A POSTMAN suffering from depression failed to deliver nearly 500 items, as well as destroying or trying to destroy hundreds more.
Andrew Taylor, of Amble, pleaded guilty to intentionally delaying the delivery of 482 postal packets, damaging 11 items and attempting to damage 806 door-to-door items. He was also convicted of the theft of 39 postal packets, a charge to which he had pleaded not guilty.
The 30-year-old was sentenced to 60 hours’ unpaid work, as part of a 12-month community order, at South East Northumberland Magistrates Court last Thursday.
The offences came to light when a member of the public found a polythene bag containing a number of postal items in the middle of a road in Warkworth, after Taylor had thrown them out of a car wndow.
A search of Taylor’s home revealed 482 items he had failed to deliver between April 2009 and January this year, 39 of which had been opened.
Investigators also found 806 door-to-door items, such as leaflets and flyers, that should have been delivered in the week commencing January 10, 2011.
The court heard how Taylor was suffering from depression, unknown to him at the time of the offences, and he had split up with his partner, the mother of their six-month-old child, who was suffering from post-natal depression.
This led him to only be able to complete half of his round before taking the other items home with the intention of delivering them at a later date.
An officer from Northumbria Probation Trust, who prepared a report on Taylor, said: “He believes these are isolated incidents when he was under personal pressure, as was his family.
“He doesn’t know why he opened 39 packages, he didn’t use those packages and there was no financial gain.”
Barry Row, defending, said that the opened items, which included an Amazon Kindle, DVDs and CDs, were all recovered and the CDs and DVDs were still sealed.
He added that Taylor, now back with his partner and employed elsewhere, was ‘thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour’.
Taylor was ordered to pay £235 compensation, £200 costs to Royal Mail and £100 legal costs.