https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/ ... is-jailed/
A POSTMAN has been jailed after swiping scores of postal packets containing new bank cards to fund his gambling addiction.
Royal Mail officials launched a secret probe after letters bound for addresses in the BH8 area of Bournemouth went missing.
Gareth Goodrum, a former prison guard, was responsible for sorting and then delivering much of the mail for the postcode and was quickly pinned as the only possible suspect.
When police swooped at Goodrum’s address, 96 Royal Mail packets were found.
Some were hidden under a barbecue in the garden of the property. Gift cards for John Lewis were also found.
The total sum of money the postman withdrew during the course of his offences was £5,864.
The 34-year-old, of Tuckton Road in Bournemouth, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentence on Friday after admitting three thefts and six frauds.
Rob Griffiths, mitigating, said Goodrum’s gambling had started with “little bets on football”, but spiralled out of control until he was putting money on “everything”.
He lost money at casinos and bookies, as well as via online sites, the barrister said.
“He was completely addicted. He gambled away his wages and made excuses to his wife. He had debts of £15,000,” Mr Griffiths said.
“This could be described as cold-blooded dishonesty or it could be describe as simply desperation.”
Goodrum began gambling to provide his young family with a better life, the court heard.
“[He] did it not for selfish reasons but as a person who had addictions and could do nothing about that,” Mr Griffiths said.
However, Judge Karim Ezzat said that mitigation wasn’t “any more attractive” as a proposition than “stealing for greed”.
In an interview with the probation service ahead of the sentencing hearing, Goodrum said: “I know I was 100 per cent wrong and 100 per cent dishonest.
“I’m disgusted with myself.”
Judge Ezzat said Goodrum’s offences constituted a breach of trust given his role at the Royal Mail.
As a result, the defendant was jailed for eight months.
“I take into account the impact on your family and on you given your former employment as a prison officer,” the judge said.
“However, there is no good reason to suspend the sentence in your case.”
Speaking after the case, a Royal Mail spokesperson said: "Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any dishonesty and that stance is shared by the overwhelming majority of postmen and women, who are honest and hardworking and who do all they can to protect the mail and deliver it safely.
"Royal Mail will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust."