PIEDs are regulated in Australia for very good reasons as they can have serious health impacts for users,” Commander Copeman said.

“This was a significant concealment and I commend the officers at the airport who detected it.”

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