A POSTMAN dumped more than 10,000 letters entrusted to him for delivery over a six-month period and yesterday his “bizarre” behaviour was put down to pressures to mind his children.
Daniel O’Regan, 6 Ard Abhainn, Knockraha, Co Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to three charges under the Postal and Telecommunications Services Act arising out of his actions.
Garda Inspector Senan Ryan said the matter came to light on March 18 last when over 2,000 letters were found dumped in a field at Ard Abhainn, Knockraha. The letters were removed to the An Post sorting office at Little Island and an internal investigation was put in place. Within days an official complaint was made to An Garda Síochána and Daniel O’Regan was questioned in relation to the matter.
The postman attended at Cobh Garda Station where he admitted dumping the mail and told gardaí that he had dumped mail previously at Glounthaune. Almost 8,000 items of mail were recovered from where they had been dumped by O’Regan. More than 4,000 of the total of over 10,000 items recovered had been damaged by water or were torn or otherwise destroyed.
Eddie Burke, defence solicitor, described it as a bizarre situation where O’Regan, 31, was not taking the mail in order to steal from it but was under a lot of pressure to look after his children. Mr Burke said the defendant’s wife was suffering post-natal depression at the time and he was getting up for work at 4am, delivering as much mail as he could and then returning home to get the children up and ready for school. He was also collecting them, Mr Burke said. Initially he held on to the mail he could not deliver but eventually began to dump it. The solicitor said O’Regan could have avoided all of this if he had simply asked for help.
O’Regan pleaded guilty to opening mail addressed to others, fraudulently retaining mail and destroying it on unknown dates between September 2009 and February 2010. Judge Con O’Leary adjourned sentencing until next Tuesday.
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