Customer unleashes full fury on perspex screen in Falkirk pharmacy

A regular customer who has autism lost his temper when he visited a pharmacy for his medication and was confronted by a perspex screen at the counter.

By Court Reporter
Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:11 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:42 pm

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anthony Orchard (46) got into a heated argument with pharmacy staff, shouting and swearing at them and then began hitting the screen until he damaged it.

Orchard appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday having pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour at Lloyds Pharmacy, Thornhill Road, Falkirk on October 5, 2020.

Sean Iles, procurator fiscal depute, said: “It was 9.15am and the accused approached the till area of the pharmacy. He was not wearing a face mask. He was shouting in an aggressive manner saying ‘do you think this will make a difference' and swearing.

Orchard behaved in a threatening manner in Lloyds Pharmacy, Thornhill Road, Falkirk

"He started to repeatedly punch the perspex screen at the counter and was then asked to leave the premises. He swore at staff and continued to punch the perspex screen until it was damaged and then left the store.”

Defence solicitor John Mulholland said it was Orchard’s local pharmacy and he regularly attended there as he suffers from a “specific medical condition”.

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He added: “There was a conversation about the perspex screen. He suffers from autism and because there were a number of staff there it exacerbated the situation – when there is more than one person talking to him at one time.”

Sheriff Derek Livingston noted there were a number of staff present because of the way Orchard was acting.

"They would not have come over to him had he not been acting the way he was,” he said.

Mr Mulholland said: “The perspex screen triggered a reaction in him to become very upset and the people around him made it worse. He does regret his conduct and has very little recollection of the circumstances.”

It was stated Orchard still goes to the pharmacy regularly to collect his medication and was not barred from the premises as a result of this incident.

Sheriff Livingston noted Orchard, 58 Victoria Road, Falkirk, had “quite a number of convictions for disorderly conduct” and fined him £380 to be paid at £10 per week.