A MAN who said he burgled his father's home to get back at him for lying about having cancer and not giving him a Christmas present, won his freedom yesterday.

Frederick William Smith, 22, of Porter Terrace, Murton, east Durham, was jailed for three years at Durham Crown Court, in April, after admitting burglary.

But London's Criminal Appeal court yesterday instead imposed a two-year drug treatment and testing order, as had been recommended in a pre-sentence report.

Describing the circumstances of the burglary as very unusual, Mr Justice Richards said at the time of the offence Smith had made real efforts to rid himself of heroin addiction.

In January, when his father and his girlfriend were asleep, Smith broke into his their house and stole property, including ornaments, CDs, cigarettes, his father's medication, the house keys and a mountain bike.

When arrested, he made full admission and all the property was recovered.

Mr Justice Richards heard there had been a breakdown in Smith's relationship with his father. He had fallen out with him, in part - the son said - because his father had lied to him about having cancer and having a few months to live.

Smith also said he was upset because he had not received a Christmas present from his father, although other family members had.

He said the burglary had been a way of getting back at his father, but it was committed in anger when he had taken alcohol on top of prescribed medication.

The judge concluded a drug and treatment testing order held out the best prospect for rehabilitation of Smith.