A 34-year-old man told police he robbed a pharmacy, armed with an imitation sawn-off shotgun, because he was desperate to get money for his partner and six-month-old child.
Jonathan Allen, also known as Houghton, appeared by video-link from Christchurch Men’s Prison at the Christchurch District Court today and pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery “using something appearing to be an offensive weapon”.
Police told the court: “He had made this shotgun and although imitation, it looked very real.”
Allen has been in custody since his arrest on the day of the robbery, December 19, and he has now been remanded by Judge Jane Farish for sentencing on June 22.
During the remand, a pre-sentence report and an alcohol and drugs assessment will be prepared, and the defence is getting a medical report on mental health issues.
Police said Allen disguised himself with white overalls, a hard-hat and mask, and carried an imitation sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun.
He went into the pharmacy at a medical centre in Waltham at 1.20pm, demanding drugs and money from the staff and asking them to open the safe while presenting the imitation gun at them.
Staff opened the safe and Allen took $190 cash and drugs including methadone, morphine, and ritalin valued at $994, which he put in a bag and left the pharmacy.
He was stopped by police a short distance away, still with the stolen drugs, cash, and the imitation firearm.
When he was interviewed, he admitted the robbery and said he had been forced to leave his home and had lost his benefit. He had no money and was desperate to supply finance for his partner and six-month-old child.
Police are seeking forfeiture of the four-wheel drive vehicle which belongs to a relative of Allen.