Legal roundup


Policeman probed over pharmacy arrest; WA alleged robber arrested; bail for alleged serial offender

Preston, Victoria: A policeman allegedly stomped on an armed robber as he arrested the man at a North Melbourne pharmacy – and has reportedly admitted that the robber was saying that he could not breathe.

Nine News reports that Senior Constable James Vassilopoulos attended the pharmacy in 2016 after a man demanded money and medicines.

The man, Jeamy Olaa, was reportedly psychotic at the time, and was wielding a pair of scissors.

Security footage showed Mr Vassilopoulos punching, hitting and kicking Mr Olaa, who was attempting to avoid the handcuffs.

Constable Vassilopoulos was cleared by a police professional standards unit of using excessive force during the arrest, but later was charged with two counts of assault by the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission.

Nine reports that he has admitted hearing Mr Olaa say that he could not breathe during the arrest.

Mr Vassilopoulos’ statement said he responded, “Yes you can breathe. Do you want me to get an ambulance for you?”

The alleged victim remains in custody and was sentenced to more than two years’ jail for robbing the pharmacy.

 

Perth, WA: Last week WA Police issued a statement about a man who has been charged with seven offences including against pharmacy staff.

They allege that the 32-year-old man went to a pharmacy in a Cockburn shopping centre and produced a knife.

He then allegedly threatened staff and fled with prescription medicines – and was caught by police shortly afterwards.

Police also allege that the day before, he had gone to another pharmacy in Maylands and stolen prescription medicines.

Further alleged offences including stealing alcohol and cash from bottle shops and a service station, as well as threatening the service station staff with physical harm.

 

Shepparton, Victoria: A man whose offences included stealing from a Chemist Warehouse and a Family Care Pharmacy was bailed to appear in court this week.

The Shepparton Magistrate’s Court heard that Jason Garner was an “unacceptable risk” of reoffending, and that it was “only a matter of time” before he injured somebody, reports the Herald Sun.

It heard that Mr Garner was stealing to pay for drugs, on which he was dependent.

The thefts included four packets of skin cream for Chemist Warehouse, Britney Spears perfume from the Family Care Pharmacy, a quilt from an op shop and several items from Spotlight.

He was facing court after allegedly breaching bail for these thefts – by stealing a pair of shoes – as well as for abusing staff at several other shops, including a store manager of a Bras n Things. In this case, he allegedly ordered the woman to remove her clothing so that he could “f**k her,” and threatened to kill her if she contacted police.

Mr Garner was bailed for two days ahead of his next court appearance.

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