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Postman stole parcels to fund cocaine and gambling debts - but claims it's 'common' in Royal Mail

26 Jun 2019, 12:57

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk ... e-16487469

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Lee Flanagan, 34, took up to eight packages containing clothing and perfume after being left owing £7,000

A postman who stole parcels to fund his cocaine and gambling debts has walked free after claiming stealing was ''commonplace'' in the Royal Mail.

Lee Flanagan, 34, took up to eight packages containing clothing and perfume after being left owing £7,000. He was caught after a concerned member of the public filmed him opening one of the parcels and handed the footage to Royal Mail chiefs.

Police recovered an Apple iPod Nano from Flanagan's home he shares with his parents in Gorton, Manchester but he admitted selling the other items worth £518 for £400 on the black market. It emerged he had previous convictions for stealing from his employers.

At Manchester Magistrates' Court Flanagan, who has since lost his job, admitted theft and opening parcels but claimed postal thefts were so regular, discussions were held how to do it during training for the job.

He now works as a delivery driver for parcel delivery firm DPD.

The court heard the thefts occurred over a four week period in January when Flanagan who joined the Royal Mail the previous August was working at the Manchester South East delivery office in Ardwick.

Prosecutor Hayley Bennett said: “The Royal Mail started receiving complaints and reports of missing parcels. Five tracked delivery assignments between the 2nd and 23rd of January were confirmed as having been received but when checked the GPS of where they were delivered didn’t match the GPS of where they were supposed to be.

“The brands of these parcels were Zara, Ted Baker and Fragrance.com. The person responsible for the delivery of these parcels was the defendant. The second incident came on 17 January 2019 when the defendant returned a parcel to the depot which was ripped open. He said it had been damaged in transit and he had tried to put it back together but ended up making it worse.

''However a member of the public then came forward with footage of the defendant opening the parcel and then closing it up when he realised he was being filmed. On January 30 a parcel of an iPod Nano failed to deliver.

''Upon a search of the defendant’s house the purple iPod Nano was found in a bedside cabinet. In interview the defendant then admitted more thefts than he was caught for. He said he sold the other items for around £400. He admitted theft of the iPod Nano and other offences from earlier in the month.

“The defendant told police he had problems with drugs and gambling debts and used the money gained from selling the items to fund his habits and said he had incurred debts somewhere in the region of £7,000.

''In February 2019 a parcel was reported as lost or stolen. It was given to Mr Flanagan by a customer to deliver to the post office collection depot but never made it there. The parcel was a mobile phone and flip case. In total the amount stolen comes to just under £500. Royal Mail have so far paid out £115 in refunds. It’s going to cost the Royal Mail over £7,000 in legal costs.''

''However a member of the public then came forward with footage of the defendant opening the parcel and then closing it up when he realised he was being filmed. On January 30 a parcel of an iPod Nano failed to deliver.

''Upon a search of the defendant’s house the purple iPod Nano was found in a bedside cabinet. In interview the defendant then admitted more thefts than he was caught for. He said he sold the other items for around £400. He admitted theft of the iPod Nano and other offences from earlier in the month.

“The defendant told police he had problems with drugs and gambling debts and used the money gained from selling the items to fund his habits and said he had incurred debts somewhere in the region of £7,000.

''In February 2019 a parcel was reported as lost or stolen. It was given to Mr Flanagan by a customer to deliver to the post office collection depot but never made it there. The parcel was a mobile phone and flip case. In total the amount stolen comes to just under £500. Royal Mail have so far paid out £115 in refunds. It’s going to cost the Royal Mail over £7,000 in legal costs.''

"'He dealt with this breakup by getting involved with old friends and drinking and taking cocaine. He used his disposable income at the time for cocaine and alcohol binges.

''Whilst browsing the internet he got involved with online gambling. Combined with his alcohol and cocaine use, this gambling addiction resulted in him having evenings where he wouldn’t sleep and would sit online gambling away his entire salary in an evening whilst high on cocaine.

“His decision to steal was eventually justified to himself. Mr Flanagan says stealing is almost commonplace in the Royal Mail and it is something which is even discussed in training - but he understands the seriousness of it now. He feels the drug and gambling use is no longer an issue and says it was strictly confined to this period of time.

“The relationship with his partner is now repaired somewhat - and they’re working on it.”

Flanagan was sentenced nine months jail suspended for 18 months and was ordered to complete 180 hours unpaid work. He will also pay £1,295 in costs and surcharges.

JPs said: “We do believe this has crossed the custody threshold but we are going to suspend your sentence. If you commit another crime or fail to comply with this community order, there is no question that you will be sent straight to prison.”

Postman stole parcels to fund cocaine and gambling debts - but claims it's 'common' in Royal Mail

26 Jun 2019, 15:19

So dross c*** with convictions for theft and still living with his parents, steals from new employer and blames coke and gambling debts. THEN gets a job for DPD where he will no doubt do it again. I thought being a cokehead made you thin? I'd complain to my dealer about the quality of the gak I was being sold if I were him.

Postman stole parcels to fund cocaine and gambling debts - but claims it's 'common' in Royal Mail

26 Jun 2019, 17:03

Doesn't say much for RM's vetting process if his previous convictions weren't picked up (or they were ignored)........

Postman stole parcels to fund cocaine and gambling debts - but claims it's 'common' in Royal Mail

26 Jun 2019, 19:26

yellowbelly wrote:Doesn't say much for RM's vetting process if his previous convictions weren't picked up (or they were ignored)........

Or he could have made false declarations on his application , which I believe is also an offence. So yes they probably were ignored!

Postman stole parcels to fund cocaine and gambling debts - but claims it's 'common' in Royal Mail

26 Jun 2019, 20:07

TrueBlueTerrier wrote:but claimed postal thefts were so regular, discussions were held how to do it during training for the job.


That's blatantly absurd. We don't get any training.

Postman stole parcels to fund cocaine and gambling debts - but claims it's 'common' in Royal Mail

29 Jun 2019, 04:00

Probably DPD properly vetted him with lots of Ketamine so he is so full of it he does not feel the need to steal until he goes into the bookies in the afternoon and bets on the two flies going up the wall basket case or what!

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