British Indian postman who pilfered bank cards sentenced
The offence came to light after a customer complained that her bank card and PIN had been fraudulently used after it went missing in the post.world Updated: Jul 07, 2017 19:10 IST
An Indian-origin Royal Mail postman in Leicester, who was caught using a debit card he stole from the mail, has been given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.
Surbjit Singh Khera, 46, was found to have taken two bank cards and PIN numbers from mail he should have delivered to householders. The cards were issued to a customer by Punjab National Bank, which has a branch in the east Midlands city with a large Indian community.
The Leicester Crown Court was told that Khera also helped himself to a £60 voucher from inside a birthday card. He pleaded guilty to the thefts as well as dishonestly using both bank cards at cash machines to obtain a total of £800 in July and August last year.
Khera, who was reported to have a heart condition, was also ordered to refund the money he stole and pay the £1,000 court costs, according to a report in Leicester Mercury, a leading local daily.
Elizabeth Evans, the prosecuting lawyer, said the offence came to light after a customer complained that her bank card and PIN had been fraudulently used after it went missing in the post, the report said.
CCTV footage obtained by the Royal Mail revealed Khera was wearing a distinctive T-shirt that was evident on one of his Facebook pictures and was recovered from his home.
Judge Nicholas Dean told the defendant: “You might have been under financial pressure, but for a postman to resort to theft is both shameful and very serious. The public extend very considerable trust to people who carry their goods, valuables and documents.
“You must have understood the system of posting PINs and bank cards separately to target certain types of letters. The theft of the voucher in a birthday card was a mean offence. You’re in your 40’s and worked, without criticism, as a postman for 15 years (before committing offences).
“Because of your health it’s not appropriate to send you straight to prison, although the offences cross the custody threshold. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that, generally, prison would be avoided in these types of cases – generally it won’t be.”