Eighteen-year-old Jake Collis was given a 32-week jail sentence, suspended for 18 weeks, for his part in a burglary. He will also have to apologise to the family whose house he broke into.
Collis was among five people who broke into the house in Earley, near Reading, last April, knowing the house to be empty. They took items including jewellery and the keys to a car.
He also admitted to a second count of burgling a camping store in Reading town centre.
However, his defence said that there were mitigating circumstances and that he was very sorry for what he had done. At the time of the incident, Collis had no fixed accommodation, having been thrown out by his stepfather at the age of 14.
Reading Crown Court accepted that he had put the incident behind him after being taken in by his girlfriend’s family and starting work as a trainee butcher. It also took into account his age and that this was his first criminal conviction.
Judge John Reddihough said: “I am persuaded – but only just – that I can make this a suspended sentence.”