A man who robbed two Hobart pharmacies last year with a box cutter has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail
In July 2018, a man went to the Terry White Chemmart in Sandy Bay, bought flu medicine and then returned with a box cutter knife and robbed the store of prescription drugs.
He then went to the Friendly Care Chemmart Pharmacy in the CBD, where he again threatened staff members and demanded prescription medicines.
During both robberies, he held the box cutter and went with the pharmacist into the dispensaries when they went to get the medicines he had demanded.
Police announced they were looking for a man with “full brown beard, shoulder-length curly brown hair and was wearing blue jeans, a red scarf, black fedora hat, and white and blue sneakers” and carrying a purple backpack featuring characters from The Simpsons.
The man was soon located near the second pharmacy and charged.
Now, Alessandro Roberto Meloni-Young has pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery, the Hobart Mercury reports.
The Supreme Court in Hobart heard that two staff members who had been at the CBD pharmacy had suffered significant impact from the robbery.
“Both staff members from the latter crime continue to experience ongoing psychological and emotional consequences of their experience,” said Justice Michael Brett.
“Crimes of this nature are committed against people, notwithstanding that the purpose is to steal property.”
Mr Meloni-Young had a significant and long history of abuse of prescription medicines, which Justice Brett observed had been “compounded” by irresponsible prescribing to him of Xanax.
The court heard that Mr Meloni-Young expressed remorse for the offences, did not plan to reoffend and intended to change his life for the better.
However Justice Brett also observed that the man had “targeted vulnerable premises” and used the box cutter to “directly threaten and overbear the will of the relevant staff members”.
While the crimes were “somewhat amateurish,” there had been some premeditation, he noted.
He sentenced Mr Meloni-Young to three and a half years in prison, the last year of which will be suspended. He will be able to apply for parole after half the custodial sentence has been served.
Readers who are distressed can contact the Pharmacists’ Support Service on 1300 244 910.