A man who stole a kitten on Christmas Day has been jailed for 15 weeks.

James Boyce, 31, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty on March 27 to stealing a kitten from a flat in Bovingdon Lane in Colindale and threatening the occupant on Christmas Day, 2013.

The court heard that Boyce later gave his mother a smoky grey coloured ten-month-old kitten for Christmas which he said he had bought from a shop in Harrow.

Later that day, his mother’s neighbour reported a burglary at her flat, in which a grey cat called Mercy was stolen.

Officer found Boyce in his bed asleep with Mercy alongside him.

The cat was returned to her owner and Boyce was arrested for the theft and making threats.

He was sentenced to 15 weeks' imprisonment for each offence, with the jail terms running concurrently.

Detective Constable Yogini Patel said: "Fortunately Mercy has not been harmed during her festive ordeal and has been returned to her owner unscathed. We take all reports of burglary very seriously were able to act quickly to identify the culprit in this case. Mercy the cat has made a full recovery and is now helping to control smaller local pests in his happy home."