Post office worker is jailed

A POST office worker who stole £17,000 from his employers to fund an "ostentatious" lifestyle has been jailed for nine months.Ashley Last, 22, of Farriers Road, Stowmarket, admitted two charges of theft and dishonesty during November and February while working at Hardwick Lane post office in Bury St Edmunds.

A POST office worker who stole £17,000 from his employers to fund an "ostentatious" lifestyle has been jailed for nine months.

Ashley Last, 22, of Farriers Road, Stowmarket, admitted two charges of theft and dishonesty during November and February while working at Hardwick Lane post office in Bury St Edmunds.

Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday how Last had been working at the post office, earning about £100 a week, for about 11 months to gain management experience.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, told the court Last was able to take cash out of the safe and account for that money on a computer.


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"About November he started to help himself to sums of cash on a regular basis and in order to cover up the thefts he would merely falsely account for the cash at the end of the day which would cover him up for taking the money.

"When he was not working and knew that other people were dealing with his stock, he would say the cash had been sent to the Dartford cash centre."

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Mr Gair added that checks with the centre in Dartford revealed no cash had been received.

The offence came to light in February when the area manager started to look at the books and noticed serious discrepancies, the court heard.

Mr Gair said during police interview that Last admitted what he had done and said he had spent the money on alcohol, CDs and an "ostentatious" lifestyle.

Stephen Dyble, mitigating, said his client was of previous good character and had not committed a sophisticated fraud.

"It was done in such an amateurish way, inevitably when the shortfalls were realised the matter would be looked into, and would be discovered."

Sentencing Last, Judge Peter Thompson said: "You managed to spend £1,000 per week out of the post office money on top of the salary you were earning and couldn't explain anything, except you frittered it away."

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