A "magpie" postal worker who stole packages and kept the contents at his home has been jailed for three months.
When police searched Simon Haider's house in Wood Street, Brompton, they found almost 40 missing mobile phones.
Martin O'Rourke, defending, told Maidstone Crown Court: "This was not for financial gain. He simply hoarded these items. He was a bit of a magpie."
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
Haider, who had worked at the Rochester sorting office since 2007, admitted four offences of theft between February and June last year.
Prosecutor Henrietta Paget said it was discovered that parcels and packages were being tampered with and items were missing.
Haider, 36, was seen acting suspiciously and when searched electrical items were found. A stolen iPhone, scissors and tweezers were in his locker.
"It is clear he had been targeting high value items," said Miss Paget. "He said he stole the scissors because they were an interesting shape."
Haider volunteered that a number of mobile phones would be found at his house.
Judge Michael Carroll, who commented that his father had been a postmaster, told Haider, now living in Sidcup: "This is a breach of a high degree of trust. Customers' packages are highly vulnerable to a dishonest postal worker.
"There should be consideration of a deterrent sentence so that the signal goes out to those who might be tempted to steal.
"I accept you haven't personally gained from four months of theft. You must have known how seriously the Post Office would take theft by an employee."
The judge added he could find no reason for suspending the sentence, which would be as short as possible in the circumstances - to reflect there was no apparent financial gain.