Kyle Swan pleads guilty to two counts of armed robbery

Police seek evidence near the Centro supermarket complex after Kyle Swan had been arrested.
Police seek evidence near the Centro supermarket complex after Kyle Swan had been arrested.

A DRUNK Warrnambool man charged with holding up a pharmacist and bottle shop owner while brandishing a large kitchen knife has pleaded guilty.

 Swan, 23, of Peter Street, Warrnambool, appeared in the Warranmbool Magistrates Court for a committal mention after being charged with two counts of armed robbery.

He has also breached a community corrections order. 

The case has been adjourned until the next sitting of the Warrnambool County Court starting on June 4 for a plea hearing.

Swan has been held in custody since November last year and appeared in court via a video link with prison.

He appeared much calmer in court when he pleaded guilty than at his remand hearing last November. 

In late November last year, magistrate Ann McGarvie refused Swan bail, saying he was a huge risk of continuing to offend and a "most concerning" danger to the community.

She said he had executed a premeditated plan to commit an armed robbery while on a CCO.

Detective Senior Constable Ashlea Witham said that early on mid-week afternoon Swan ​decided to commit an armed robbery at north Warrnambool’s Direct Chemist Outlet to obtain prescription medication.

He obtained a black balaclava, a large kitchen knife​, gloves and wrote out a note.

Swan then went to the pharmacy at 1.50pm to reconnaissance the outlet, walked around the isles and then left.​

He got disguised and returned at 2.08pm, when he handed over a note which said: "I have a gun in my pocket and a knife up my sleeve.”

​Swan demanded three sorts of prescription medication, which was handed over before he ran off.

Three minutes later he was at the nearby Northpoint liquor outlet where he stole a one litre bottle of vodka while brandishing the knife.

As he ran from the bottle shop he was seen by two police officers who chased him for 200 metres and arrested him.

The balaclava and knife were still in his possession and prescription medication was found in the front yard of a Mortlake Road home.

Swan told police he took four prescription medications for his mental health issues including Seroquel, Xanax and Valium.

He claims he blacked out after drinking about 10 ciders and beers, came to in the back of the police divisional van and did not remember anything.

The knife was described as being  a large kitchen knife, 15 to 20 centimetres long.

Detective Senior Constable Witham said Swan failed to appear in court on August 24, in July he breached a court order and has prior court appearances for violent offending.

She said he was also a registered sex offender who went missing mid this year when police were trying to locate him.

The detective said Swan had an ice addiction and had claimed to be under the influence of the drug when he committed the armed robberies.

She said the pharmacist was quite shaken up, a pharmacy assistant was extremely upset and left work, while the bottle shop owner was also distraught​.​

​Swan said he was very mentally ill and time in custody would only exacerbate those conditions.

He said he suffered from drug induced psychosis, anti-social personality disorder and severe depression, anxiety and paranoia.

Swan said he left court in August after having a panic attack and that he had been involved in two incidents last year  after consuming alcohol.

He said he now knew alcohol had a major impact when combined with his medication.

"I stuffed up again and made a mistake," he said.

"That's not who I am, I'm not a violent person. I made a mistake, I can't take it back. I'm sorry for what I have done.”