Glossop postman ripped up letters

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A Glossop postman has received a suspended sentence, after he had a breakdown and destroyed hundreds of items of post.

Simon Richardson was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, at High Peak Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

An investigation was launched after a member of the public witnessed him try to tear up letters and throw them in a wheelie bin on Pikes Lane, Glossop, on April 2.

Police discovered 187 postal packets were damaged in the incident.

A further 194 items of post were found when police searched the 40-year-old’s home on Pikes Lane on April 8, including 86 in a wheelie bin and 89 in a ripped up condition.

Officers also recovered four mail bags, worth £100.

Richardson admitted two charges of criminal damage, one charge of theft and one count of intentionally delaying 34 packets, by breaching his duty at an earlier hearing on July 15.

Karen Rolls, defending, said: “He has no previous convictions, he’s extremely remorseful and deeply ashamed. He’s always worked hard for a living.

“It’s not a financially motivated offence, this was a man having a breakdown. There were a number of colleagues off sick and rounds had been increased.”

She added: “It was an unsophisticated offence. The evidence was there, he hadn’t gone off to the local tip. He acted in a haze and a blur.”

She told magistrates he was under a “great deal of pressure” and was the sole carer for three teenage daughters.

Ms Rolls added that her client had recently been diagnosed with depression and his mother’s cancer treatment had “tipped him over the edge”.

The court heard the defendant was “very distressed” about the incident and described it as “an out of body experience”.

Addressing Richardson, chairman of the bench Eric Hilton said: “We view this as a high breach of trust, of the Royal Mail and its customers.

“You’ve already said it was stupid. You acted under pressure, but it wasn’t a good thing to do.”

Mr Hilton explained the bench had suspended his sentence, due to his good character, his remorse and his personal circumstances.

Richardson was ordered to comply with a community order consisting of a 12-month supervision and a 12-week curfew.

He was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge, compensation of £1,300 costs.