Clinton Dearman faces sentence in the Dunedin District
Court for two armed robberies of a pharmacy. Photo
Staff at a Dunedin pharmacy robbed by an armed man twice
in four months were so scarred by the experience that some
wondered if they wanted to continue in the pharmacy profession,
a judge has said.
Clinton Michael Dearman (46), of Port Chalmers, was sentenced
to seven and a-half years' jail for the knifepoint robberies
of the Forbury Pharmacy in Hillside Rd in July and November
And he must serve three years and nine months - half of the
sentence - before he can apply for parole.
The fear, anxiety and uncertainty Dearman's actions had
caused the pharmacy staff reflected the callous nature of the
robberies, Judge Michael Crosbie said when sentencing
Dearman, who earlier admitted both offences.
Dearman's face was covered by a balaclava and he was carrying
a large knife when he targeted the Forbury Pharmacy for
controlled drugs about 5.30pm on July 4 last year. He locked
the staff in a back room.
On November 29, he returned to the pharmacy at closing time.
His face was again covered and he said he had a knife.
He demanded more controlled drugs, filling a large bag, then
taped the hands of the staff behind their backs before
locking them in the toilet.
While counsel John Westgate said Dearman never intended
harming anyone, the victims were not to know that when they
were being confronted by a large man wearing a balaclava and
holding a knife, the judge said.
It was often luck rather than good management that nobody was
hurt, he told Dearman.
Statements from the victims revealed they suffered a variety
of effects, including not being able to sleep, feeling
frightened and fearful that Dearman, or someone like him,
would come back, feeling constantly anxious at work and being
put off the career path to which they had been committed.
Several needed psychological counselling for various issues,
including survivor guilt.
They felt powerless and one talked of feeling bad about
failing to protect staff members.
None of the drugs from the first robbery were recovered.
Judge Crosbie took into account that Dearman had wanted to
have restorative justice but had not been able to, through no
fault of his own.
The victim who had wanted to meet him to ''get him out of her
hair'' had decided in the meantime she had ''moved on''.
Mr Westgate described it as ''unfortunate'' as Dearman had
wanted to express his remorse and assure the woman he never
intended to hurt her. But he accepted things could go wrong
when someone had a knife.
Mr Westgate asked that Dearman be given credit for his guilty
plea and his willingness to undertake the restorative justice
Judge Crosbie took a seven-year starting point for the first
robbery, added two years and three months for the second and
another six months for Dearman's prior convictions.
With a 20% discount for the guilty pleas and a smaller
discount for remorse and Dearman's attempt to have
restorative justice, Judge Crosbie reached an end sentence of
seven and a-half years' imprisonment, concurrent, on each
The offending was sufficiently serious to warrant a minimum
non-parole term, which counsel agreed should be 50% of the
sentence, the judge said.