Royal Mail postman swindled nearly £30,000 from Havant and Hayling delivery offices https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/crime ... es-2240566
A MAN who swindled nearly £27,500 from the Royal Mail to fund his cocaine habit was spared jail after showing he is a changed man.
Joe Philbin, who worked as the manager of the Havant Delivery Office, was so overwhelmed by guilt from his thieving ways over more than three years, he confessed to investigators upon his arrest: ‘It’s a relief, I’m glad it’s all over.’
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the 36-year-old exploited the Royal Mail’s processing system by pocketing up to £242 a week from special delivery parcels that he should have been sending to a central hub.
Meanwhile, documents showing financial transactions, were sent to another destination – tempting Philbin into taking advantage of the bureaucratic confusion.
Over the course of his underhand campaign, between December 2014 to January 2018, Philbin stole £27,466.07 from the Royal Mail.
Money was also taken from the Hayling Island Delivery Office where Philbin also operated on occasions.
Prosecutor Chris Prior said: ‘It became clear to the Royal Mail there was a shortfall in banked funds. Although documents were filled in, all the money was not being banked.
‘He started taking money in 2014 when he was taking small amounts and submitting the remaining funds before in the last two years he would take money out and not account for any of it.
‘He would send the paperwork to a different hub to where the money was submitted. Because the amounts were only around £200 a week that may be why it was not picked up at first.’
The court heard how the Royal Mail became suspicious in December 2017, sparking an investigation which included covert CCTV being put in place revealing Philbin taking bank notes.
The defendant admitted taking £34.35 from a postal packet and £110 cash after being caught red-handed.
Edward Hollingsworth, defending, said Philbin was a postman who had been asked to fulfil management duties at the Havant Delivery Office despite having no training.
‘He’s breached the trust of his employer by effectively taking from the till but has not stolen from the public,’ he said.
‘It was not particularly sophisticated. He was not handing up money when he should have been. He was stealing to fund his cocaine habit.’
Philbin, of Lutman Street, Emsworth, admitted two charges of theft by an employee and a single charge of theft of a postal package.
Recorder Noel Casey told Philbin: ‘Public confidence has not been affected by this and there has been no direct loss to the Royal Mail because of its insurance.
‘During the year and a half it has taken to come to court you have taken the opportunity to stop doing drugs, to regain employment and make amends with your family, which is all to your credit.’
The recorder admitted that ‘ordinarily it would be immediate custody’ for such crimes but due to the changes made by Philbin he had been ‘forced to reconsider’.
Instead of jail, Philbin was given 12 months’ jail suspended for two years and told to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also told to pay £3,000 of costs accrued from the Royal Mail’s investigation.