Former Painswick postmistress Karen Judd convicted of stealing six parcels
FORMER Painswick postmistress Karen Judd, 43, has been convicted of stealing six parcels which customers had entrusted to her.
Judd, a mum of one and a former Financial Times manager, pilfered the postal packets when she was running Painswick post office, Gloucester Crown Court heard.
She had denied eight charges of stealing the parcels during a six months period in late 2012 and early 2013 and was found not guilty yesterday, Tuesday, of two of the thefts.
But this morning, Wednesday, after considering their verdicts for a total of eight hours 50 minutes the jury of eleven found her guilty of all six other charges, each on a majority of 10-1.
Judge William Hart bailed her for a pre-sentence report to a date to be fixed.
But he warned her an immediate prison term is likely.
"You will have been advised that almost inevitably cases of theft by postmasters and mistresses means custody is inevitable," said the judge.
Asking for bail her barrister Roger Carne said "She is still living in Painswick. She has a job. She knows she is likely to have a custodial sentence. She has a young daughter."
The offences of which Judd was convicted were theft of a Boden jacket in one parcel, a skirt in another, a Samsung phone in a third, a carriage clock in another, a Blackberry phone and 65 Canadian dollars in a fifth - and an iPod Nano and 25 Euros which were in a test parcel posted by Royal Mail investigators.
The jury heard that an investigation was launched when a jeweller in Painswick posted two parcels five days apart in December 2012 and neither arrived.
Both contained treasured jewellery including wedding rings which were being sent back to the owners after repair but they never arrived.
The jury found her not guilty, however, of those two alleged thefts.
The court heard that during the investgation the Royal Mail sent in two members of staff working under cover to post test parcels.
One arrived but the other did not and the investigators and police raided the shop.
They found the iPod Nano and cash from the test parcel - and also other stolen goods including the carriage clock, still with some bubble wrap stuck in its door.
Judd actually admitted to investigators that she had stolen the Blackberry phone and the Boden jacket.
But in evidence she claimed her admissions were untrue and she had only admitted them to get out of custody and because her solicitor told her to do so if she wanted to avoid prison.
She will be sentenced at the end of May or during June on a date to be agreed between the court and the prosecution and defence lawyers.
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