An ACTING Wigan sub-postmaster who stole postal packages has been jailed.
Sentencing Kamran Ali, Judge Nigel Gilmour, QC said that the case involved “a high level of breach of trust.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard the stolen items included £1,100 worth of coins which a customer had posted back to the Royal Mint and he was threatened with legal action after they failed to arrive.
Ali, 33, who had applied to take over the post office in Wigan Lane, Wigan, had been convicted of conspiracy to steal after a trial.
The family man still maintains his innocence.
Alongside him in the dock was his 19-year-old brother, Ali Akbar, who was convicted of the same plot, between spanned December 2008 and April 1, 2009.
The court was told that Akbar claims he was to blame but the judge did not accept he was solely responsible. “You got your younger brother involved, I have no doubt he would not be in the dock otherwise,” said Judge Gilmour.
He sentenced Ali to 18 months’ imprisonment and sentenced Akbarr to 12 months’ detention suspended for and ordered him to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work. Akbar had admitted 11 theft offences.
John Gibson, prosecuting, said that it was believed that the value of the stolen items totalled about £4,000.
The trial heard their dishonesty came to light after an official from the UK Border Agency arrived at the post office during an investigation.
He found Akbar working behind the counter but his immigration visa had expired. At the time Ali was in Pakistan, said John Gibson, prosecuting.
The officer along with two police officers then went to the brothers’ home in Green Avenue, Bolton and conducted a search. In two bedrooms they found stolen property including two laptops, a large number of mobile phones, two DVD players and other electrical equipment.
As well as 32 electrical items, coins worth £1,100, which had been posted for return to the Royal Mint, were stolen, as was a large pink holdall.
Mr Gibson said: “It was clear to the officers that the property must have come from Wigan Lane post office.
“Both men played an active role in running the post office and Kamran was intending to take over from the incumbent post master,” said Mr Gibson.
Ronan Maguire, defending, said that Ali had hoped to take over the post office and had made a “significant financial commitment” to it.
Ali, who still denies the offence, has care responsibilities for his child and his wife, who suffers from depression.