A postman thief who stole valuables he was supposed to deliver avoided being sent to jail.
David Allen was a very trusted employee, with 20 years under his belt touring for Royal Mail.
But when the addiction got the better of him, he began to steal to increase his financial situation.
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When suspicions were raised, secret CCTV was installed at the Ashington depot where he worked to catch up with him.
A court has heard that he stole items including perfume, a Nike jacket and Adidas sneakers, with a total value of over £ 3,000.
Now the 44-year-old from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland has been given a suspended prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court.
Recorder Anthony Dunne told him: “You have worked for Royal Mail for some 20 years and in this role you would have appreciated that those who deliver mail and parcels received a high degree of trust and responsibility with the goods. other people.
“Society increasingly depends on those who sort and deliver mail and parcels to make everyday life work in many ways.
“When packages go missing and are stolen by those responsible for their care, it will inevitably cause members of the public great concern that they cannot trust the people they rely on.
“From late 2019 to mid 2020, you abused your trust by stealing packages and then reselling the contents in order to raise money for yourself.
“This had a substantial impact on the business and the loss of the items would have caused a high level of inconvenience to Royal Mail and to the recipients of these packages.”
The court heard in November 2019 that it had been noticed that a package to be delivered by Boots was in the wrong place in the office.
Later that day, the manager drove Allen home and noticed he had the package with him. Checks revealed that it had not been delivered.
Allen had a period of sick leave, during which no other items were missing, but upon his return he resumed flying.
Secret CCTV was installed to monitor him in the delivery office and captured him opening 22 packages and stealing 27 items.
In June, he was approached by an investigator at work and his personal bag searched.
It contained items, including stolen perfume, and during the search of his home, other incriminated property was found, including a jacket and sneakers.
When interviewed, he agreed to steal some things but denied others.
Andrew Petterson, prosecuting, said: “The stolen items were of substantial value to the loser and the thefts caused a high level of inconvenience.
“It undermines public confidence in the postal system.”
The court heard the total loss was £ 3,133, but Royal Mail also racked up £ 9,000 in investigative costs and £ 2,000 in legal costs.
The company compensated members of the public who lost.
Allen was asked to allow Royal Mail to recover the money from his £ 7,000 pension pot, but he refused and the judge said he had no authority to force him to do so.
He admitted six counts of theft and was given a ten-month suspended sentence for 12 months with a three-month curfew.
Court heard Allen, of Spital Farm, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, had entered a downward spiral leading him to drink and take drugs, following bereavement, divorce and childhood problems.
Tony Cornberg, defending, said Allen’s life had been “totally out of control”.
He added: “After 20 years of solid work he succumbed to temptation once and crossed the line and did something he never dreamed of as his finances got out of hand because he was an addict. secret.
“His embarrassment is obvious.
“He did a lot to get back on track.”
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