May 4 2012 by Lisa Boyle, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A POSTMAN has been jailed after he stole a package full of silver.
John Davidson pinched the parcel and sold it to pay off gambling debts.
He was caught on CCTV slipping the envelope, bound for a gold and silver company, into his sleeve at Ayr sorting office.
Davidson earlier pleaded guilty at Ayr Sheriff Court to stealing the package from the Sandgate office on October 6 last year.
The 50-year-old was immediately sacked when the theft was discovered. It followed a 20-year career with Royal Mail.
This week, depute fiscal Jim Kelman explained to Sheriff Desmond Leslie that a particular package failed to arrive at the Glasgow mailing centre.
The package was sent by recorded delivery and contained silver jewellery.
CCTV footage was examined and Davidson was seen placing it into his right sleeve.
When he was questioned, he immediately admitted he’d stolen the package and sold it for £120 to pay off debts.
Defence lawyer Tony Currie said that Davidson had separated from his wife and developed an addiction to gambling.
Mr Currie went on to claim that Davidson’s debtors had made threats against members of his family and that was his motivation for stealing the package.
Davidson further claimed that stealing packages clearly marked for gold dealers is reasonably common practice within Royal Mail and that he was aware the senders would be compensated through recorded mail insurance procedures.
However, Sheriff Leslie was unmoved by the Coylton man’s excuses.
He told him: “The public must have the utmost trust and confidence in the Royal Mail.
“Those with the responsibility you had may find themselves in a situation where you have easy pickings.
“There must be full confidence that if something is posted, that it is delivered.
“The consequences have been quite dramatic for you. You’ve lost your home, your employment and your pension rights.
“These matters I am taking into account when imposing a custodial sentence. I’ll restrict that to 80 days.”