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Man used syringe in hold-up

Date

Michael Inman

A syringe was used in the robbery at Capital Chemist, O'Connor

A syringe was used in the robbery at Capital Chemist, O'Connor Photo: Jennifer Soo

A man who robbed a northside chemist with a blood-filled syringe knew he was infected with hepatitis C, a court has heard.

Aaron Khan told an ACT Supreme Court sentencing hearing he used a syringe as a weapon because it would scare the pharmacy employee into handing over drugs.

Khan pleaded guilty to the aggravated robbery at Capital Chemist in O'Connor on September 2. Police said Khan entered the Sargood Street store about 10.30pm and threatened staff with a blood-filled syringe, demanding morphine sulfate.

Staff members complied and he left the shop. Khan told the court he carried out the robbery because he was being stood over for $190.

The defence tendered records of text messages sent to the defendant in the days leading up to the robbery. One text said: ''Don't make me call the boys.''

Khan said he was convinced he would be kidnapped and harmed if he did not comply. ''I was reluctant to do it … [but] I was scared,'' he said. ''I wasn't thinking about the consequences.''

Khan said he demanded prescription drugs because it had ''high appeal on the street''.

But the 28-year-old denied the prescription medication was for personal use.

''I'm an amphetamine addict, not a morphine addict.

''If it were for me I would've taken amphetamine or methamphetamine.''

In closing submissions, defence barrister Anthony Hopkins argued the case was about fear - the fear felt by the victim and also the fear the defendant had for his own safety.

The defence argued the motivation behind the crime was to avoid a feared consequence, rather than to obtain drugs.

''There is nothing in his background to indicate a propensity to violence,'' Mr Hopkins said.

Chief Justice Terence Higgins noted the defendant had already spent 94 days in custody.

Khan will be sentenced next week.

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