A West Yorkshire man has been sentenced to more than three and a half years in prison after carrying out a knifepoint robbery in a West Yorkshire pharmacy that left staff 'shaken', police has reported.

Anjum Zaffer, 41, of Akeds Road in Halifax, was sentenced to 40 months in jail for robbery and a further six months for possession of a bladed article, West Yorkshire police said last week (11 January).

The sentence came after Mr Zaffer in August pressured pharmacy staff at Heath Pharmacy in Halifax into giving him prescription drugs and a small amount of cash after threatening them with a kitchen knife.


‘Quite shaken up’


Heath Pharmacy pharmacy manager Amanda Smith told The Pharmacist in August that the robbery, which occurred in broad daylight, left her team quite ‘shaken up’.

She said that a man ‘quite covered up with ‘a scarf over his head, a hoody and a big long coat’ and ‘holding a knife’ walked in the pharmacy before telling the team to open the drugs cabinet.

Ms Smith added that the man took some drugs, including methadone and diazepam, from the cabinet before putting them in a carrier bag. The man also told the staff to hand over the amount of cash that was in the till, which she said totalled £40.

West Yorkshire police said last week that a scarf and gloves were found shortly after the robbery by a local resident in their dustbin.

The police continued: ‘Both contained a DNA profile leading to Mr Zaffer. The scarf also proved to have a distinctive pattern, which was highlighted on CCTV footage.’


‘Shocking crime’


Detective inspector Gary Stephenson of the Calderdale criminal investigation department said: ‘Mr Zaffer carried out his shocking crime with no regard for the impact his actions would have on his victims and I hope the fact he is now safely behind bars will offer them, as well as the wider community, some comfort.

‘I would also like to offer my thanks to the member of the public who assisted us in the case and it just goes to show that reporting suspicious instances can make a real difference.’