Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 19 September 1930
Pilfered The Post.
Denaby Auxiliary Postman Sent To Prison.
Stole “For Kiddies.”
“I have done this; because I have been on short time at the pit, and for the kiddies’ sake. Some weeks I have taken home only 4 shillings.”
This was the excuse of George Edward Wordsworth, an auxiliary postman, of Denaby, who was summoned at Doncaster on Tuesday for stealing a postal packet valued 30s. and a packet containing six handkerchiefs and a silk stocking repair outfit. Defendant pleaded guilty.
Mr. C. R. Marshall, who prosecuted, said that the first offence took place on Sept. 2nd. and the other on or about July 1st. Defendant, who was a miner, was employed as a temporary auxiliary postman at the Denaby sub- post office. He was a married man with four children. The packets were missed on days when defendant was employed at the Post Office, where he earned £1 6s. 6d. for 29 hours’ work, and in addition to that he worked at the colliery.
Owing to numerous complaints of loss at letters, missed in the course of delivery from the Denaby Post Office, an investigation was made, and as a result of inquiries suspicion tell on defendant, and on Sept. 1 a test letter was made and posted to a certain address at Conisbro’. In it was enclosed a 10s. and £1 note, It was sorted at Denaby and placed by the postmaster among the letters to be sorted by defendant the following morning. As the packet was addressed to Conisboro’ it should have been left in the office to be delivered by a Conisboro’ postman. However, it could not be found when defendant left to do his round.
Questioned later in the day, defendant denied that he had seen the packet; he consented to be searched, and the notes were found in his trousers pocket. He then admitted taking the packet, saying, “I am sorry I have done it ; I tore the letter up and burnt it in a field.”
Defendant’s house was searched and the articles which were the subject of the second charge were found; defendant agreed that he had stolen them. Defendant pleaded guilty and had nothing to say.
In a statement made following his discovery be said, “I have done this because I have been on short time at the pit and for the kiddies’ sake. Some weeks I have taken home only 15s. I have spent the money I have taken from letters, half at the Welfare Club and some clear any of the other on treating folk.” Defendant said he had never been in trouble before, and he had a clean record in the Army. He had been gassed during the war, and in consequence he had suffered in health. His wife had also been unwell.
Necessity of Honesty.
In conveying the decision of the Bench, the chairman ( Mr. G. E. Cooke-Yarborough) said it was necessary that the men employed by the Post Office should be absolutely honest, and because of that necessity offences of that sort were always dealt with very severely by all courts; not only to punish the offender but to prevent other people from committing such offences.
“It is absolutely essential to the commercial life of the country that people can depend on the Post Office. Therefore, we have no alternative but to send you to prison for three months on each charge, the sentences to run concurrently,” he added.