A DYSLEXIC former postman from Whittlesey dumped more than 400 letters in a field after getting frustrated because he could not read addresses, a court has heard.
Disgraced Wayne Daniels (25), of New Haven Caravan Park, Whittlesey, pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of delaying the mail at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
He was ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work by magistrate Linda Glover.
The court heard how Daniels had worked for Royal Mail as an agency worker for two years before he took up the role as a postman.
But he never told anyone about his dyslexia and when his frustration boiled over he dumped 420 bills, letters and parcels near Beggars Bridge in Coates in March.
He also stole a CD from one of the packages.
Prosecuting, Hugh Cauthery said: “In the early hours of March 16, the bag of mail was discovered by a man walking his dog by the river.
“He called his friend, a former Royal Mail manager, who picked it up and took it to the sorting office. There were 420 letters that had been dumped, all of which were due to be delivered to the Orton Goldhay area of the city.
“The investigation showed that the letters were meant to be delivered by Daniels and a search was carried out at his address.
“In his car a CD which was taken from one of the packets was found. In a police interview, he admitted he had disposed of the mail but he had been running late on his round, and had not completed it by 6pm. He thought the office was shut, so drove out to dump them.”
Fran Tyler, defending, said: “He suffers from dyslexia and he was struggling to read the addresses.
“He said it was an impulsive action born out of frustration and said it was a disgrace to himself and to the Royal Mail. He had not discussed the problem with colleagues because of a mixture of pride and embarrassment.”
Magistrate Mrs Glover said: “This was a gross breach of trust. Theft from the Royal Mail is a very serious matter.”
Daniels was also ordered to pay £750 costs and £24.66 compensation to Royal Mail.
All the mail was recovered and delivered with a letter of apology.
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 our people, who are honest and hardworking. We will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust.”
In 2009 postman Alec Clark (35), of Chaucer Road, New England, Peterborough was jailed for six months after stealing sex toys and underwear from his round.