A DRUG addict who stole an iPhone and a laptop from his housemate has been given a reprieve by an Oxford judge.

Kevin Hardman, of no fixed abode, had been due to be sentenced for the thefts on Thursday, however, Judge Zoe Smith said she would defer his punishment while he works to overcome his drug habit.

The court heard how the 45-year-old had taken an iPhone 4 with a promise to pay his housemate for it at a later date, while the laptop was taken without permission as Hardman left his lodgings in Oxford, while still owing rent in May last year.

He had also been accused of pawning an iPod which had been lent to him by his housemate.

Serial offender Hardman, had denied burglary and theft claiming his loot had been given to him as a gift.

However he was found guilty of one count of theft, and one count of burglary by a jury following a two-day trial earlier this month.

He was though acquitted of the iPod theft.

You can read read more about his conviction here

The court was told, however, that since last year, Hardman had secured a room at Simon House - a sheltered accommodation service in Oxford which does not allow drug or alcohol use, while also engaging well with rehabilitation service Turning Point.

Judge Zoe Smith pointed that Hardman had 134 convictions to his name - 75 for theft.

She said: "Until you deal with your substance abuse this will just continue.

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Deferring the sentencing to July 5 where it will be taken on by Judge Peter Ross, Judge Smith told Hardman he must live crime-free; continue to attend Turning Point and take steps to find 'appropriate employment'.

Judge Smith added: "If you comply with this I suppose Judge Ross will not impose an immediate sentence of imprisonment. If you were to fail, I would be a custodial sentence to be served."