Published: 09:00, 31 July 2014
A postman is facing prison after pleading guilty to taking hundreds of pounds from birthday cards at the Folkestone sorting office, a court was told.
Darren Tredget admitted three counts of theft and one of delaying the delivery of mail dating back to January last year.
The 32-year-old former Royal Mail worker appeared at Folkestone Magistrates' Court and will now be sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court.
He admitted stealing £650 and an unknown number of gift vouchers as well as 237 postal packets and delaying the delivery of 654 and 3,305 door-to-door items between January 2013 and February this year.
The court heard how Tredget started working for Royal Mail in May 2010, originally in Ashford but then moved to the Folkestone office.
Natalie McNamee, prosecuting, said during routine checks in January it was noticed that at Tredget's station some greetings cards had not been dealt with properly and some were opened.
She added Royal Mail then placed him under surveillance and Tredget was seen to put items into his jacket and walk to the gentlemen's toilets on several occasions.
Ms McNamee added test packets had been included and during one check only "two of four packets had been dealt with properly".
She said there were "clearly two levels of breach of trust – of the employer's and of the public's placed in the Royal Mail".
Hugh Roberts, defending, said Tredget, of Anglers Drive in Deal, was not "out to benefit himself".
He had suffered a kind of "mental breakdown" following personal troubles in his family life after splitting with the mother of his children, adding he "felt the need to put back what he took".
Tredget was committed for sentencing at crown court at a date to be fixed.
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