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."
Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
Ancient 2,400-year-old gold bongs discovered in Russia
Porn stars in California may be forced to wear goggles under new legislation
Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
- 1 Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
- 2 Two-year-old says goodbye to bin man best friend
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb