A Royal Mail postman from Londonderry who opened children’s birthday cards in the hope of finding money in them has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service.
Father of one Brendan Taggart, from Sevenoaks in the Waterside, also kept undelivered mail in the back of his car for more than two months.
At the city magistrates court yesterday Taggart admitted charges of interfering with and delaying the delivery of post.
He also pleaded guilty to two charges of opening children’s birthday cards.
Taggart (24), who committed the offences between May and August 2006, was caught after his car, which contained bundles of undelivered mail, was set on fire in an arson attack at Norburgh Park in Foyle Springs in the city.
When the police arrived they found the mail bags and reported the matter to Royal Mail management at the sorting office in Derry.
Taggart made admissions when he was questioned by his superior officers.
As a result he was fired from Royal Mail. Imposing a four-month jail sentence, suspended for three years, the District Judge said no-one would ever know the disruption Taggart, by his actions, had caused to people’s lives.