A judge has said he expects to be pilloried after letting a serial burglar walk free from court, having said it showed "courage" to break into homes.
Richard Rochford, 26, faced two-and-a-half years in prison following a series of break-ins in Redcar and Cleveland, North Yorks.
But Judge Peter Bowers said: "It takes a huge amount of courage to burgle somebody's house. I wouldn't have had the nerve."
He added: "Prison very rarely does anybody any good."
Instead he handed down a two year supervision order, community service and a year's driving ban at Teeside Crown Court.
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