A MAN who burst into a Witney home before threatening the owner to hand over drugs and cash has been spared jail.

Stephen Thompson, of Merganser Drive, Bicester, was ‘under pressure’ from drug dealers and it was this duress which led him to carry out the attempted robbery, Oxford Crown Court heard at a hearing in December.

The 35-year old - having admitted one count of attempted robbery at a flat at Wadard's Meadow - was then given six months to prove himself or face jail.

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At his deferred sentencing hearing held at the same court yesterday Judge Ian Pringle QC gave him a 15-month jail term for the offence, suspended for two years.

Thompson had gone to the Witney flat on November 21 2016 in a failed bid to steal cash and drugs after he was 'pressured' by drug dealers into repaying a drugs debt.

Previously his defence barrister Giles Newel had said that since the incident his client had made efforts to turn his life around, engaging in a number of courses aimed at tackling his offending.

Mr Newel called the incident at the flat a ‘grave error of judgement’ and said that Thompson had since secured a job in which he had been promoted and had newly become a father.

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Adjourning the case at the time the Judge said he would take the 'exceptional' course rather than imposing a jail term of up to 30 months.

He said in December: "Maybe Christmas has come early for you Mr Thompson, please take this chance, you will not get another one."

Yesterday he was given a suspended jail term and must pay a victim surcharge.