Andrew James Thomas released on bail after allegedly holding up a Safety Bay Pharmacy with a knife

Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
Andrew James Thomas was released on bail this week after holding up a pharmacy in Safety Bay
Camera IconAndrew James Thomas was released on bail this week after holding up a pharmacy in Safety Bay Credit: qimono/Pixabay (user qimono)

A Port Kennedy man who allegedly held up a Pharmacy with a knife in Safety Bay last week has been released on bail.

Andrew James Thomas, 60, appeared in custody at Rockingham Magistrates Court on November 21, charged with aggravated armed robbery.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Mick Fallows said at 5.14pm on November 17, Mr Thomas allegedly arrived at Safety Bay Pharmacy. His car number plate was allegedly partially obstructed and he wore a baseball cap and surgical mask to hide his face.

Mr Thomas allegedly walked into the pharmacy with a plastic bag in his hand which contained a kitchen knife.

Sen. Const. Fallows said Mr Thomas allegedly took the knife out and asked the female attendant for opioid medications. She told Mr Thomas she didn’t have access to those types of medications but he handed her the bag and told her to put the medication in there.

A pharmacist walked over and put the small amount of opioid medication they had in the bag when Mr Thomas allegedly told them to put more in. The pharmacist told him they didn’t have any more and a witness walked into the store when Mr Thomas left.

Mr Thomas was identified by CCTV and at 7.30pm the same night he was arrested at his Port Kennedy address.

The duty lawyer representing Mr Thomas made an application for bail, telling the magistrate that his actions were a result of his medication referral for chronic pain being withdrawn.

She said Mr Thomas’ “dependency on methadone” was only a result of his chronic pain. When his referral was withdrawn he only had one week’s worth of medication left and he allegedly committed the offence while he was having chronic withdrawal symptoms.

The duty lawyer also said the pain Mr Thomas suffers was so high, he had spoken about committing suicide, however, he is now properly medicated and had stabilised.

Magistrate Joanne Andretich said she was prepared to grant Mr Thomas bail as her concerns of him harming himself or others was no longer high, but it would come with strict conditions.

Ms Andretich told Mr Thomas he would have to pay a $5000 undertaking and surety, must be in his home from the hours of 6pm and 7am and cannot be within 10m of Safety Bay Pharmacy.

Mr Thomas will next appear in Rockingham Magistrates Court on December 20.

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