Ram raid sentence appeal dismissed

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A man has been refused leave to appeal against his sentence for ram-raiding a pharmacy to steal cold and flu tablets

Victorian man Paul Ward has been handed a total effective sentence of 10 years and six months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of seven years and six months, for a range of offences including the robbery at the pharmacy.

These offences included robbery with a shotgun of a Prahran Aldi supermarket; robbery with a shotgun of a café in Malvern; and subsequent motor vehicle pursuit in which Mr Ward and his associate evaded police.

While Mr Ward appealed against his conviction for armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and reckless conduct endangering life – claiming that the identity of the offender in these crimes was an issue – his appeal was dismissed.

Additional offences attached to the sentence included the theft of a car and number plate, one charge of burglary, and one charge of theft of approximately 30 boxes of cold and flu tablets from a pharmacy, however Mr Ward pleaded guilty to these.

Mr Ward and an associate had been observed by police stealing a registration plate from a 2013 Ford Falcon. Later that day, he was spotted driving a grey Ford XR 6 which had been reported missing days earlier, with the stolen plate attached to the car’s rear.

“On 7 March 2015 at about 2:50 am, the appellant and one unknown person attended a pharmacy in Sunshine,” the court heard.

“The appellant had driven them in a vehicle that matched the description of the vehicle stolen in Collingwood on 1 March 2015.

“At the time of arrival, the store was closed for trading and the front entrance was locked. The appellant remained in the vehicle.

“The appellant reversed the vehicle up the front ramp of the pharmacy and struck the front entrance glass doors with the rear of the vehicle, causing the glass to smash.

“The unknown person then entered the pharmacy with a wheelie bin. The appellant remained in the vehicle.

“Once inside the pharmacy, the unknown male filled the wheelie bin with approximately 30 boxes of cold and flu tablets. He fled the store via the smashed front entrance and returned to the vehicle driven by the appellant. The appellant and the unknown person drove away from the scene.”

The original trial judge had noted that Mr Ward had a “long history” of abusing alcohol and other drugs, including cannabis and methamphetamine.

The car theft and pharmacy raid showed planning and involved “serious offending,” the trial judge said at the time; this was listed as a reason why Mr Ward’s application for leave to appeal was dismissed.

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