Manama: A Bahraini court has sentenced a thief to six months in prison and ordered him to pay the price of the stolen valuables in order to avoid actually going to jail, newspaper Akhbar Al Khaleeg reported on Monday. The ruling is based on a 2017 law that authorises courts in the kingdom to issue other penalties replacing imprisonment.

The offender was convicted of having broken into a house whose residents were away in January in the North Province and stealing several household items including a TV, two laptops and a satellite receiver, according to the report.

The burglar was caught by locals after a neighbour sought their help.

The suspect, whose name was not disclosed, admitted to the act. The court convicted him on thievery and gave him one month to pay 2,270 Bahraini dinars in damages to the victim; otherwise the jail sentence against him will be final.

Earlier this month, Bahraini King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa directed “effective application” of the 2017 law on alternative penalties, a move further boosting human rights in the country. The law aims at reintegrating offenders into society.