‘Please don’t hurt me’… knife robber sentenced

A New Zealand-born man has been sentenced to three years and five months imprisonment after he pled guilty to a string of offences including the armed robbery of a pharmacy.

Anthony Tina was given a non-parole period of two years, and Judge Frank Gucciardo noted that there is a possibility that Tina, who was born in Rotorua, could be deported to New Zealand after he has served his sentence.

On the afternoon of 2 August 2015, Tina entered the pharmacy and walked around, asked the pharmacy assistant about some of the stock and found out what time the pharmacy would close later that day, the judge noted.

“Just after 9 pm, you returned, you approached the same assistant, you walked behind the counter and said, ‘I’m sorry, you need to open the till, I’m not going to hurt you, I need you to open the till’,” the judge noted.

“When the assistant said, ‘Please don’t hurt me,’ you produced a knife which you showed to her, a young woman. She opened the register and you took $800 in cash and left.

“In her statement she says she was terrified, felt shocked and threatened. Although there is no victim impact statement from her, I can reasonably infer she would have been traumatised by this event.”

When questioned by police about the robbery, Tina told them that he had apologised to the assistant as he left the pharmacy, and disavowed an intention to use the knife. He was released on bail.

In February 2016 Tina also stole cigarettes from a supermarket; in April he went to another supermarket where he smashed a glass cabinet containing mobile phones, taking nine of them.

In May, he took another mobile phone from a Cash Converters and later that month he stole food, drinks and clothing from another supermarket.

Eventually, after the May offences, his bail on the armed robbery was revoked and he was remanded in custody and then pled guilty to the offences.

“You scheduled the event at a vulnerable time, aimed it at a vulnerable and easy victim, and facilitated it by the display of a dangerous weapon as a threat,” Judge Gucciardo said of the pharmacy robbery.

“This behaviour is totally unacceptable. It may be unsophisticated and of short duration and did not luckily end in any injury, but it was not spontaneous or impulsive and is rightly seen as highly culpable.”

Pharmacists’ Support Service 1300 244 910

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