A convicted burglar has been given six months as a "last chance" to turn his life away from drugs and his criminal offending.
Judge Neil Rafferty QC deferred sending Shane Lowry into immediate custody to allow him to seek professional treatment for his mental health and addiction issues.
But the Crown Court judge warned him: "This will be your last chance at rehabilitation. If you don't take it you will receive longer and longer prison sentences."
Lowry (31), of Richard Wallace Road in Lisburn, Co Antrim, pleaded guilty to burgling a pensioner's house, possession of cocaine and criminal damage.
Prosecution lawyer Simon Jenkins said the 71-year-old owner of a house on the Falls Road in west Belfast was alerted by a neighbour after hearing noises coming from the property, light being turned off and on, and seeing the "silhouette of a male" in the kitchen.
Police attended and a PSNI dog located Lowry hiding under a bush at the bottom of the garden. He was searched and a small bag of cocaine was found in his right sock and a 'No Smoking' sign was found on his person which was taken in the burglary.
The court heard that at the time of the burglary Lowry was out on licence from jail on another burglary offence.
Judge Rafferty agreed to defer sentence for six months on condition Lowry "stays out of trouble, stays off non-prescribed drugs and illicit substances, and co-operates fully with the Probation Service".