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Mail sorter took money from packages to fund holiday with wife
10:00am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
A MAIL sorter stole money and gift cards from postal packages to fund a holiday with his wife, a court heard.
Steven Ratcliffe opened up to 20 greetings cards which were mis-sorted while working in a sorting office.
Ratcliffe was caught when two packages, which contained cash, were specially planted in the office by Royal Mail.
At the end of the day, only one was still there.
Later, four specially prepared packages were planted and none were found at the end of the day.
When initially questioned by investigators, Ratcliffe, who worked in the Sudbury sorting office for nine years before the incident, admitted taking the five planted packs and others at a rate of about four per week, over five weeks.
Benjamin Waidhofer, prosecuting, said: “He did this because he was going on holiday with his wife and they were short on cash.”
Laura Potts, mitigating, added: “It was clearly a breach of trust .
“There was no motivation for revenge and it was done on the basis he could get away with it.
“He admits it was stupid and misguided.”
She added Ratcliffe had taken no more than £60.
Ratcliffe, 38, of Cherrytree Road, in Great Conard, admitted two charges of stealing postal packets between June 3 and June 28 when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
He was ordered to complete 80 hours unpaid work and pay £556.