Drug addict ram-raided pharmacy

A DRUG addict who used a hospital van to ram-raid an Ipswich pharmacy was found unconscious on the premises after “gorging” himself on stolen drugs, a court has heard.

A DRUG addict who used a hospital van to ram-raid an Ipswich pharmacy was found unconscious on the premises after “gorging” himself on stolen drugs, a court has heard.

Patrick O'Hara, 35, was released from custody late in the afternoon of October 4, with no money and nowhere to stay and went to St Clement's Hospital in Ipswich in a bid to get some help, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Once at the hospital he broke into an office and stole the keys to a Citroen van, which he used to ram the front entrance of the Woodbridge Road Pharmacy.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said O'Hara had deliberately and repeatedly driven the van at the porch entrance of the pharmacy to gain entry.


You may also want to watch:


Inside the pharmacy he had “gorged” himself on an unknown quantity of drugs and when police arrived on the scene they found him unconscious on the floor.

O'Hara, of Fuchsia Lane, Ipswich, was committed to the Crown Court for sentence for two offences of burglary, theft, taking a van without consent, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Most Read

He was jailed for two years to run consecutively with the unexpired portion of an earlier prison sentence, which amounted to 81 days. He was also banned from driving for three years.

Sentencing O'Hara, Judge John Devaux expressed concern that he had been released from Ipswich Magistrates' at 4pm on October 4 after serving a custodial sentence without any money and without anywhere to go that night.

He said the practice of issuing a cheque to newly-released prisoners was not practical if the banks were closed or the cheque was put in the post.

However he accepted that if newly released prisoners were given cash they could spend it immediately on drugs or alcohol.

He told O'Hara: “I am very concerned that someone in your condition apparently was simply permitted to leave the magistrates' court building without money and with nowhere to go.”

He said he did not criticise the magistrates in the case because it was not part of their function to take account of O'Hara's circumstances when they released him.

Judge Devaux said that O'Hara had caused a lot of damage to the van and to the pharmacy itself, which was rendered unsafe and had had to be examined by a structural engineer before repairs could be carried out.

Neil Macaulay, for O'Hara, said his client had been drug-free while on remand in prison and he was being treated for paranoid schizophrenia.

He said that after his release from the magistrates' court on October 4, O'Hara had gone to St Clement's Hospital to seek help.

jane.hunt@eadt.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus