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Richard Hall attacked postman after he refused to hand over parcel in Tunbridge Wells

27 Feb 2019, 13:16 ... an-199660/

A disgruntled householder resorted to violence when a postman refused to hand over his parcel because it was incorrectly addressed, a court heard.

Richard Hall was aggressive and abusive when told by Simon Chaplain that Royal Mail rules had to be followed.

Hall, 25, punched the mailman in the stomach and snatched the package containing a phone SIM card and £40 cash.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the impact was felt more by Hall as his fist struck an electronic device inside the postman's clothing.

Hall, formerly of Tunbridge Wells, denied robbery but admitted assault by beating and was jailed for two months.

Judge Charles Macdonald QC said although it may have been annoying not to be given his mail, Hall’s reaction was unwarranted.

"An issue arose over a letter, which in all likelihood was your letter, but there was a difficulty and under Post Office rules, of which we are too familiar, it meant it could not be delivered," he said.

"That annoyed you, but while most people would cope with that annoyance, you punched Mr Chaplain in the stomach and ran off with the letter.

"Albeit that you fist connected with the electronic device shielding his body, he found it shocking and upsetting."

The judge added that the seriousness of the offence was aggravated by the fact it was committed on “a postman doing his job” and by Hall's previous convictions.

He was also subject at the time of the attack on April 11 last year to a community order imposed for driving while disqualified.

Mr Chaplain was on his delivery round when he was confronted.

Prosecutor Charles Macdonald said: "He had a package he believed was for the defendant but because of the way it was addressed it could not be delivered in accordance with Post Office rules and the ordinary process was for the package to be returned to sender.

"By chance, the defendant and Mr Chaplain crossed paths and Hall said: 'I understand you have a special delivery for me.’

"Mr Chaplain apologised and said he couldn't give it to him as it was incorrectly addressed, and gave the number it was addressed to.

"The defendant's behaviour changed and he started to become agitated, aggressive, and swear."

The postman walked away and continued on his round, only to be confronted by Hall for a second time.

He went up behind Mr Chaplain and said: “Give me my letter.” The postman replied again that he couldn’t.

He was then assaulted.

The postman was left shocked by the attack and was later transferred to a different round in case he bumped into his attacker again.

Hall has 11 previous convictions for 19 offences, including common assault, harassment, assaulting police, and criminal damage.

Matthew Bolt, defending, said the alcoholic and drug addict planned to return to his family in Percy Street, Hartlepool, Cleveland, where he had already enrolled with Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Because of time spent in custody, Hall was due to be released.

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