An ex-postman from Northern Ireland who has been described as “a very keen cyclist” has been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment after stealing packages in the mail containing cycling products.
John Woodhouse, aged 43 and from Cushendall, County Antrim, had earlier pleaded guilty at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court to theft of mail in transmission, reports the Belfast Telegraph.
He stole the packages from the Royal Mail Ballymena Delivery Office between 10 June 2016 and 8 August 2017. He did not use the products or sell them on, but kept them in his car and at his home.
"This is a gross breach of trust,” district judge Peter King told him. “You were employed as a postal delivery man.
"I struggle to see a greater breach of trust than a postman stealing the mail.
"In order for the public to have confidence in the postal system, those who operate it have to have the utmost integrity."
Woodhouse was caught when a tracking device was put on a package from a business related to cycling, with investigators able to ascertain that it was taken from the sorting office at the same time as Woodhouse left the premises.
Speaking in mitigation on behalf of Woodhouse, barrister Neil Moore admitted that his client had committed a "gross breach of trust" but emphasised that he had made "full and frank admissions."
He added that Woodhouse had expressed “extreme regret” at his actions, which happened while he was suffering from depression following a bereavement, and that all goods stolen had been recovered.
Woodhouse has reportedly been released on bail of £500 pending an appeal.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.