Shop raider brandished pair of scissors and shouted 'I'm going to kill you'

Medicines should always be bought from a registered pharmacy, the government says. Picture: SARAH LU

Arnie Nelson burst into the Guildhall Pharmacy in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

A man who ransacked a Suffolk chemists and threatened staff with a pair of scissors has been jailed for 10 months.

Arnie Nelson burst into the Guildhall Pharmacy in Lower Baxter Street, Bury St Edmunds at around noon on February 19 shouting: “I’m going to kill you all,” Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He pulled down shelves and knocked things over before running behind the counter and ripping out computers, said Donal Lawlor, prosecuting.

He then punched an assistant in the face and, when she bent down to pick up her glasses, she noticed that Nelson was holding a pair of open scissors - which he used to make stabbing motions towards her and another member of staff.

Nelson had also pushed over a man who tried to distract his attention away from staff and had threatened to burn down the building.

Nelson, 30, of The Vinefields, Bury St Edmunds, admitted affray, assault by beating and having an article with a blade or point.

In addition to being jailed, he was banned from going to the Guildhall Pharmacy and Surgery and contacting people involved in the incident for five years.

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Sentencing Nelson, Recorder Sally O’Neill QC said the incident must have been “extremely frightening” for everyone caught up in it.

“You were threatening and behaving in a way that must have made them very scared for their safety,” said the judge.

Benedict Peers, for Nelson, said his client had been frustrated after moves between doctors’ surgeries resulted in a delay in his medication.

“On the day of the offences, he was without his medication and was extremely frustrated - although he accepts this is no excuse for his behaviour," said Mr Peers.

He said Nelson had been in a rage because he needed methadone and painkillers and felt no-one was listening to him.

He said Nelson had not committed any offences for ten years and had developed an addiction to prescribed opiate medication following surgery.

He said in 2017 Nelson had been targeted by two men who used his address for drug dealing and gave him methadone in return.

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