Pharmacy robbery sentence ‘manifestly excessive’


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A man has been granted parole eligibility after successfully appealing a sentence for pharmacy robbery

Mark Bradley Kaufman contended that his sentence of five and a half years for helping to rob a pharmacy was “manifestly excessive” as it failed to take into account time he had already spent in custody.

In June 2017, Mr Kaufman pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery which took place in April 2015.

He acted as a lookout while another offender disguised himself, went into a pharmacy and intimidated a young pharmacist and a shop assistant with a 15-centimetre knife, the court of appeal heard.

“Some 25 boxes of drugs and a quantity of cash was stolen in the robbery. The applicant then drove the getaway vehicle away from the scene,” the court noted.

The sentencing judge noted a need for deterrence in this type of offending, and took into consideration a number of factors, including the fact that the robbery was committed while Mr Kaufman was on parole and that it involved premeditation, as well as the guilty plea.

“The sentencing judge expressly noted that the applicant had already served 797 days in custody whilst on remand,” the appeals court noted.

“Whilst that time was not declarable because it related to a significant amount of other offending which had not yet been finalised, the sentencing judge stated that he intended to take it into account in fixing a parole eligibility date.

“Whilst the period in pre-sentence custody was taken into account in fixing a parole eligibility date, it was not taken into account in fixing the head sentence.”

The appeals court noted that the sentencing judge’s failure to adequately take into account the time Mr Kaufman spent in pre-sentence custody means the sentence imposed was in fact manifestly excessive.

The appeals court reduced his sentence by the period of 797 days in pre-sentence custody that had not been taken into account, reducing the sentence to three years and four months, but declined to suspend the rest of his sentence from the day of the appeal hearing.

Mr Kaufman became eligible for parole on 21 February 2018.

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