A postman has been jailed after he was caught stealing packages of foreign currency in a covert operation.
Thomas Maloney was arrested after Royal Mail investigators carried out the operation at their Hunslet depot in Leeds following complaints from customers about special delivery packages not reaching their destination.
One of the customers was a company called First Rate Exchange which had posted large quantities of foreign currency using the special delivery service.
Maloney, 28, was stopped after he was observed taking a package containing foreign currency which had been placed in a locker.
His vehicle and home was searched and more packages were found. Maloney was interviewed and admitted to stealing packages. He told officers he didn’t know why they had taken them and he had behaved out of “plain stupidity”.
Leeds Crown Court heard Maloney had stolen currency to the value of £1,419 over a period or three to four months.
He pleaded guilty to seven offences of theft.
Richard Walters, mitigating, said Maloney had committed the offences when he had got into a “spiral of debt” and was suffering from depression.
He said his client was a hard working family man who had managed to find another job despite being sacked by the Royal Mail for his dishonesty. Mr Walters said Maloney had no other convictions and would lose his employment if he was sent immediately to custody.
He added that Walters had admitted the offences at an early opportunity and had co-operated with the investigation
Recorder Sophie Drake jailed Maloney for 12 weeks. She told him she could not suspend the sentence as a message needed to go out to other postal workers to expect to be jailed if they commit similar offences.
She said: “As you appreciate, you as a postman had a high level of trust placed in you by customers, members of the public and the Post Office themselves.
“You have abused your position of trust in a significant way.”
I accept that you stole the money in order to repay debts rather that to live some form of extravagant life, but there are a lot of people in your position who are in debt but do not resort to stealing.”