Rough sleeper ‘sorry’ for pharmacy assault

A man who broke a woman’s finger when he attacked her in the Cosmo Pharmacy in the central city has been jailed for 18-months.

Minahera Patrick Morgan, a 43-year-old “rough sleeper” was involved in a series of drunken incidents before the assault on June 17.

On June 14 he was in Northlands Mall in breach of a trespass order, yelling abuse at police, and was arrested after being warned to leave the premises and refusing.

Two days later he was on Main North Road, very drunk and abusing people, and walked onto the road bringing cars to a halt. He asked motorists for money and abused them when they refused.

The next day he went into the Cosmo Pharmacy, and when asked to leave he threatened to kill Nikki Denley, head-butted her and pushed her backwards. He stood over her while she was on the ground and tried to punch her, but another woman shop worker pulled him back. Denley’s finger was broken when she was tackled, and she had a sore chest from being pushed.

On June 20 Morgan went to a supermarket at Bishopdale and put two bottles of wine and two packets of chips into a shopping basket and left the store without paying.

When shop staff stopped him outside he hit one with his basket and tried to punch others. He ran off and threw his basket at police and resisted arrest.

He was sentenced on charges of injuring with reckless disregard for safety, two charges of threatening to kill, three of assault, two of assaulting the police, resisting arrest, theft, two trespass charges, two disorderly behaviour charges, and one of failing to come to court while on bail.

Defence counsel Richard Peters said that now that Morgan was sober in prison he regretted his actions and was remorseful. He had written a letter of apology to his victims.

Judge Tom Gilbert said Denley was seriously impacted by the attack. She lost her job and has had her life blighted by Morgan’s actions. All his other victims were also shaken up.

He said when Morgan was sober he was sorry for what he did, and he had mental health issues with little support in the community.

He sentenced him to 18 months’ prison, with no order for reparation that the police were seeking for medical costs.