A postwoman who stashed thousands of letters and parcels at her Sutton home because she says she was struggling with the job is to be sentenced at crown court.
Magistrates at Mansfield said that such was the breach of trust that they did not have the sentencing powers to deal with the case against Emma Pearce, of Leyton Avenue, Sutton.
The court was told how more than 6,040 correspondents were found at the 36-year-old’s home, spread throughout the property, including in her wardrobe, her shed, bed-side drawers, a wheelie bin and in her car. Some dated back to 2010.
Pearce, formerly of Carnarvon Street in Sutton, was charged with three counts of theft, and two counts of purposely delaying the delivery of postal packets.
She admitted all five charges, however, Pearce maintained that she did not take the letters and parcels for personal gain, but because she simply could not cope with the her postal round.
Defending Deborah Bell said: “She has always maintained that she did not do this to steal the contents of the mail. She did it because she could not keep up with delivering it.
“It built up until it just became unmanageable for her.”
She added that Pearce was now getting counselling for her issues.
The private prosecution was brought against former postie Pearce by Royal Mail.
She had worked for the service for two years and four months, based first at the Mansfield office, then at the Sutton sorting office.
But concerns were eventually raised by staff at the Sutton office about parcels that had gone missing, as well as complaints from members of the public who had not received mail.
After postal bosses called for a meeting with Pearce, she failed to turn in for work.
When they eventually went to her home they found the thousands of letters and packages, many unopened, scattered around her home.
There were greetings cards, DVDs and computer games among other items that had been found opened.
When interviewed she said she had struggled with her postal round and had every intention of delivering them, but things ‘got on top of her’.
Miss Bell said Pearce did approach her boss and explained she could not cope, although did not let on that she had failed to deliver thousands of letters.
She said she got no sympathy or assistance, other than a move to the Sutton office because it was deemed less stressful than being at the busier Mansfield office.
Pearce had even brought a bank statement with her to the hearing to show that neither her or her husband were struggling financially, so did not feel compelled to steal money from letters.
However, two of the charges put to Pearce related to specific amounts of cash that had gone missing in the post. One of them was for £200. The card was found opened at Pearce’s property, but the money was gone.
After deliberating, the magistrates said: “The significant matter for us is the breach of trust on such a large scale, so we are committing it to crown court.”
Pearce is due before Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on 13th September.