Carbonear man pleads guilty to armed robbery

Terry Roberts
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Michael Brian Bowman to be sentenced April 12

Michael Brian Bowman of Carbonear is seen outside provincial court in Harbour Grace today (Feb 25).

A Carbonear man has entered guilty pleas on four charges in connection with a brazen daylight armed robbery at a pharmacy in South River on Aug. 20, 2012.

Michael Brian Bowman will be sentenced on April 12.

Bowman, who turned 26 on Sept. 19, has been in custody since the incident, which occurred at Baccalieu Trail Pharmacy at mid-morning.

During an appearance at provincial court in Harbour Grace today (Feb. 25), Bowman pleaded guilty to the following charges:

• use of a firearm in committing a robbery;

• being disguised with intent;

• pointing a firearm;

• and possessing a weapon or imitation for a dangerous purpose.

Two other charges were conditionally withdrawn. They are: using a firearm in the commission or attempted commission of an indictable offence, and carelessly using a firearm or ammunition.

A pre-sentence report will also be completed.

Bowman had waived his right to a bail hearing, and has now served roughly five months in custody.

Bowman, his hands cuffed, seemed in good spirits during his appearance, smiling and chatting with court officials. Afterwards, while smoking a cigarette outside the court, he was observed chatting pleasantly with what appeared to be family and friends.

Bowman has been remanded into custody until his sentencing, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

Terrifying incident

According to the RCMP, a masked man carrying a rifle entered Baccalieu Trail Pharmacy on Aug. 20, marched to the rear of the building, pointed a rifle at the pharmacist and demanded a specific prescription drug.

According to owner Linda Sesk, the pharmacist complied and threw the drugs on the floor near the suspect.

"He pointed the gun directly at the pharmacist," Sesk later told The Compass. "It was all over very quickly."

There were five employees in the store at the time, though it's not believed any customers witnessed the incident.

Bowman fled the scene in a car — a white Mitsubishi Lancer — and was later observed travelling towards Bay Roberts on Veterans Memorial Highway.

Officers with the Trinity Conception District RCMP later stopped the car at the access road to Harbour Grace, where an arrest was made without incident.

A loaded .22 calibre rifle was found in the vehicle.

Sesk later described Bowman as a “very desperate young person who couldn't get a prescription filled, and needed it right away."

Sesk said her employees were “terrified” by the incident.

Police described the incident as a “desperate, dangerous and violent act,” and suggested Bowman had an “addiction issue.”

Bowman had no criminal record prior to the incident.

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Recent comments

  • Nice try..
    March 04, 2013 - 17:28

    If you're trying to portray Michael as someone with no remorse for his actions, try again. Anyone who knows him knows that the person you're trying to portray IS NOT Michael. I guess whatever it takes to sell papers.. Wouldn't anyone be smiling when seeing their family and an old childhood friend (the court official) after spending 6 months behind bars (including Christmas and your birthday) for something that you deeply regret with every ounce of your being? Just because he was "seemed in good spirits.. smiling and chatting.. pleasantly talking" doesn't make him any less remorseful. He has sat for SIX MONTHS (NOT five) tearing himself up over the mistake he's made and the people he's hurt. I for one am happy to see him smiling. He's too good of a soul to let this ruin him. If anyone can be rehabilitated for anything it's Michael. After everything that's happened with him I'm glad that he can find it in him to even fake a smile; let alone actually smile. Not to mention that "smiling" in public means NOTHING.. No one knows what he goes through behind closed doors.. My God, make no wonder this town is so bad for gossip and fictional stories.. Look at the crowd starting these perceptions! Don't read too much into this people, this is NOT a man who commits a crime like this and feels no remorse about it. This is a man who had a drug addiction that took him down an unbelievable road. This "brazen" attack doesn't imply that he was actually brazen at all. In fact it paints quite a different picture- it shows how hopelessly desperate he was. Who, in their right mind, would go to rob a pharmacy in broad daylight?? Even the actual career criminals would not do that. A well planned, thoroughly thought out crime would never take place in these circumstances. It wasn't "brazen"; it was the heights of desperation. Please don't judge this man by this is attempting to portray. I know, this is a small town with nothing in it and this may be a "red hot story' and you are only stating/interpreting what you witnessed but you could be a little more sensitive about it. OF COURSE he's going to be chatting pleasantly with his family.. What'd you expect him to do?? Throw a fit?? Be crying?? You don't think he's done enough of that already?? It's not like it was his sentencing. And you may not even see it then- he knows and has accepted what he has done as wrong; he's denied his bail hearing twice (where's the front page article on THAT? I guess that doesn't portray him as a savage, remorseless criminal so it wasn't a red-hot story). Let me assure you that if there's ANYONE out there who feels remorse for his actions it's Michael. A smile doesn't mean he doesn't feel sorry for his actions. And you'd think that'd be common sense but in a small town such a this people run with rumors and I just want it out there that looks are definitely deceiving and this paper is trying to deceive you. If you want to write about action and red hot stories then go to a place that has them. Don't sit in fishbowl Carbonear and make assumptions on someone else's appearance and publish these for the public to see. ON THE FRONT PAGE?!! WOW this place really doesn't have any other actual "news" stories to publish if a man who was making a plea made the front page!!! Can't wait to see the coverage for the sentencing! You should be ashamed of yourself. It seems to me that you're the one with no remorse; incorrectly portraying a man whose family has gone through h**l this past year. How do you think this makes them feel? Did you consider how this may affect anyone close to the man? These words may not have the impact that a gun would have but they're still "horrific". These drugs are the devil and you never know when this problem will end up in your back yard. It doesn't discriminate on young, old, rich or poor. It happened to Michael and it can happen to anyone. The hardest part to grasp is that they're LEGAL. They come from our trusted doctors who, in some cases, are nothing more than glorified drug dealers. I sure hope that the judge is more experienced and educated in judging someone's personality/appearance and understanding true remorse. The Compass should consider writing a piece on him denying his bail hearings. Only then could Michael's true character be understood and the people who don't know him would get an accurate portrayal. Those of us who know him or even know of him know the person that he actually is- not what the drugs made him do that day. We know that although this article may portray him as having no remorse, we know that he is and forever will be sorry for what he's done.