Chiswick Postman escapes jail for theft

Unpaid drug debts caused him to steal from colleagues Christmas fund

A former postman was ordered to do community service and repay the money he stole after a court heard how he had taken over £4,000 from Chiswick Post Office's Christmas fund. Phillip Michael Allen, aged 37, admitted the theft in Feltham Magistrates Court.

His defence was that he had a problem with cocaine addiction and was in debt to a gang of "vicious drug dealers". As a result he fled the area to live in Hull.

When the theft was originally discovered he promised to repay the money to escape prosecution but failed to do so.

Chiswick Post Office had previously been the subject of a BBC Watchdog investigation following reports of lost CDs and videos on the . The problem became so severe that some mail order companies refused to deliver to the W4 post-code. Reportedly a post office employee was found with a large stash of stolen items in his flat.

April 4, 2003

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