Felixstowe: Shamed postman stole �2.4k and hundreds of packages
FELIXSTOWE: A postman’s life lies in ruins today after he stole money and letters because of an irrational fear over a �5,000 credit card bill.
Nigel Scurrell, of Chelsworth Road, Felixstowe, had worked for the Royal Mail for 20 years before the thefts.
South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich heard the 52-year-old’s father had previously worked for the Post Office for 40 years.
However, Scurrell’s good name was lost after he stole �2,400. Cash and mail were found around his home during a search after he admitted opening around 600 postal packages.
Sentencing Scurrell to a four-month jail term suspended for a year, Judge David Cooper said: “This was a baffling breach, but shameful breach, of trust. I still don’t altogether understand it. For this relatively trivial sum of money you have thrown everything away and (with) the already somewhat shaky public confidence in the Royal Mail, what you have done is another nail in the coffin of public confidence in the Royal Mail.
“To me it’s an extremely tragic case.”
Earlier prosecutor David Stewart told the court the Royal Mail realised post was not being delivered. After an investigation Scurrell was arrested and admitted that over a three-month period he opened 600 packages – a majority of which did not contain anything valuable.
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During a search of his home money and mail was found in various places including a rucksack, a wardrobe and a kitchen unit, the court heard.
Ian Duckworth, representing Scurrell, said his client had become worried about the credit card bill which he discovered his wife had racked up. Mr Duckworth said: “She says ‘everything’s ok’. He panics, decides it’s out of control and can’t afford it.”
Although Scurrell took the money, he did not use any of it, the court was told.
Scurrell had previously admitted stealing money to the value of �2,400 between May 1, 2010 and August 6, 2010.
He also admitted attempted theft of mail between June 1, 2010 and August 6, 2010.
In addition to his suspended sentence Scurrell was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and told to pay �100 costs.
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