ACT court sentences Jake Tony Walden to suspended jail after aggravated robberies of Amaroo pharmacy | The Canberra Times

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A “really drunk” and drugged knife-wielding robber who stole medication from a pharmacy twice within one week blamed “f——g dog veterinary bills” for his actions, which left his victims with sleepless nights and heart palpitations. Jake Tony Walden, 26, targeted an Amaroo pharmacy on August 1 and 7 last year with both incidents involving knives, threats and Walden leaving on a bicycle after obtaining what he wanted. The ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday heard that on the first occasion, staff members obliged with his demands after he used a 10cm knife to threaten them. During the interaction, which his face was easily seen on CCTV, he said: “I’m sorry, it’s just paying for the f—–g dog veterinary bills”. Six days later, he re-emerged at the pharmacy, but this time wearing a mask, which the sentencing judge inferred was because of COVID rather than an attempt to disguise. His weapon of choice was a hunting knife twice as long as the previous knife. He again threatened staff and demanded more medication, saying words to the effect of “don’t be a hero if you don’t want a hole”. He left on this occasion with the medication in a plastic carry bag before he was arrested less than three weeks later. Walden, who worked as a concreter for his father, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery after initially denying to authorities. MORE COURT NEWS He faced sentencing on Tuesday when the court heard the victims were left “distressed, shocked and badly affected”. One in his victim impact statement expressed the shock he felt when Walden threated to stab his eyes out. Following the attack, the victim suffered anxiety, loss of sleep and heart palpitations. He constantly felt unsafe and considered changing profession after more than a decade of helping people. Walden – who told authorities he was “really drunk” and high on heroin, ice and cocaine when he offended – wrote a letter to the court expressing his regret. “I have taken away their ability to feel safe and that absolutely sickens me,” he said. He also said he recognised it was something he now has to live with and that the offending did not show who he really was. Acting Justice Richard Refshauge described the victim impact statement as a “sobering and distressing read”. “It [hunting knife] certain looked fierce,” he said. The judge said Walden was a relatively young offender with a limited criminal history, which includes two drink-driving offences. He also said the offending showed only “ineptitude and opportunism” and that it was a “low version of what is still a very serious offence”. “There was limited planning and limited actual violence but [only] threats and a relatively small amount taken,” he said. Acting Justice Refshauge sentenced Walden to three years and 11 months’ jail, suspended from Tuesday after the offender had already served 118 days in custody. He found Walden suitable to serve a two-year drug and alcohol treatment order as part of that suspended sentence. The judge said Walden had a severe substance-abuse disorder when he offended. The offender will be subjected to a good behaviour order for the remainder of that suspended term after treatment. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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