Royal Mail employee stole dozens of parcels in 18 month spree at Cramlington sorting office
A Royal Mail employee who stole approximately 40 parcels over a number of months has narrowly avoided prison.
John Brown had over 30 years of service and was working at a delivery office in Cramlington when he committed the thefts.
The 56-year-old had been working in the office where specialist items were sorted and stored but instead had been intercepting some of them.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that investigators found some stolen goods, including a Nintendo games console, at his home which he intended to sell on.
Mr Recorder Giuliani told Brown that he was in a position of extreme trust and responsibility and that it was inevitable he would be eventually caught.
The judge said: "For nearly all of your adult life, for nearly 31 years you have worked for the Royal Mail.
"Your work record was good and then in February of 2019 you set about a scheme to increase your income, partly because hours had been reduced by a new manager and your weekly wage had been reduced.
"You set about stealing two parcels per week, abusing your position of trust in the Cramlington Post Office."
The offending lasted from the February until October the following year, except for five months during the period when Brown was not at work because he was shielding during the pandemic.
When his offending came to their attention, Royal Mail investigators visited Brown's home where they found some items including the Game Switch along with a lap-top, headphones, and four silver bullion bars.
The judge added: "The Post Office is unable to put a figure on those 40 parcels but of the seven items found in your home they came to a value of £2,631.
"You must have known that this offending would come to light."
Brown, of Cockburn Terrace, Percy Main, North Tyneside, pleaded guilty to theft.
In mitigation, Matthew Purvis said his client had suffered serious health problems which resulted in him being without a spleen and a pancreas,
meaning he requires daily medication.
Mr Purvis also told the court Brown is remorseful for his actions and was co-operative with investigators.
The judge sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months with 200 hours of unpaid work attached, noting the fact that custody would have a "very very serious" effect on his health.