Ex-postman Craig Congrave at Birmingham Magistrates' Court
A postman who stashed birthday cards, theatre tickets and hospital appointments behind his sofa is facing jail after being convicted of delaying mail deliveries by up to THREE YEARS.
Craig Congrave, 28, tried to convince magistrates that 56 letters discovered at his home must have been taken from his bag by a drug-addicted ex-girlfriend or a housemate.
Some of the packages had been hidden for nearly three years and were found opened by police who were investigating the postman on suspicion of drug offences.
During his trial it was heard Congrave, of Tottenham Crescent, Kingstanding, had moved house over the period he had held the letters and must have taken them with him when he changed address.
Birmingham magistrates found him guilty of one offence of delaying the delivery of a postal packet or mailbag.
John Dove, prosecuting, said: "On January 21 he was arrested on an unrelated matter. During a search of his house police found two red Royal Mail delivery pouches.
"They contained 56 undelivered packets which included hospital appointments, wage slips, theatre tickets and greeting cards.
"He says he must have brought them into his house on a break and forgot them. He said his ex-partner must have opened them.
"He knew they were there, he knew he had a duty to deliver them and he failed to do so."
Congrave had been a postman since 2006 and worked out of the Great Barr delivery office, but was dismissed when his offence came to light.
Giving evidence, the postie said he would take mail bags into his house during his route if he needed to take a break or use the toilet.
He said: "You're not allowed to leave mail in the car on show so I took it into my house. I never saw anybody remove items from the pouch. I never noticed mail was missing, there could be 1,000 letters in a pouch at any one time.
"When I've gone home I've taken the pouch with me to safeguard it. I had no intention to undeliver or delay them."
But magistrates rejected his account. On conviction he was told by the bench: "We simply do not find this explanation credible or convincing. You must have known they were in your possession and you were delaying their delivery."
Magistrates adjourned the case for sentence to November 19.