Ilford postman stole customers’ bank cards to pay off drug debts

Ilford Delivery Office. Picture: Google

Ilford Delivery Office. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

A thieving postman who stole envelopes containing bank cards then emptied people’s accounts to cover his drug debts has been jailed for 12 months.

Davinder Samra, 35, had access to all mail at the Ilford Delivery Office and was responsible for delivering to two postcode areas.

Royal Mail investigators visited the office to speak to Samra and contacted police when he refused to consent to a search of his person, home and car.

Officers searched Samra’s home and discovered four bank cards belonging to different people.

Each had been posted with their PIN numbers, in separate envelopes, between March and May 2014.

Samra withdrew £1,760 from customers’ accounts from various ATMs, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard on Friday.

Prosecutor William Martin said the theft was “more sophisticated than the kind of theft one usually sees”.

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Samra, of St George’s Road, Ilford, admitted eight counts of theft and was jailed for 12 months concurrent and ordered to pay £1,510 compensation to the banks.

Daniel Cohen, for Samra, said the postman descended into debt through drink and drugs.

“It was a sign of desperation from an otherwise decent man who acted in a thoroughly indecent manner.”

He said since being sacked for gross misconduct after 12 years with Royal Mail, Samra had obtained part-time work with B&Q and was hoping to turn his life around.

Judge Recorder Margaret Bickford-Smith QC said: “There seems to have been a period in your life when you went completely off the rails and I am afraid today is the day you have to pay for it.

“There is a mechanism in place by which the banks feel able to trust to their cards to the Royal Mail for delivery and the public have to have confidence in that system just as much as the banks.”