Postie stole �2,000 from people’s mail

SUFFOLK: A postie, who has worked for the service for 25 years, has admitted stealing �2,000 from greetings cards and packages he should have delivered.

James Doyle, 51, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich to the theft of 178 postal packets over 18 months, starting in July 2008.

Doyle, of Nedging Hall Cottages, Nedging Tye, was caught after a routine inspection of disused lockers at a Royal Mail premises uncovered a stash of undelivered mail that had been opened, emptied and dumped.

The postmarks on the envelopes – as well as the discovery of letters addressed to the defendant – identified Doyle as the culprit and he soon admitted to Royal Mail investigators he had been stealing, claiming it was to help him meet his mortgage payments.

Prosecutor Kevin McCarthy, for Royal Mail Group Ltd, told the court: “He was spoken to by investigators and agreed to searches of his home, his private vehicle and his own locker.

“He accepted that he had been doing this over the course of 18 months or so and accepted in interview the total of the money was around �2,000. He told them ‘I’m sorry, I have done the wrong thing and I have thrown away 25 years for �2,000.” Mark Holt, mitigating, said Doyle had acted to cover his increased mortgage payments after moving house and was “regretful” for his actions.

He told the court: “He clearly did it for financial gain and it was over a long period of time. He is of previous good character and worked for the Post Office for 25 years. His monthly income did not meet his monthly outgoings. He would take money to cover himself.

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“He is very remorseful and regretful for the situation. He’s left the Royal Mail and has found getting employment very difficult indeed. It has taken a toll on his mental health.”

The court was told Doyle was currently undergoing treatment at St Clement’s Hospital, which treats patients with mental health issues, and sentencing was adjourned for reports until July 19.

Doyle, who is on unconditional bail, was told the offence was “serious” and magistrates said they were not ruling out any sentencing options.

The chair of the magistrates said: “The things that make this case so serious are the fact that the personal post of numerous people was compromised by your actions and that they affected the credibility of the postal service.

“We accept that you stole only to meet your needs. You are genuinely sorry for it.”