Guilty plea on Flora Hill hold-up

A Bendigo man robbed a Flora Hill pharmacy to get the steroids he has been addicted to since age 13, a court has heard.

Daniel Anthony Guy, 27, yesterday pleaded guilty in the County Court in Bendigo to armed robbery, theft and burglary.

The court heard Guy, who suffers from schizophrenia, was a voluntary patient at the Alexander Bayne Centre the night before his offending.

He is currently on remand at the Thomas Embling Hospital, a secure mental health facility in Melbourne.

Prosecuting, Peter Jones said Guy had “cased” Vanstan’s Pharmacy in Hammer Street, Flora Hill, on September 5, before entering the shop just after 5pm with his hood pulled over his face.

“Three females were working at the time and the accused, armed with a knife, demanded steroids,” Mr Jones said.

“One handed him a bottle of pills, prednisolone.

“He then demanded cash and took some money from the till.”

Mr Jones said the incident was caught on CCTV camera. He said Guy had bought alcohol with the stolen money and drank with friends before going to Healthworks Healthcare  at Kangaroo Flat about 11pm.

“He used a rock to smash the glass and gain entry,” Mr Jones said. “He looked for money and drugs, but left empty-handed.”

Guy’s defence counsel Julien Lowy said victim statements showed the pharmacy attendant wasn’t scared by the armed robbery because it was “quite amateurish”.

Mr Lowy said Guy had “some level of impaired mental function” at the time of offending.

“It was done out of desperation, rather than any malice,” he said.

Mr Lowy said his client had been using steroids since age 13 and believed they were the only way for him to achieve “peak performance”. “Marijuana and steroids have been the bane of his young life,” Mr Lowy said. “He says he never has mental illness on steroids.”

The court heard Guy had a long history of criminal offending, mainly for dishonesty offences, burglaries and thefts.

Mr Lowy said Guy had an abusive childhood and had spent much of his adult life being treated for mental health issues, or homeless.

“A lot of the time he was stealing food because he said he couldn’t get enough money from State Trustees,” he said.

“His motivation for these thefts was this need for steroids, to feel at “peak performance”.

“He’s hoping this time incarceration will get him somewhere.”

Guy’s case was adjourned to April 29 for a forensic care report to be made. It is likely he will serve any jail term at the Thomas Embling Hospital.

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