TWO parcels containing jewellery which went missing in the post proved that Painswick postmistress Karen Judd was a thief, a jury was told today, Tuesday.
An investigation was launched by Royal Mail after the parcels posted by retired jeweller Graham Nash on 12th and 17th December 2012 did not arrive, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
The probe led to six other parcel thefts being uncovered - and all were the responsibility of Judd, alleged prosecutor Richard Cole.
He said she committed the total of eight thefts over a six month period when she was in debt and seeking revenge against Royal Mail after being suspended in a separate investigation into a cash deficiency at the post office.
Judd, 42, of New Street, Painswick, denies the allegations.
The jury heard she has pleaded not guilty to theft of packets and special delivery packets containing clothing, jewellery, a Samsung mobile phone, a carriage clock, a Blackberry phone, 65 Canadian dollars, 25 Euros and an iPod Nano as well the two items of jewellery sent by Mr Nash.
All the alleged offences are said to have been committed berween 24th Sept 2012 and 6th March 2013.
Mr Cole told the court that although retired, Mr Nash still did jewellery repairs and restoration for friends and associates. On Dec 12th he posted a brooch special delivery at Painswick post office and asked for £500 insurance on it.
It was Judd who dealt with the transaction and she did so again on Dec 17th when Mr Nash posted two rings in the same manner, the prosecutor said, Both items were of significant sentimental value to their owners, he said. They failed to arrive at their destinations.
When Mr Nash discovered that they had gone missing he complained to Royal Mail and an investigator looked into it. Because the parcels had been posted five days apart by the same man and should have been collected by two different drivers the investigator immediately suspected Judd.
He did a check on all other losses of parcels which went through Painswick post office and found that none occurred on Fridays when Judd was not working. During August 2012 when she was suspended over another matter there had been only one parcel which went missing.
As a result of her suspension, she had been ordered to repay a deficiency of £4,500 in six months - and it was in that six months repayment period that all the parcels were taken, Mr Cole said, The investigator looking into the thefts posted a parcel at Judd's post office to test her honesty, he said. It contained a greetings card, ipod Nano, and 25 Euros. All the items had been secretly marked.
When the package was not delivered she was arrested. The iPod Nano was found in a drawer behind her counter and the 25 marked Euros in another drawer. She claimed someone had found the iPod in the street and handed it in.
Other property including a carriage clock, Galaxy phone and a Blackberry phone were also found - all allegedly stolen from parcels she had dealt with, Mr Cole said.
The trial continues.