https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... l-15865071
A cocaine addict postman stole mail including a woman's cancer results and dumped the letters in his bath.
Michael Easton, who was desperately looking for cash to steal, was jailed for 10 months at Liverpool Crown Court after a Royal Mail sting caught him out.
Mail swiped by the 47-year-old included the letter with a woman’s cancer results, correspondence from her employer and a condolence card to another woman whose sister had died.
Another victim did not receive a letter from her solicitors over civil proceedings. A cheque for a share certificate also went missing.
The court heard that a man cancelled his order with a supplier, saying he was “disgusted by someone opening his post,” and others spoke of their disappointment at undelivered greetings cards and their loss of faith in the postal system.
Easton, of New Ferry Road in New Ferry, Wirral, was caught out after Royal Mail investigators put six test items into post boxes from which he collected mail.
Suspicions had been aroused after a total of 196 mistreated greetings cards were found on the damaged mail desk at Chester mail centre between July and September last year.
Andrea Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said: "A check was made of his collection when it was received and none of the test items could be found."
When he was approached by Royal Mail investigators he said: "I’ve taken the mail in the sack and I’ve been doing it for the last few months."
His van was searched and 65 undelivered items were discovered from that day, September 20 last year, while he was also carrying £55 in cash and 50 Euros.
A search of his home revealed 2,572 mail items, including 107 greetings cards which had been opened.
Some of the mistreated mail was found in delivery pouches inside and outside his home, several with the address details ripped off.
"Some of the mail had been damaged by water as a result of being piled in the bath or left outside,” said Miss Fitzgerald.
When interviewed he admitted opening between 3-400 greeting cards over the last few months and stealing about £800 from them.
He also admitted intentionally destroying a large quantity of mail.
Easton, who had been employed as a postman for 12 years at New Ferry, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft, intentionally delaying the delivery of more than 1,700 items, opening mail and one of criminal damage.
Rebecca Smith, defending, had told the court that Easton had suffered serious knee injuries in a motor cycle accident some years ago which led to him using Tramadol and cocaine.
She told the court he developed a "low level addiction", which led to him taking out loans and eventually start stealing to fund his habit.
Judge Rachel Smith told Easton: "You knew what you had been doing was wrong, you had been targeting greeting cards for money because of financial difficulties resulting from having a drug habit.