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Belfast pharmacist stabbed during aggravated burglary

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Belfast pharmacist stabbed during aggravated burglary

Police in Belfast are seeking help with their enquiries after a community pharmacist was stabbed in the hand during an aggravated burglary.

Conor McAreavey from Teague’s Pharmacy on Antrim Road in north Belfast sustained hand injuries after he became involved in a “scuffle” with a man who attempted to break through a Covid protection screen using a hammer.

The incident took place at around half past five on Saturday afternoon.

The man, who is described as being 6ft, of medium build and wearing a dark hooded jacket and black facemask, “again brandished his knife” at another man in the pharmacy before fleeing the scene.  

Mr McAreavey described the incident as part of a “trend,” after another north Belfast pharmacist was threatened with a knife in February.

He said that without the screens in place the attacker "would have been straight into the heart of the dispensary" and "could have taken anything he wanted".

He told BBC News: “We’re here on a Saturday providing a service to the community and it’s something that has to stop.

“It’s been happening all over north Belfast for the last couple of weeks and it’s just unacceptable.

“We are at the frontline here, we’re all exhausted after two years of Covid and now as things open up to have this start to happen again to us is just unacceptable and very worrying for the staff.”

Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland chief executive Gerard Greene said: "This was a horrible attack on a pharmacy team going about their normal job helping people on a Saturday afternoon. 

"We utterly condemn this behaviour. An attack on a local community pharmacy team impacts lots of people who rely on us."

"We would reiterate the call by the PSNI for anyone who witnessed anything to contact them or Crimestoppers."

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