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  1. #1
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    NZ Pharmacist: 'I put a fair bit of pressure on his neck'

    This guy, at 68, is very lucky to be alive; don't expect an old bloke like this to fight back.

    'I put a fair bit of pressure on his neck'
    By Rachel Tiffen
    5:30 AM Wednesday Sep 1, 2010


    Pharmacist Grant Gillard demonstrates on his son Matthew the hold he used to subdue Bruce Jones during last week's burglary.

    Grant Gillard stood alone in his pharmacy. A hole had been smashed in the back door, the alarm keypad had been ripped off and the power was out. Goods and rubbish were strewn everywhere.

    But there was no sign of the intruder, so he'd sent the security guard home.

    The 68-year-old was trying to reboot the computer when he realised he hadn't checked the storage room.

    "I took a few steps and at first nothing appeared to be amiss," he told the Herald yesterday in an exclusive account of last Tuesday's fatal struggle at his Mt Albert pharmacy.

    Then he saw career criminal Bruce Allan Jones, hooded and dressed in black, hiding in a tiny space behind some shelves.

    "I said 'Look the game's up just relax', but he wasn't inclined to relax and there was a violent struggle," Mr Gillard said.

    The pair wrestled, the pharmacist swearing at first, his opponent saying nothing.

    "He didn't say a single word the whole time."

    They were locked in a bear-hug when both saw a spanner on the floor.

    When the burglar managed to grab it, Mr Gillard thought he was done for.

    "I knew the police weren't coming, I knew the guard had gone ... I really thought I was in serious trouble," he said. "I thought he only has to clock me once and it will all be over ... Your life really does flash before your eyes in that situation."

    Jones was swinging wildly, but didn't land any hits. Then Mr Gillard managed to get him in a headlock.

    "I had him like this," he said, demonstrating with adult son Matthew Gillard at home in Remuera yesterday. "Under my arm ..."

    Mr Gillard told Jones to drop the spanner and he did.

    "I put a fair bit of pressure on his neck so he would have been very uncomfortable," he said.

    He dragged Jones with him as he went to the phone to call wife Vera at home - the only number he could remember - pleading for her to call police.

    "I got this phone call, and I will hear it until the day I die, saying 'Get the police, get the police' and then the phone went down," Mrs Gillard said yesterday.

    Minutes later he phoned again because no one had come.

    "It was 'Ring the security company, the police haven't got here."

    All the while Jones was silent, locked under Mr Gillard's armpit.

    "You would think if he was having trouble breathing he would be making noises," Mr Gillard said.

    When police arrived six or seven minutes later, Mr Gillard said "Get cuffs on him".

    "Then I released him and he just collapsed on the carpet. He was looking very pale and not breathing, so they commenced CPR on him."

    But Jones could not be revived.

    As Vera and Matthew Gillard drove in from Remuera they feared the worst.

    "We didn't know if he was alive or dead," said Matthew Gillard, who has extended his visit from Japan because of the attack.

    "You should have seen the colour of him, he was grey," said Mrs Gillard.

    As radio stations reported the death of a middle-aged man at the pharmacy that morning, relatives phoned to check it wasn't Mr Gillard.

    Police are waiting on the results of a toxicology report to determine how Jones died after a post mortem examination was inconclusive.

    Resting at home on doctor's orders - despite manning the pharmacy counter for the re-opening on Saturday - Mr Gillard sat behind a table full of flowers and cards yesterday.

    The family has been overwhelmed by support from friends, family and strangers.

    After more than a dozen break-ins, Mr Gillard said he would defend himself again.

    "Definitely. I'm not concerned about it," he said. "I've given police a factual account of what's happened ... I didn't set out to have this result and it was in self defence and you've got to look after your own interests in that situation."

    Mrs Gillard was relieved her husband was okay, but said "there are no winners in this".

    "It's not like he [Jones] has gone in there to murder anyone. It's a burglary gone wrong and that's the sad thing about it all," she said.

    The couple, who bought the pharmacy in 1969, had no thought of shutting up shop.

    Said Mrs Gillard: "We can't let somebody like this change our entire lives. We have been working for 41 years, it's a long time."

  2. #2
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    and now the silly part, and there are a few recent precedents in NZ of shopkeepers and home owners being charged for defending themselves/property

    No jury likely to convict pharmacist - expert
    By DAVID GADD -
    Stuff Last updated 13:18 01/09/2010

    Police have yet to decide if they will charge Mr Gillard. A spokeswoman today said it could be weeks before a decision is made.

    But Auckland University law professor Warren Brookbanks says if Mr Gillard goes before the courts a jury is unlikely to ever convict.

    Mr Gillard could plead self defence and given the facts he has outlined, he was entitled to use force to defend himself.

    FULL ARTICLE: No jury likely to convict pharmacist - expert | Stuff.co.nz

  3. #3
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    It is disturbing that the justice system is even having to debate whether or not to charge a guy who was confronted in his own shop, which had just been trashed and robbed, by a violent criminal armed with a wrench capable of killing him. Simply absurd. Even more idiotic as it was unintentional, and, in fear of his life, he was simply restraining the criminal until the cops finally showed up. The guy should get a medal.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by genghis61 View Post
    and now the silly part, and there are a few recent precedents in NZ of shopkeepers and home owners being charged for defending themselves/property

    No jury likely to convict pharmacist - expert
    By DAVID GADD -
    Stuff Last updated 13:18 01/09/2010

    Police have yet to decide if they will charge Mr Gillard. A spokeswoman today said it could be weeks before a decision is made.

    But Auckland University law professor Warren Brookbanks says if Mr Gillard goes before the courts a jury is unlikely to ever convict.

    Mr Gillard could plead self defence and given the facts he has outlined, he was entitled to use force to defend himself.

    FULL ARTICLE: No jury likely to convict pharmacist - expert | Stuff.co.nz
    They probably got that punch line from the Brit bhb.

  5. #5
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    ^ just to clarify my post #2 - tendency has been for police to let courts decide rather than make a decision themselves. Puts a lot of stress on the shopkeeper or homeowner, this guy had run the same shop for 41 years.

    as far as I know only one actually got convicted, a 50yr old Auckland businessman who took a knife with him, he chased a 15 year old who had been tagging his property for 300m, they had a fight and the tagger died, he got 4yrs.

    Found this article:
    Time and time again the Police charge shop keepers who defend themselves against armed invaders. Remember Greg Carvill who was prosecuted for shooting a machete wielding invader. I suppose he should have just handed all his guns over to him.

    Now we have Virender Singh who is being prosecuted for using a hockey stick against some armed intruders – they had a knife and fence paling and actually stabbed Singh and his cousin as they were trying to hold him down until Police came.

    Store owners in parts of Auckland are terrified of being attacked. An Avondale dairy owner was stabbed in his neck and back yesterday. A nearby owner who has been robbed four times comments:

    Mr Lochan, 61, said he had been robbed four times, and he was concerned that shopkeepers were not allowed to protect themselves.

    “When we protect ourselves, we get charged – and if we don’t we get stabbed. What do we do?” he asked.

    Also later in the story:

    While police were investigating the stabbing, they were called to a store in nearby Bremner Ave, Mt Roskill, where two youths threatened a shop owner with a knife.
    The right to self defence | Kiwiblog

    The Greg Carvill one was a good example - idiot with a machete tries to hold up a gun shop - wanted firearms not money. Shop-owner shot him. (What's the saying about 'taking a knife to a gunfight'). He was charged but found not guilty.

    The Varender Singh - he knew how to use a hockey stick, gave them a good hiding when they robbed his shop, and he got charged for it. Again, not guilty, but ridiculous he had to go through a trial process.

    World gone mad.

  6. #6
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    The career criminal finally ended up with a life sentence.

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    If that was England they would be setting up the gallows to hang the murderer of poor thief. Lets hope the Kiwis are a bit more sensible and give the guy a medal and a nice big calibre gun for the next time.

  8. #8
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    updated here: Pharmacist won't be charged over death http://teakdoor.com/the-teakdoor-lou...ils-in-nz.html (Sanity prevails in NZ)

  9. #9
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    I remember 50 yrs ago there was a guy who owned a country fuel station out side Christchurch, he got tired of getting done over and sat in wait with a Shot gun, he shot a couple of would be thieves in the arse.
    Of course the cops said you can't do that Charlie. His response was predicable, my property and I will defend it by shooting anyone that tries to take it off me.
    Not very PC these days, but my Dad never was.
    There can’t be good living where there is not good drinking

  10. #10
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    any lawyers out there willing to comment.

  11. #11
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    The cops here are pretty good about self defense, legally you are allowed to use reasonable force, if you feel your life is in danger., but this does not extend to accidental manslaughter.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy the kid View Post
    any lawyers out there willing to comment.
    As long as the money keeps dropping in their lap I don't think they care much..?

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