A THIEVING postman who took cash from birthday cards to feed his gambling habit has had the length of his jail term reduced.
Daniel Paul Kerling, of Canon’s Close, Thetford, stole nearly 600 parcels, letters and cards in the four years he worked for Royal Mail in Thetford.
This week, judges at London’s Criminal Appeal Court said the 35-year-old’s two-year sentence was ‘excessive’ and reduced it to 16 months.
Kerling took the items between July 2006 and April 2010.
He originally pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one of intentionally delaying post at Norwich Crown Court in August.
Kerling told police he had a haul of £1,500 from his crimes and that the 587 parcels that were found in his home were only half of what he had taken – he had set fire to the rest.
He was only caught after co-workers became suspicious and placed ‘test packages’ into his round.
When they came to see if Kerling was delivering the packages, they found he had stolen four out of five.
Police searched his home and found that 207 of the stolen packages had been opened.
Items found included six rental DVDs and almost 8,000 commercial flyers for which he had been given extra money to deliver.
Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, sitting with Lord Justice Levesor and Judge Warwick, said Kerling had started stealing within a month of starting at Royal Mail.
He added that although the packages were of ‘little value’, they were of ‘enormous emotional and sentimental value to both sender and receiver’.
Lord Justice Levesor said the value of what was taken was ‘much greater than money alone’.
He added: “This would have caused upset when people thought perhaps granny didn’t remember their birthday when granny absolutely did.”
Kerling expressed remorse for the thefts but criticised his employers for taking him on without properly checking his background.
His lawyers argued that the sentence was too long and that the crown court judge had not taken account of sentencing guidelines.