Postman admits stealing from mail

A DISHONEST postman with 18 years service behind him has admitted stealing cash and gift tokens from birthday cards on his rounds in Suffolk.

Will Clarke

A DISHONEST postman with 18 years service behind him has admitted stealing cash and gift tokens from birthday cards on his rounds in Suffolk.

Kevin Allen, 46, of Manderston Road, Newmarket, appeared before magistrates in Bury St Edmunds yesterday and pleaded guilty to stealing money and vouchers worth �200, five DVDs, and two other parcels instead of delivering the items as he should have.

The court heard that the disgraced father of three had been caught after Royal Mail investigators planted packages and cards containing valuables into Allen's post bag and monitored what happened.

Hugh Cauthery, prosecuting for Royal Mail, said that Allen immediately confessed his thefts when confronted in September last year.

The former postman admitted not only taking the items placed by investigators but also stealing post destined for homes on his delivery round over a period of two years.

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Mr Cauthery said Allen had spotted DVDs by their shape and felt cards for their contents. He said the postman had helped himself to valuable mail destined for across Newmarket - putting some items in his sack even if they weren't for people on his round.

The prosecutor said Allen had committed “a continuing breach of trust in relation to not only his employer but also the public who still place trust in the service” - attacking the integrity of the postal services.

He said success of the �4,000 investigation had been reliant on a confession from an employee because it was difficult to prove when a person was stealing mail.

Jeremy Kendall, defending Allen, advised magistrates the offences did not pass the threshold for a custodial sentence and stressed his client had paid money back to Royal Mail.

Mr Kendall said: “He feels true remorse for what he has done. The stealing began when he got into financial difficulties following his divorce.

“He moved into a shared house with three other men, which he found difficult, so he moved into separate accommodation. It was then that he became - in his own words - 'skint'.

“When he took one DVD it became a habit, a habit he found disgusting - he said to me it was a relief when the Post Office came knocking on the door.”

Magistrates ordered an all options report for sentencing, warning Allen, who has no previous convictions; he still might face a jail term. The 46-year-old was given unconditional bail and told to return to the court on February 12 for sentencing.