Hero postman caught gambling addict stealing from pensioner

Postman Robert Speakman is the recipient of a High Sheriff Award whose actions resulted in the arre

Postman Robert Speakman said his mum was proud of his High Sheriff Award. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An Ipswich postman whose actions resulted in the arrest of a gambling addict who stole more than £25,000 from a pensioner has been presented with a commendation by the High Sheriff of Suffolk.

Postman Robert Speakman is the recipient of a High Sheriff Award whose actions resulted in the arre

Postman Robert Speakman with mum Peggy Speakman, and Edward Creasy High Sheriff plus Judge David Pugh and Judge Martyn Levett (back row). Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Last month Robert Speakman was described by a judge who jailed  37-year-old Clair Ransome for 14 months as a “knight in shining armour” and said he had gone far beyond his ordinary duties to ensure the elderly victim was protected.

Postman Robert Speakman is the recipient of a High Sheriff Award whose actions resulted in the arre

Postman Robert Speakman is the recipient of a High Sheriff Award, recognising the fact his actions resulted in the arrest of a gambling addict who stole more than £25,000 from an 86-year-old woman she had befriended. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Judge David Pugh awarded Mr Speakman, 57, a £350 High Sheriff’s award and said Ransome’s dishonesty might not have been discovered if it hadn’t been for his careful observations and actions.

On Monday (December 20) Mr Speakman attended Ipswich Crown Court with his 92-year-old mother Peggy to be presented with his award by Edward Creasy, the High Sheriff of Suffolk.

Mr Creasy thanked Mr Speakman, who has been a postman for 20 years, for his public spirited actions which he said were a shining example to the community of thoughtfulness and care.

After the ceremony Mr Speakman said he was glad he had made his mother proud and said he wouldn’t hesitate to do the same thing again if his suspicions were raised.

He said that although he was now doing a different postal round for health reasons he kept in touch with the victim of the fraud.

Ransome, of Hawke Road, Ipswich, admitted stealing £25,286 from the elderly victim between October 2019 and July 2020.

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The court heard that she had befriended the victim and was entrusted to use her bankcard and PIN to withdraw £100 a week to allow her to pay her bills.

However, Ransome had abused the victim’s trust by transferring more than £25,000 to fund a gambling habit.

The court heard that Mr Speakman had been informed by Ransome that the elderly victim had fallen whilst trying to pick up post and that she would take the post for her. 

Initially he hadn’t been concerned but his suspicions had been raised when he noticed Ransome coming out of a local store with scratch cards in her hand and learned that she’d been buying them in “significant” quantities.

Ipswich postman

The High Sheriff of Suffolk has recognised the efforts of Ipswich postman Robert Speakman. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

He had asked the victim to open her mail in front of him and it was then that she discovered she had insufficient funds to pay an £80 bill.

Clair Ransome was jailed for stealing more than £25,000

Clair Ransome was jailed for stealing more than £25,000 - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

During Ransome’s sentencing hearing last month the court heard that she had become addicted to scratch cards and online fruit machines and had won and lost “tens of thousands of pounds".