A HEROIN addict was offered a chance to get off drugs by a judge yesterday, after he admitting burglary and theft offences to feed his habit.

David Williamson, 21, pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to burgling a house in Jenkins Drive, Bishop Auckland, and twice shoplifting from a Marks and Spencer store.

Aisha Wadoodi, prosecuting, said Williamson was barred from the shop because he became a persistent nuisance and had been in prison before.

On June 4, he stole 12 pink T-shirts, and on June 20 he took trousers worth £225.

The same day, he was seen entering a house in Jenkins Drive through a kitchen window, where he stole a mountain bike.

Deborah Sherwin, mitigating, said the thefts were to fund the father-of-one's two-year heroin addiction.

Judge John Walford said he was prepared to offer Williamson, of Proudfoot Drive, Bishop Auckland, a drug treatment and testing order instead of sending him back to jail.

"If I was not to give you that chance I would be sending you to prison for a long time," he said.

"But it's up to you now."

The case was adjourned until October 20 so that Williamson's suitability for an order could be assessed.