Postman is jailed for theft

Postman is jailed for theft
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A DISGRACED postman who admitted stealing cash and gift cards worth £11,500 over a six-year period has been handed a 12-month sentence.

Sentencing diagnosed kleptomaniac Karl Forrest at Antrim Crown Court, Judge Neil Rafferty QC told the 42-year-old he considered whether the sentence could be suspended but “I have concluded unfortunately that it cannot.

“The aggravating factors are such that only a custodial sentence will meet the justice of the case,” concluded the judge, who ordered Forrest to serve half his sentence in jail and half under supervised licence conditions.

He told the court: “There is a body of case law that indicates a postman stealing from the mail is a significant breach of trust… there is a need for deterrence to be coupled with sentencing principles in offences of this type.”

It was in November last year that Forrest, from Meadowvale Park, Limavady, entered guilty pleas to each of the 10 charges against him — three of theft and seven of committing fraud by false representation on various dates between January 1, 2013, and August 7, 2019.

Sentencing was adjourned to allow time for various medical and psychiatric reports to be prepared.

Giving evidence to the court yesterday, consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul Devine said he had diagnosed “impulse control disorder,” otherwise known as kleptomania.

He also testified that it was “unique” to both his experience and research he conducted that, unlike other diagnosed kleptomaniacs, Forrest had gained the same “buzz” from both the thefts themselves and by “monetising” his ill-gotten gains, which in his case were various gift cards.

During his sentencing remarks, Judge Rafferty described how Forrest had been working as a postman in his home town when Royal Mail managers became suspicious “that the defendant might be interfering with the mail”.

Conducting an “integrity test,” they placed a card with £10 inside and addressed to outside Forrest's postal area, into a mail sorting tray and noted that he took the card.

*continued in this week's Northern Constitution*

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