A SERIAL burglar has been told he will dodge jail if he can prove he is clear of drugs.

Former drug addict Billy Parry, 35, was caught red-handed by police while inside a house in Pegasus Road, Blackbird Leys, shortly before Christmas last year.

But despite having four previous convictions for burglary stretching back to 1994, Parry was given four months to complete a rehabilitation course.

Judge Anthony King adjourned sentencing at Oxford Crown Court on Friday — but warned the defendant he would be jailed if “reports are bad”.

Parry, now from Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary earlier this month.

Police were called to the burglary after neighbours heard noises coming from the house at about 3.45 am on December 13 last year.

Parry was arrested at the scene by officers. Nothing was taken from the property, which was empty because the owners were away on holiday.

Sophie Murray, defending, said her client has made “every attempt” to turn his life around.

She said: “He has complied with his rehabilitation project and taken every opportunity he has been given.

“Mr Parry has returned all negative drug tests and is making very good progress.

“He has demonstrated a very high level of determination and pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.

“A suspended sentence will help my client continue his progress.”

Judge King adjourned sentencing until September 23 and reserved the case to himself.

He said: “Looking at your abysmal record, I have some reservations, and I don’t know if you will fulfil your obligations.

“When I first read the papers in this case I thought a custodial sentence would be inevitable.

“The report from the rehabilitation project shows you have clear plans for what you are going to do with your life.

“If you come through the project I make this promise — I will not impose a custodial sentence. But if I get bad reports I most certainly will.”

Parry will have to provide regular drug samples over the next four months to prove he is clean.