A DRUG addict broke down in tears as he was spared jail for stealing and selling his father’s collection of antique coins.

Matthew Kinnaird, 30, of Hazel Crescent, Oxford, admitted one count of theft and was sentenced on Tuesday at Oxford Crown Court.

Andrew Howarth, prosecuting, said the defendant entered his 78-year-old father’s house in Phelp Place, Oxford, in the middle of the night.

He told Judge Ian Pringle that Kinnaird, who was high on drugs at the time, helped himself to a bottle of wine and six rare coins worth about £3,000.

The barrister said these were kept inside a display case on a plinth and included a fifth century BC coin from Greece. Kinnaird sold them for £700.

Mr Howarth added that his father Duncan Kinnaird suffered from Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis, but had written to the court asking for his son not to be jailed.

Peter Du Feu, defending, said his client had been a drug addict from the age of 18 and relapsed after almost kicking his habit. He said that Kinnaird, who broke down in tears as he was speaking, had a history of stealing to fund his addiction but considered this crime to be “the worst thing he has ever done”.

Judge Pringle sentenced Kinnaird to a community order with drug rehabilitation treatment for six months, supervision for 12 months and a three-month curfew.