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Jailed: Former Walsall sub-postmaster stole GBP122,000 from Post Office branch

22 Oct 2018, 12:52

Jailed: Former Walsall sub-postmaster stole £122,000 from Post Office branch ... ce-branch/

The cash was taken when Harvinder Shergill burgled the Yew Tree Post Office on September 23, 2016, a judge at Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Shergill, 43, still ran the convenience store in which the post office was based and was a key holder for the premises in Redwood Road, Walsall.

Mr Geoffrey Dann, prosecuting, said CCTV showed Shergill come back to the shop shortly before the secure post office section of the building – run by Potent Solutions during his suspension – was locked for the night by the counter clerk who also set the safe alarm.

She left at around 5.30pm and half an hour later the defendant was filmed carrying a large grey box to his van before he unset the safe alarm using the correct code.

Shamed Shergill was seen leaving twice more carrying a large blue bag and white carrier bag which were stowed in the van before he drove away, continued Mr Dann, who added: “The money must have been taken in them.”

Mr Sukvinder Atwal, the Potent Solutions area manager, was called by a monitoring company who warned the safe alarm had not been reset.

He and a colleague went to the Post Office and found around £400 worth of coins and foreign currency littering the floor. Ceiling tiles were broken in a bid to make it look as if there had been a break-in. The safe, in which there had been at least £122,275, was empty.

Shergill was arrested a month later but consistently denied involvement in the theft until the day of his trial when he pleaded guilty.

He tried unsuccessfully to vacate that plea, then claimed he took less than £26,000 and alleged being pressurised into committing the crime by unnamed individuals.

Mr Christopher O’Gorman, defending, said: “There has been a lot of putting off by a man who is no longer seen by the community as the person he once was. He must have been under significant pressure to do what he did.”

Shergill, from Arbor Gate, Walsall Wood, who was of previous good character, pleaded guilty to burgling the post office and finally admitted taking all the missing money.

He was jailed by Judge Jinder Singh Boora, who said: “You went from nothing into the premier league of crime with this serious breach of trust. There is no explanation as to why you did it but at least you threw the towel in today.”

The court ordered that £127,832, the amount taken plus inflation, should be confiscated from Shergill within three months.

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