Barnsley postman jailed for stealing from mail

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A POSTMAN stole perfume, DVDs, more than 100 CDs and jewellery from thousands of parcels he failed to deliver over five years.

Royal Mail worker Martyn Platts, aged 50, who was jailed for a year, was caught after members of the public complained to postal chiefs in Barnsley about items going missing.

Bosses launched a sting operation by putting four fake pieces of mail into his postbag to see if he delivered them, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

When only one item of mail was delivered, Royal Mail investigators searched Platts’ car and house.

Karen Tunnacliffe, prosecuting, said they found more than 2,000 parcels in his car, house and two wheelie bins.

She said: “A quantity was recovered from the boot. They found two bundles of 50 to 60 items which had not been opened.

“There were 54 postal packets on the kitchen table and there were 1,165 addressed items in two wheelie bins - 69 of which had been opened. They included jewellery, perfume, DVDs and other items.

“They also found 1,822 commercial leaflets – often referred to as spam mail but these are commercial leaflets companies pay the Royal Mail to deliver.”

Miss Tunnacliffe said Platts, of Strafford Avenue, Elsecar, Barnsley, initially admitted stealing ‘a couple’ of items and said he had got behind with his deliveries because he had a bad back.

He said he delivered to addresses on the main roads but missed out the cul-de-sacs every other day.

Platts later admitted he had been stealing items of post including music CDs and QVC and LoveFilm DVDs for about five years, telling investigators: “I just thought it was one of those things you can get away with and I got found out and that’s it.”

Platts, who admitted four counts of stealing from Royal Mail, had quit his job.

Danny Simpson, defending, said: “Because of his back problems he began to find doing the round very difficult indeed and began keeping mail at home with the intention of delivering it.

“It invariably snowballs...he then falls prey to temptation to open some of these and give them as presents to his wife.”

Judge Paul Watson QC said: “Over a significant period of time you took advantage of your position as a postman, a trusted employee of the Royal Mail.

“Theft by people who work for the Royal Mail is an offence which strikes at the heart of this country’s communications system.”