Postman jailed for stealing mail mountain
A postman who stole so much mail he had to move out of his flat where he stashed it and live with his mother was jailed for 14 months today.
Paul Noga, 38, of Broomlee, Ashington, Northumberland, admitted stealing, stashing or burning almost 50,000 items over a two-year period.
He admitted interfering with mail, criminal damage, theft and arson at a previous hearing.
Included among the thousands of items were sympathy cards to a widower who had just lost his wife.
Noga, who became a postman in 2004, took mail from other employees' compartments rather than his own.
As debts mounted, he continued to steal more and more, eventually filling his flat so that he had to move in with his mother.
Judge Michael Cartlidge, sentencing at Newcastle Crown Court, said: "A trusted employee of the postal service over a period of two years has mistreated postal packages in vast numbers causing no doubt extreme distress of folk."
The judge said Noga, father of a teenage daughter, was troubled by rising debts and his mother falling ill.
"He didn't have to do what he did and his excuse that he was overworked did not apply as he volunteered for overtime."
Noga has lost his Royal Mail pension which has been spent on redelivering mail.
He admitted spending retail vouchers worth £150 and about £1,000 in cash, all taken from post.
Shaun Routledge, defending, said: "The overriding feature of this offending is its lack of sophistication."
He added: "Quite clearly this man has behaved in a way that is nothing short of ludicrous."
Credit cards which were in stolen mail were unused and he made no attempt to alter cheques he found to make them payable to someone else, he said.
Noga, with his shirt hanging out and wearing a beige top, did not react when he was led away.
Outside court, a Royal Mail spokesman said: "Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any dishonesty and that stance is shared by the overwhelming majority of postmen and women, who are honest and hard-working and who do all they can to protect the mail and deliver it safely.
"We will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust."
General Election 2015: Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind as he casts a line to the disaffected of Grimsby
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in