A former postman who hoarded dozens of parcels he should have delivered – and set a number of them alight – has been jailed for three months.
Damien Turner had worked as a postman at Royal Mail’s Dudley delivery office for almost three years before being suspended, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard. Mr John Dove, prosecuting for Royal Mail, said that the crime came to light when 28 parcels were found in the wardrobe of a property that he had been renting in Foxdale Drive, Brierley Hill.
The manager of a letting agency, who made the discovery after Turner was forced to leave due to rent arrears, contacted Royal Mail in October last year and an investigation was launched.
The parcels were recovered and had been dated between August 28, 2011 and March 3, 2012.
Mr Dove said: “All the packets were due for delivery in the DY2 and DY3 areas.” He told the court that the 23-year-old was brought to the manager’s office but before he was cautioned said: “I’ve been waiting for this.” His current address in Broad Street, Pensnett, Brierley Hill, was searched and the remains of four packets were found that had been burnt in an oil drum in the garden.
Turner was suspended in November last year. Mr Dove told the court that Turner said at around the time of August 2011 he had been going through a bad break-up with his girlfriend.
He said he had forgotten to deliver the parcels and didn’t know what to do with them. Turner admitted a charge of delaying postal packets between August 2011 and March 2012 and another charge of arson.
Miss Geraldine Toal, mitigating, said Turner accepted it was a serious offence.
She said: “At the time he had been suffering considerably due to the break down of a long relationship.
“He did drift off the straight and narrow and began to associate with those who were undesirable and began to take drugs.”
Jailing Turner for three months, Judge Michael Dudley said he could have returned the items and made further attempts to deliver them at a later date.
He told him: “The Royal Mail has to expect absolute trust from anyone involved in delivering mail.” Turner was handed a three-month jail term for arson and a one-month prison sentence, running concurrently, for delaying postal packets.