Carbonear man pleads guilty to armed robbery

Michael Brian Bowman to be sentenced April 12

Terry Roberts
Published on February 25, 2013
Michael Brian Bowman of Carbonear is seen outside provincial court in Harbour Grace in this Compass file photo. He was sentenced to five years in prison on Oct. 31.
Photo by Terry Roberts/The Compass

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Two other charges were conditionally withdrawn.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.