Man sentenced after pharmacy rampage

A Victorian man has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison after he trashed a pharmacy and threatened staff with scissors

Jeamy Olaa pleaded guilty to several charges including armed robbery and several charges of assault, including an attack on a 79-year-old man.

The County Court of Victoria heard that Mr Olaa first attacked a man who was attempting to leave a bus that Mr Olaa was travelling on, kicking him in the back of the leg until he fell, and punching him in the head repeatedly.

He then attacked the man’s uncle, who had attempted to defend him, and held him in a headlock while the bus driver called for emergency services.

Mr Olaa continued to attack the two men as well as a bystander who attempted to intervene; the victims escaped the bus and sought refuge in a nearby two-dollar shop.

Next, Mr Olaa began to shout at people on the footpath to go away and asked them what they were looking at.

One witness, a Mr Fontana who was the Mayor of the Council at the time, recalled “hearing you screaming profanities and pacing back and forth along the pathway,” noted His Honour Judge Murphy.

“Mr Nteris, who was aged 79 at the time, was exiting the Tattslotto agency and about to board the bus when he noticed the brawl on the bus and sought to avoid the confrontation,” Judge Murphy said.

“As he did so, you appeared in front of him and the two of you stared at each other for a moment, before you yelled ‘What are you looking at?’ at which point you punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground causing a laceration and bruising above his eye, together with sore ribs.

“While he was assisted to by onlookers, Mr Fontana walked in front of you and sought to calm you down. You punched Mr Fontana to the side of the head.”

Mr Olaa removed his hat and shirt and picked up a large metal display sign that was on the footpath, swinging it at bystanders as he entered the nearby pharmacy.

“You threw the metal sign over the counter causing a significant amount of stock to fall on the floor, you then ripped the monitor and cords from the cash register before sweeping the objects onto the floor,” Judge Murphy noted.

“You then grabbed two pairs of scissors and began stabbing them into a partition and demanding that you be given money and drugs.

“Mr Tran, the manager, struggled to open the cash register while the other employee moved to the back of the counter while you paced back and forth brandishing the scissors.

“At one stage, you were holding the scissors in the direction of Mr Tran. When he finally opened the register, he placed approximately $1000 in notes inside a plastic bag and left it on the counter for you while you continued to pace back and forth inside the store.

“You closed the door to the pharmacy while holding the scissors, and asked for a Band-Aid as one of your hands was bleeding. Ms Tran, the pharmacy assistant, gave you a Band-Aid and you took the Band-Aid and placed it in the bag of money.

“A witness came into the pharmacy and noticed what was occurring – he forced the door open while you tried to hold it shut. You then fled towards the rear of the store and were chased until both you and the witness fell over near the rear door and the witness hit his head causing a laceration.

“Other witnesses entered and managed to hold you to the ground until police arrived.”

Mr Olaa was arrested and found unfit to be interviewed.

He later said that he could not remember the details of the incidents, but admitted that he was under the influence of alcohol and cannabis at the time. A psychiatrist reported that at the time, Mr Olaa was undergoing acute psychosis.

He was given a total effective sentence of two years and nine months’ imprisonment, and directed to serve at least 17 months before becoming eligible for parole.

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