A BURGLAR ruined £10,000 worth of medicines when he broke into a Cardigan pharmacy, a judge heard today.

Pablo Oram, aged 35, left patients having to wait longer for their prescriptions to be fulfilled and one patient was considered to be at risk because the pharmacy did not have replacement stock.

Oram, of no fixed address, admitted burgling the Wells pharmacy at 59 Pendre on December 14.

Hannah George, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court how Oram had been drinking in the Dragon wine bar and was seen to leave about 8.20pm and to walk towards the pharmacy.

About 40 minutes later, an alarm sounded inside the shop and the occupant of a flat above telephoned the police.

They discovered a burglar had got in by smashing a door and stolen an unknown quantity of drugs but had also ransacked fridges containing prescriptions that had already been made up.

Miss George said the drugs could not be given to patients and had to be re-ordered.

Officers studied CCTV footage and although Oram had worn a hoodie it was still possible to identify him.

Police went to an address in Cardigan where he was staying and found the stolen drugs scattered on the living room carpet.

Oram’s barrister, Carina Hughes, said he wanted to apologise to all the patients who had to wait for their medicines.

After his arrest Oram told police the had missed his methadone, a heroin substitute, and had hoped to find some inside the pharmacy.

Judge Geraint Walters told Oram that chemists provided a vital service to the community.

“This was a huge loss. It was akin to ransacking. You emptied the fridges of medicines prescribed to other people,” he said.

Judge Walters added that with 31 previous convictions to his name, Oram had one for almost every year he had been alive.

“It is all about drugs and you have to change,” he said.

Oram was jailed for 16 months.