A NSW man will remain in jail for robbing a pharmacy with a fake gun, after the criminal court dismissed his appeal

A man who robbed a NSW pharmacy using a silver replica pistol has appealed to have his sentence reduced on the grounds that the sentences were manifestly excessive.

In early 2016, upon entering the pharmacy wearing a black balaclava and gloves, the offender walked up to the counter holding the pistol and told the staff to open the safe.

The staff handed him $1,400 in cash, after which he left the pharmacy and got into a car, driven by an accomplice and with concealed number plates.

Later that day, the offender also attempted to rob a jewellery shop in the same fashion, although he ended up leaving without taking anything.

Police picked him up that afternoon, after searching a car and finding the replica pistol underneath his seat.

With respect to sentencing, the original judge found that while the weapon used was a replica gun that was not capable of killing or inflicting serious injury, the sentence “should recognise that the use of the weapon was designed to strike fear into the victims.

“The weapon was used for the purpose of making the victims feel like they were at risk of being killed or injured,” found NSW District Court Judge Hoy.

“The victims were vulnerable, which was an aggravating factor.”

For one count of robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault with intent to rob while armed with a dangerous weapon, the man was sentenced to a total of 10 year imprisonment.

However this was discounted to an overall period of five years and six months, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months, taking into account his guilty plea and assistance to the authorities.

The maximum penalty for each offence is 25 years’ imprisonment.

Judge Hoy accepted that the offender – who admitted his motivation for the robberies was to repay debts to a gang of criminals – had demonstrated “contrition and genuine remorse”.

The judge also took into account that the offender had a long history of depression due to extensive chronic health issues.

However he also had an extensive criminal record, which included similar offences for which he had spent time in custody.

The Court of Criminal Appeal found that his original sentence of five years and six months was appropriate, and dismissed his appeal for a reduced sentence.