Postman denies stealing mail

A FORMER Ipswich postman has today pleaded not guilty to stealing or delaying 70,000 postal packages.

Russell Claydon

A FORMER Ipswich postman has today pleaded not guilty to stealing or delaying 70,000 postal packages.

Richard Appleby, of Cauldwell Hall Road, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich this morning accused of two charges related to post which is said to have gone missing over a four and a half year period.

Prosecutors allege 916 postal packages belonging to Royal Mail Limited were stolen by Appleby between April 19, 2004 and November 7, 2008.

It is also alleged that between the same dates the 36-year-old breached his duty as a postal operative by delaying 61,487 addressed postal packages.

The court heard the second charge included a further 6,874 door-to-door postal packages, known as junk mail, which were also said to be delayed.

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No value has been put on the items.

Appleby, wearing a multicoloured tie, entered not guilty pleas on both charges.

Paul Booty, for the prosecution, said he was charged with the offences after being arrested by police in November last year.

District Judge David Cooper ordered Appleby to return to the court on April 8 at 9.30am for committal proceedings.

He granted him unconditional bail.