A postman in heavy debt, who stole 70,000 items of mail, was jailed for nine months at Bolton Crown Court today.
John Hodson, 33, of Crumpsall, Manchester, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and one charge of delaying post after being caught by the Royal Mail, who hid secret tracking devices in his deliveries.
The father-of-two stored items for five years so he didn’t have deliver them and told the court he stole birthday cards with cash to tackle his £40,000 debt.
Judge Peter Davies said: “The public are entitled to expect a reliable, efficient, confidential and trustworthy service.
“We rely on the postal service. Postmen do act with integrity – you let them all down.”
The judge labelled his actions as a ‘gross breach of trust’ despite 65,000 of the stolen items being junk mail.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any dishonesty and that stance is shared by the overwhelming majority of postmen and women, who are honest and hardworking and who do all they can to protect the mail and deliver it safely.
“We will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust.”
Hodson was jailed for nine months for theft and three months for not delivering the mail, to run concurrently.