A man on licence from a life sentence for an armed robbery at a pharmacy struck again at another chemist - and is now back behind bars.
Michael Flaherty, who received the life sentence in 2005, has been recalled to prison after targeting a pharmacy in Rainhill and demanding “dazzles and pregabs” while armed with a hammer.
A judge has now jailed 47-year-old Flaherty for five years four months after he admitted raiding Longsters Pharmacy in Rainhill on August 26, 2016.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that he went into the Warrington Road premises with a scarf wrapped around his lower face to disguise his features and produced a hammer from his hoodie and said, ‘I’m going to rob you’.
“The staff froze and he went behind the counter and said, ‘this is how it is. You are getting robbed, give ups the dazzles and pregabs,” said Chris Taylor, prosecuting.
The court heard that ‘dazzies’ are diazepam and ‘pregabs’ are pregabalin, an anti-convulsion medication.
The locus pharmacist handed over boxes of the drugs which Flaherty put into his distinctive red CEX duffle bag. Staff ignored his request for morphine and asked to hand over their mobile phones they told him they were not allowed to have them.
He then went to the phone landline and used a craft knife to cut it but while doing so accidentally cut the strings of his duffle bag and Flaherty, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs or in withdrawal, stamped on the bag and stormed off, said Mr Taylor.
However he was quickly back asking for the CCTV coverage but left empty handed when told they could not access it. The police were informed and in an alleyway officers found clothing and the CEX bag containing a hammer and craft knife. DNA found on the items linked them to the defendant, he added.
He was arrested at his then home in Newsham Drive, Liverpool in December that year and he made no comment in interview.
The court heard that his convictions include a robbery in 2000 as well as the one in 2005 for which he got the life sentence.
Anthony O’Donohoe, defending, said that Flaherty, of no fixed address, accepted he is a danger when on drugs. As well as admitting the robbery he admitted two offences of possessing offensive weapons and criminal damage.
The judge, Recorder Timothy Hannam, QC, said that it must have been “terrifying” for the staff at the premises which was a local community asset.