A Warrnambool man who held up a pharmacist and bottle shop owner while brandishing a large kitchen knife was drunk and desperate for drugs, a court was told.
Kyle Swan, 24, of Peter Street, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool County Court to two counts of armed robbery.
He was sentenced to four years and six months in jail with a non-parole period of two years and six months.
He has spent 337 days in custody on remand.
Swan told the court that, at the time of the offending, he was drunk, addicted to drugs and not thinking clearly.
He said that he had started using ice to get through 80 to 90-hour work weeks but it had turned him into a totally different person.
He said that he had lost 12 months of his life due to his stupidity, and that his time spent on remand had been the wake up call he needed.
Swan told the court that he would continue to seek mental health treatment and that he wouldn’t touch illicit drugs again.
Judge Gerard Mullaly said Swan had fragile mental health and that in a desperate bid for drugs he had got out of control.
He said the armed robberies were frightening, violent and premeditated, but Swan was clearly remorseful.
On November 28 Swan went to north Warrnambool’s Direct Chemist Outlet wearing gloves and a black balaclava about 2pm.
Holding a 20 centimetre long kitchen knife, he approached a pharmacist and handed over a note which said: "I have a gun in my pocket and a knife up my sleeve.”
Mr Swan demanded various prescription medication, including endone and oxycodone, which was handed over before he ran off.
He then attended the nearby Northpoint liquor outlet where he stole a one litre bottle of vodka while brandishing the knife.
He ran from the bottle shop and was chased by two police officers for 200 metres before he was arrested.
The balaclava and knife were still in his possession and prescription medication was found in the front yard of a Mortlake Road home.
A victim working at the pharmacy at the time of the incident said Swan was a “balaclava-clad person from horror movies”.
She said the offending made her feel vulnerable, terrified and unsafe.
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