A HOMELESS thief was chased off by pregnant women from an antenatal class.

Robert Pine, of Oxford Homeless Pathways in Luther Street, had sneaked into an antenatal class being held at the West Oxford Community Centre on December 11 and stole two purses.

The class had been taking a tea break and Pine was caught going through the expectant mums’ belongings and was chased off by members of the class.

He admitted nine counts of theft and one count of failing to surrender to custody yesterday at Oxford Magistrates’ Court.

Sarah Mackay, prosecuting, said the 29-year-old carried out most of the offences at off licences and convenience stores around Oxford between September last year and February this year.

Miss Mackay said Pine was addicted to Class A drugs, used £10 worth of heroin a day, and had stolen to fund his habit.

District Judge Tim Pattinson said he had no choice but to send the defendant to prison and noted he has 74 previous convictions for theft.

He said: “I have to remember that these were victims who would be caused an immense amount of distress by what you did.”

Pine received a 12-week prison sentence.