Postman jailed for theft

A DISGRACED postman of 18 years service has been jailed after helping himself to greetings cards and parcels on his rounds.

Will Clarke

A DISGRACED postman of 18 years service has been jailed after helping himself to greetings cards and parcels on his rounds.

Kevin Allen of Manderston Road, Newmarket, was given an 18 week jail term by magistrates in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

The 46-year-old had already pleaded guilty to stealing �200 cash, vouchers worth �200, five DVDs, and two other parcels.

On sentencing magistrates told the father-of-three that “custody was the only option” because of his attempts to blame others and for the serious damage his thefts had on public confidence in the postal service.

Meg Clibbon, chairman of the magistrates, told Allen: “Not only did you breach the trust of the public and Royal Mail but you also stole loving greetings and private best wishes of individuals who never intended them to be shared with post office workers.”

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The court had heard that Allen had been snared after Royal Mail investigators planted packages and cards containing valuables into the post and monitored what happened.

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

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

Investigators found carrier bags full of torn cards and parcels in his home where Allen also admitting burning �200 worth of gift vouchers for fear of being caught.

Mr Cauthery said Allen had been seen feeling parcels in the warehouse and bending cards for their contents, which he would then take in his sack, tearing them open at his leisure when he was supposed to be working.

He said the postman had helped himself to valuable mail destined for homes and businesses across Newmarket - putting some items in his sack even if they weren't for people on his round.

Jeremy Kendall, defending Allen, said his client entered onto a slippery slope when, in financial difficulty after divorce, he took one rental DVD.

“He is disgraced and feels a shame which will never go away,” he said. “He said to me it was a relief when the Post Office came knocking on the door.

“My client has learnt a painful lesson and he will never offend again. He has lost a job, which he enjoyed, lost his good character and possibly lost his pension entitlement.”