Crooked Dundee postman stole gift cards and mail from city delivery office

Paul Heaney

A crooked postie stole gift cards and mail in a bid to clear his debts.

Paul Heaney, 38, of Gilburn Road, spent two years stealing letters from Royal Mail’s Dundee West delivery office between 2014 and 2016.

Heaney said he carried out the thefts to help solve his financial difficulties.

The Tele revealed in October 2016 that Heaney was sacked following an internal investigation by Royal Mail bosses.

Heaney pleaded guilty by letter at Dundee Sheriff Court to stealing a quantity of surcharge cards between August 1 2014 and March 31 2015 as well as intentionally delaying or opening 89 postal packets between August 15 and 28 in 2014.

He additionally stole a quantity of gift cards between August 1 2014 and October 19 2016 as well as three postal packets on October 19 2016.

The court heard that the post was discovered in Heaney’s garden shed at his home.

A test was set up within the sorting office in June 2016 following an anonymous tip-off about Heaney’s integrity.

Items described as “mis-sort” greeting cards were later found in Heaney’s pouch.

Fiscal depute Joanne Smith said: “An investigation manager arranged a mis-sort greetings card test.

“Observations were carried out on the accused’s conduct. Extensive searches were carried out but no trace was found of the test cards.

“The accused was approached upon his return to the office. He admitted to opening the mail and taking the money.

“He said he had been going through financial problems and said after the death of his father, his mother had lost a substantial amount of money on bingo.”

Heaney’s home address was searched where gift and surcharge cards were recovered.

He said he had stolen around £80 from the packets.

The mail recovered from Heaney’s shed was forwarded on to their intended recipients along with apologies from Royal Mail.

After Heaney was sacked, Royal Mail said they had a “zero tolerance” approach to dishonesty.

Sheriff Tom Hughes deferred sentence on Heaney, who did not appear in court, for social work reports and a restriction of liberty order assessment.

Heaney is due to return to the dock on February 2.