A POSTAL worker who stole gift vouchers from a mail bag and used it to order an iPhone could face a jail term.
Herod Ncube (42), of Beeston Square, Barnsley, was working at the Parcelforce depot in Rotherham when he stole £1,400 worth of vouchers and spent them online.
He appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday where chairman of the bench Mr Horace Tinsley deemed the offences were so serious he should be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court.
Red Letter Days, which offers days out and experiences, contacted Parcelforce in December last year to report that a parcel containing eight vouchers had not been delivered to the customer, Ms Andrea Fitzgerald, prosecuting, told the court.
“Tracking showed it had arrived at the delivery office but there was no stamp to show it had moved out of the office - at least legally,” Ms Fitzgerald told the court.
Red Letter Days confirmed that all the vouchers had been activated online on December 10.
“One voucher, worth £100, had been spent at River Island,” Ms Fitzgerald added.
“Red Letter Days was unable to stop that particular purchase.”
Another voucher, worth £800, was used to buy an iPhone 7 worth £603 from Currys PC World, Ms Fitzgerald said.
The orders were placed by an M. Fowler, with the same address as Ncube.
Ncube was interviewed under caution and denied stealing the vouchers or activating any of them online.
When he was arrested, he told police “what you are looking for is in my car” and a search found a parcel with M. Fowler’s name on it.
Ncube admitted charges of theft from a mail bag and fraud at an earlier hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.
Mr Tinsley committed the case to Sheffield Crown Court because he deemed the punishment to be beyond the maximum sentence he could impose - six months in prison for each charge.
“Because there’s a serious breach of trust, with theft from a mailbag, and fraud by false representation, and, in antecedence, there’s a previous theft from an employer, which aggravates this, I feel it’s beyond my powers to sentence you,” Mr Tinsley said.
Ncube was released on unconditional bail and is due to be sentenced at the crown court on November 27.
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