Second woman receives jail term for part in Baldivis pharmacy robbery

Stock images.
Stock images.

TWO Women who held up a Baldivis Pharmacy with blood filled syringes they claimed was HIV positive will spend the next few years in prison.

Margaret Patricia Duffy and Angelique Claire Shilling were both convicted of aggravated armed robbery at their individual trials.

Shilling entered an early guilty plea and was sentenced to two years and six months in April 2016, while Duffy pleaded not guilty.

Duffy was sentenced on March 17 to three years and eight months in prison, backdated to November 2016.

The robbery happened on September 10, 2015 at 2.30pm when Duffy and Shilling went to a pharmacy on Wattlebird Way, Baldivis.

Both had on sunglasses and were wearing hoodies over their heads.

Customers were present in the store, although none were threatened by the pair.

Shilling began a conversation with a female assistant about store products before showing her an uncapped syringe filled with blood.

“This is an armed hold-up. I need you to get me what I want. If I don’t get what I want I will hit you with it. It’s full of blood and it’s HIV positive,” Shilling said.

The assistant said in a statement Shilling put the syringe close to her but put it down when urged to do so.

However, Shilling did indicate she had another syringe in her pocket.

Duffy approached the service counter, armed with a blood-filled syringe and knife and demanded money and drugs from other staff members.

Shilling passed a shopping bag to be filled with drugs and cash; the pharmacist filled it with $600 in cash and three bottles of Antenex 5mg tablets (Diazepam).

The pair then began an argument with staff members in a bid to get more drugs.

They were unsuccessful and left in a blue Ford Falcon sedan.

After the pair left the pharmacy, the female assistant had a panic attack and collapsed.

The next day, September 11, the pair was driving along Leake Street in Peppermint Grove where they were stopped by police and arrested on suspicion of the pharmacy hold-up.

At Shilling’s April 2016 trial, Justice Ralph Simmonds said Shilling had had a long history of drug issues and had been traumatised by the death of her child.

He said the offence breached a suspended imprisonment order imposed on Shilling on May 6, 2014 for two counts of demanding property with threats.

He said she had gone to the same pharmacy in Northam on separate occasions threatening staff in order to get drugs.

One of those occasions, she passed the attendant a note asking for different amounts of OxyContin and told him she had a bomb strapped to her waist.

She lifted her shirt to reveal a black box with batteries and a red flashing light strapped to her waist.

Justice Simmonds said Shilling had co-operated with police but the sentence needed to reflect personal and general deterrence.

However, he said her mental state at the time would not have clouded her judgement.

“The mental condition that you were suffering under did not go to your capacity to distinguish right from wrong,” he said.

At Duffy’s sentencing at the Supreme Court on March 17, Judge Paul Tottle said both general and personal deterrence were sentencing considerations.

“The offence you committed was serious. I have already referred to the serious view that the courts take of armed robberies committed using blood-filled syringes,” he said.

“Together with Shilling, you subjected (the female assistant) to a terrifying ordeal that has left her with lasting emotional and psychological injuries.

“The offending is so serious that a sentence of imprisonment to be served immediately is the only appropriate sentence.”

He said Duffy would be eligible for parole and believed she had a low risk of re-offending.