Published: 00:00, 27 July 2006
| Updated: 09:49, 27 July 2006
A 20-year-old postman who stole credit cards and PIN numbers then stole £3,000 from his victims’ accounts, has been locked up for 15 months.
Christopher Ward told police he spent the money on drinking and buying clothes and had about £500 left.
The thefts were discovered when one of the cardholders tried to withdraw money from the account while on holiday in the Lake District and the transaction was refused.
The Royal Mail set a trap, suspecting Ward, by introducing seven packages into his round.
Three were delivered but the others went missing although they were later found at the postal office.
But Ward was questioned on the basis of the missing packets and he admitted he stole two debit cards and two PIN numbers and had withdrawn the money from ATMs.
Ward, of Diamond Road, Whitstable, appeared for sentence at Canterbury Crown Court having admitted seven thefts. He will serve his sentence at a young offenders’ institution.
Peter Alcock, for Ward, said he made full admissions and was absolutely terrified about going into custody.
“He is a very young 20 and not worldly. Since these matters he has lurched into depression and self harming and is now on medication.
“He was a postman and accepts what he did was entirely wrong. He has lost his job, his future job prospects and a great deal of face among those who know him,” said Mr Alcock.
Ward now worked part-time in his mother’s cafe and the lesson had been well and truly learnt, he added.
Sentencing Ward, Judge Michael O’Sullivan, said theft of mail often caused considerable distress to the public and brought suspicion on other employees who were honest, trustworthy and loyal.
He gave Ward credit for his pleas and accepted all that had been said on his behalf.
“Those who work for the post office are in particular positions of trust and it is almost inevitable a custodial sentence must follow,” said Judge O’Sullivan.