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Jail threat to Bradwell pair over theft

PUBLISHED: 09:17 02 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:29 03 July 2010

THE former Bradwell sub postmaster and his estranged wife have been warned they could face jail after they admitted the theft of more than £76,000 from a post office

Robert Humphrey, 52 and Jacqueline Humphrey, 46, who both worked at Bradwell Post Office, both admitted the theft of £76,000.

THE former Bradwell sub postmaster and his estranged wife have been warned they could face jail after they admitted the theft of more than £76,000 from a post office

Robert Humphrey, 52 and Jacqueline Humphrey, 46, who both worked at Bradwell Post Office, both admitted the theft of £76,000.61 from Royal Mail over a two year period from April 2006 until April 2008 when they appeared at Norwich Crown Court.

Last night a councillor for Bradwell, Stephen Ames, said that the sub postmaster had breached the trust of the Post Office and his customers.

Peter Glenser, representing Jacqueline Humphrey, said she was alcoholic and suffering from depression. He said some of the stealing was to feed that addiction.

Ian James, for Robert Humphrey, disputed the full amount of loss claimed by the post office, but said this would be dealt with at the sentencing hearing.

Mr Ames, who represents Bradwell South and Hopton for Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “It was certainly a breach of trust by Humphrey - maybe there was a lack of control from the Post Office while he was there.”

Judge Simon Barham adjourned the case until December 11 for reports including a medical report for Jacqueline Humphrey. However, he warned them that all sentencing options, including custody, would be considered.

Bradwell Post Office suddenly closed in July leading to confusion among customers. Many of them faced a hike to the nearest branch in Gorleston.

At the time of the closure, the post office was being run by postmistress Clair Griffin and her part time colleague Rowena Buchan, who were given just 10 minutes to leave the site.

Mr Ames said when the Beccles Road branch closed there was a lack of information from the Post Office.

He said: “Obviously the impact of this was quite severe. Nobody knew why it had closed.”

A Post Office spokesman said: “We would not wish to comment on the outcome of any individual court case.

“Post Office Limited believes that all subpostmasters and their staff hold a unique position of trust. The overwhelming majority of people who work in our branch network are professional, honest and provide the highest standards of service possible and so it is always disappointing when that trust is breached.

“Contractual incidents are rare, however when they do occur, and after establishing the facts, we take the most appropriate action applicable under the circumstances.”

Bradwell Post Office has moved to Premier Convenience Store, in Church Lane, and has been open since October 15.

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