A third-strike burglar from Northamptonshire with 61 offences to his name at the age of 19, was given six months to get his life in order by a judge.
Police found serial criminal Lee Osborne, of Desborough, had stolen a car from a driveway in Rushden on August 11 last year, because he left the stolen vehicle parked outside a friend's house.
The offence marked the third house burglary on Osborne's record, which would usually class as a "third strike" in legal terms and would see a defendant given a harsher sentence under the rule.
But at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, judge Timothy Smith deferred Osborne's sentence until July, to give the teenager a chance to work with probation services for the first time and "put his life right."
The judge said: "It may be a decision I come to regret, but I hope I don't.
"I'm going to defer the sentence for six months."
And turning to the probation officer in court, judge Smith said: "I hope that gives you time to do some proper work with him."
Defending for Osborne, Emily Howe said the teenager had become addicted to class A drugs at a young age and suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), both of which, she said, contributed to his regular offending.
Osborne had been on remand at HMP Woodhill since August last year and had recently been "stabbed" by a fellow inmate, according to Miss Howe.
The defendant was also due to be sentenced on two counts of handling stolen goods in relation to a Honda motorcycle and Vauxhall Insignia found at his home address following his arrest.
But Osborne must now stick to a Substance to Solution course to combat his drug addiction, attend probation service meetings and stay out of trouble until July 28. He will remain on an electronically tagged curfew at his mother's house in Rushden until then.
If he fails to stick to the order, judge Smith warned the teenager he would likely be sent back to jail.