A BURGLAR has been spared jail to be present at the birth of his first child.
John Evans was caught stealing copper from an unoccupied house, Durham Crown Court heard.
Jane Waugh, defending, said: “Mr Evans has since been locked up be the magistrates for shoplifting and abstracting electricity.
“He is due for release from that sentence early in July, and he wants to be present at the birth of his son the following month.”
She added: “That could happen if this court would be minded to suspend the sentence for burglary.”
Evans, 26, of Snowdon Place, Peterlee, admitted burglary at Wadham Close in the County Durham town on April 1.
He has 20 previous convictions for theft and dishonesty.
The Recorder, Mr Neil Davey QC, sentenced Evans to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and made him the subject of a drugs rehabilitation order for six months.
The recorder told him: “We don’t have figures for the value of this burglary, but I accept the house was unoccupied.
“You have many convictions for offences of dishonesty, although this is your first offence of burglary.
“Your offending is motivated by the need to get money for drugs.
“I doubt you are capable of coming off the drugs on your own. This sentence is designed to help you do that.
“Just remember, if you offend again we still have plenty of spaces in prison for people who disobey court orders.”