A postman has escaped jail for dumping more than 400 letters in a field because he was DYSLEXIC and struggled to read addresses on envelopes.
Disgraced Wayne Daniels, 25, was an agency worker with Royal Mail for two years before he took up the role as postman but never told anyone about his learning disability.
His frustration at understanding addresses boiled over during a daily round on March 16 this year when drove out to a small village and dumped 420 bills, letters and parcels in a field.
A dog walker discovered the stash of mail in a bag by a river in Coates, near Whittlesey, Cambs. the next morning.
He contacted his friend, a former Royal Mail manager, who took it to the sorting office.
An investigation found the letters should have been delivered to the Orton Goldhay area of Peterborough by Daniels and a search was carried out at his address.
A CD that he had stolen from one of the packets was found in his car.
In a police interview, he admitted he had been running late and had not
completed his round by 6pm, so dumped the mail because he thought the sorting office was shut.
Daniels, of Whittlesey, Cambs., pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of delaying the mail at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Prosecuting, Hugh Cauthery said: ”In the early hours of March 16, the bag of mail was discovered by a man walking his dog by the river.
”He called his friend, a former Royal Mail manager, who picked it up and took it to the sorting office.
”There were 420 letters that had been dumped, all of which were due to be delivered to the Orton Goldhay area of the city.
”The investigation showed that the letters were meant to be delivered by Daniels and a search was carried out at his address.
”In his car a CD which was taken from one of the packets was found.
”In a police interview, he admitted he had disposed of the mail but he had been running late on his round, and had not completed it by 6pm.
”He thought the office was shut, so drove out to dump them.”
Fran Tyler, mitigating, said his actions were caused by his dyslexia, which he had ”not discussed” with his employers.
She said: ”He suffers from dyslexia and he was struggling to read the
”He said it was an impulsive action born out of frustration and said it was a disgrace to himself and to the Royal Mail.
”He had not discussed the problem with colleagues because of a mixture of pride and embarrassment.”
Chair of the bench Linda Glover ordered Daniels to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £750 costs and £24.66 compensation to Royal Mail.
She said: ”This was a gross breach of trust. Theft from the Royal Mail is a very serious matter.”
All of the mail was recovered and redelivered to the correct addresses with a letter of apology.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: ”Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any dishonesty and that stance is shared by the overwhelming majority of our people, who are honest and hardworking.
”We will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust.”
In 2009 postman Alec Clark, 35 of Peterborough, Cambs., was jailed for six months after stealing sex toys and underwear from his round.
Dyslexia, a Greek word which means ‘difficulty with words’, is a specific
learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and
language related skills.
As many as one in ten people in the UK are believed to suffer from it,
including Richard Branson and Sir Steve Redgrave.