Postie accused of mail scam

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A WIGAN postman stands accused of pocketing nearly £30,000 in a mail theft scam.

Gary Balderson has been charged with stealing postal packets containing thousands of pounds worth of DVDs and computer games between April 13, 2010, and April 4 this year.

In a private prosecution brought by the Royal Mail, five charges were levelled at the 43-year-old before Wigan Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

He was accused of stealing and attempting to steal numerous postal packets over a two-year period.

Balderson has also been charged with stealing three postal packets on April 4 this year and attempting to steal 11 more. In total, he is accused of converting a stash of stolen DVDs and computer games worth a staggering £53,533 into a £29,802 profit.

As the charges were read out, Balderson, wearing a grey coat and a shirt and tie, bowed his head for a moment before shaking his head.

The postie, of Baucher Road, Worsley Mesnes, was not required to enter or indicate a plea.

Gary Coghlan, prosecuting on behalf of the Royal Mail, said that although the charges were classed as “either way” offences - which can be dealt with either by magistrates or a crown court - the amount of money involved determined that the case should be heard before Liverpool Crown Court.

He also said that the prosecution case against Balderson amounted to an alleged breach of trust.

Andrea Woods, defending, simply said she was aware of the sentencing guidelines and agreed with Mr Coghlan’s assessment.

Magistrates told Balderson: “The case against you is so serious that your next appearance will be before Liverpool Crown Court on the morning of March 12 next year.”

He was granted unconditional bail.