AN armed robber threatened a pharmacy assistant with a screwdriver — after being told he would have to wait two weeks for a prescription.

David O’Brien, of Wigan Road, Deane, carried out the armed robbery at Deane Pharmacy, in Horsefield Street, Deane, in “desperation for a craving” of methadone.

Lindsay Thomas, prosecuting, said a pharmacist’s assistant was working alone in the main part of the shop when a man wearing a black bobble hat came in at about 7pm on May 3.

Bolton Crown Court heard that O’Brien, aged 41, went behind the counter and grabbed the assistant in what she claims was a headlock.

He then held a screwdriver close to her face and said: “You are going to get stabbed. Where is the methadone?”

O’Brien took four bottles of methadone and said: “I am not a bad person” before leaving.

Police arrested O’Brien after he was identified from CCTV at the store.

The court heard yesterday that, when was interviewed, O’Brien said he suffered from depression and could not receive his medication for two weeks because of some confusion between his drug worker and his doctor.

Peter Horgan, defending, said it was not an unusual offence for a drug addict to seek methadone, but it was unusual for a man who had not been involved in anything similar before.

He said O’Brien wanted to apologise to his victim.

Sentencing, Judge Elliot Knopf said: “The incident must have been terrifying for the pharmacy assistant, who was there on the evening to provide a service to the community.

“The victim is now fearful it may happen again when she is working on her own. This was a serious offence.”

O’Brien admitted robbery and was jailed for three years and four months.