A WOMAN’S plan to give her boyfriend a Playstation and games for Christmas failed when a delivery courier left the package with her neighbour.

Instead of handing it over when the rightful owner returned home, neighbour Steven Gordon Thomas Blythe, 36, gave it to his own son as a Christmas present, York Crown Court heard.

Helen Wheatley, prosecuting, said the woman had to give evidence against Blythe because the 36-year-old, who has 31 previous convictions for dishonesty, denied theft, but he was convicted at a trial before magistrates, who sent him to York Crown Court because he was on a suspended prison sentence for a garage burglary at the time of the theft.

Judge Shaun Spencer QC gave him a three-month curfew, and decided against making him serve the nine-month prison sentence imposed for the burglary, but added a requirement that he live at the Peasholme Centre for the homeless or as arranged by its staff. The suspended sentence remains in force until next April.

Blythe’s barrister, Kate Batty, said his offences were caused by his drug and alcohol habits, but he was kicking them with the help of the Peasholme Centre and his offending had slowed down.

Ms Wheatley said the woman had bought the Playstation and computer games for £370 from a Littlewoods catalogue and had expected it to be delivered to her flat in The Groves on Christmas Eve. But it came two days earlier when she was out, and the courier put a card through her door, saying he had left it at Blythe’s flat in the same block.

When she knocked on Blythe’s door, no one answered, and after repeated visits failed to get him to answer, she told police and Littlewoods what had happened.

Ms Batty said although Blythe was overcoming his problems “perhaps old habits die hard” and he had yielded to temptation when presented with an opportunity.