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Ex-policeman Glenn Mayo rifled through greetings cards in hunt for cash at Royal Mail depot in Canterbury

Postman Glenn Mayo stole cash from greetings cards
Postman Glenn Mayo stole cash from greetings cards

A police officer-turned-postman stole hundreds of pounds from greetings cards to feed his gambling addiction.

While working for the Royal Mail in Canterbury, Glenn Mayo ripped open as many as 238 postal packets and pocketed more than £400.

The 40-year-old grandfather, who claimed he had racked up gambling debts of £80,000, appeared at Canterbury Magistrates' Court.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from his employer in July and August this year.

Prosecuting for the Royal Mail, Sheila Aly said Mayo had been working as a postman in Canterbury for nearly three years when his crimes were exposed.

She said his plot began to unravel on August 9 when nine open post packets were discovered in a Royal Mail van that Mayo had been driving.

Investigators were drafted in to watch Mayo sort mail on the morning of August 22. They spotted him concealing five envelopes without looking at the addresses.

When confronted, Mayo admitted the thefts and consented to a search of his work van, which revealed 29 more envelopes containing greetings cards.

He told officials he knew the potential consequences of his actions because of his previous roles as a police officer and then a customs officer.

The sorting office in Military Road, Canterbury
The sorting office in Military Road, Canterbury

Miss Aly said: "He admitted targeting mainly greetings card packets. He took cards that weren't for his round, and placed them in his pigeon hole and some in his motor vehicle."

When interviewed, Mayo confessed to stealing cash but said he ripped up and binned gift vouchers found in cards because they were of no use to him.

Defending, Vikki Simpson-Lee said Mayo's conviction was a fall from grace for a man who used to be an "extremely well-regarded and proficient" customs officer in Dover.

She said he was even drafted to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help the government with customs and excise issues as part of a supposedly lucrative contract.

"He recognises that what he has done is appalling, but he has done everything he can to address his issues and move forward..." - Vikki Simpson-Lee

But she said Mayo was never paid for the work and was subsequently made redundant, which sparked his gambling habit.

At his lowest ebb, Miss Simpson-Lee said her client had racked up gambling debts of more than £80,000 and was forced to sleep in his car.

She added: "Unfortunately, things spiralled from there. He got a job with Royal Mail, but when the wheels truly fell off, he started to steal from them."

Miss Simpson-Lee said Mayo, who now lives with his sister in Greenhithe, had since sought help for his gambling problems, as well as counselling and medication for his deep-seated depression.

She added: "He targeted greetings cards, but discarded gift vouchers. He did not do it out of greed. This offence has acted as a strict reminder that he needs to change his lifestyle.

"He recognises that what he has done is appalling, but he has done everything he can to address his issues and move forward."

Magistrates sentenced Mayo to 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £600 in investigation costs to Royal Mail, £120 in court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Royal Mail spokesman Val Bodden said: "We have zero tolerance to such rare criminal behaviour from our employees and would always seek to prosecute when it occurs.

"The vast majority of our people are honest, decent and hard working."

The order was granted at Canterbury Magistrates' Court
The order was granted at Canterbury Magistrates' Court

Mayo's conviction was described as a fall from grace for a man with an impressive background in fighting crime and foiling smuggling attempts across Africa and Europe.

According to Mayo's profile page on the professional networking website Linked In, he previously worked for the South African Police Service, where he achieved the rank of police inspector and station commander in charge of managing 25 officers.

He was also employed by HM Revenue and Customs in Dover for eight years, during which time he worked as an anti-smuggling enforcement officer and then as an investigation officer.

Mayo lists his commendations for good work from police and customs officials, and cites a commendation from Canterbury Crown Court Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl as one of his greatest achievements.

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