Drug addict who threatened Doncaster pharmacy workers with syringe is jailed

Harry Chappell has been jailed threatened pharmacy staff at Boots in Thorne with a syringe
Harry Chappell has been jailed threatened pharmacy staff at Boots in Thorne with a syringe
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A 31-year-old drug addict, who threatened to attack workers at a Doncaster pharmacy with a syringe when they attempted to stop him from stealing make-up, has been jailed for over three years.

During the sentencing yesterday Sheffield Crown Court was told how a female worker at the Boots Pharmacy in Finkle Street, Thorne spotted Harry Chappell entering the store as she went to leave for a break on October 25 last year.

Due to Chappell, of Lime Tree Grove, Thorne, being known as a persistent shoplifter at the store, the worker turned around and began to follow the 31-year-old at a distance.

Prosecutor Katherine Goddard told the court: "She saw him approach a display of make-up.

"The defendant opened the drawer and was seen placing items from the drawer into his draw-string bag.

"She told him to stop, and to put the items back; at which point he turned, faced her and pulled out a syringe.

"He told her to get back and said he would stab her if she did not.

"Unsurprisingly, she stepped back and he left the store.

"The robbery was witnessed by other staff members, one of whom believed she saw blood in the syringe."

Chappell was arrested by police the following day, and admitted to one count of robbery in relation to the incident at a previous hearing.

Ms Goddard told the court how the three female members of staff who witnessed the robbery said they had all been affected by the incident in victim impact statements they gave to the police.

She said: "Each of the three ladies describe the feelings of fear and shock. One lady describes feeling intimidated. One describes being concerned about returning to work in that place.

"Another speaks of waking up in the night and thinking about what happened."

Defending Chappell, Richard Hague told the court that following a recent prison stint the 31-year-old had begun to turn his life around by starting a new job, a new relationship and by attempting to put the drug addiction that had blighted his life behind him.

However, following the break-down of the relationship Mr Hague said the 31-year-old 'no doubt in self pity' had begun taking amphetamines again.

Mr Hague said: "He started taking too many amphetamines, and he has been frank about this.

"He said he never intended to inflict violence."

Recorder David Kelly sentenced Chappell to 40 months in prison, as well as an additional 24 months on license - due to the Recorder believing the 31-year-old posed a risk to the public.

He told Chappell: "By your own account you were desperate to raise the funds to feed your addiction to amphetamines. You brandished a needle stack at staff when they challenged you when you were in the process of stealing a number of items.

"By brandishing the needle the clear implication of which was if they did not allow you to continue you would stab them."