Crippled Doncaster postman dumped letters

Keith Hayes
Keith Hayes

A crippled Doncaster postman dumped thousands of letters because he could not cope with the strain of his workload, a court heard.

Many Conisbrough residents failed to get their European election polling cards because Keith Hayes’ injured knee was not strong enough to complete his hilly round.

The 35-year-old, who has lost his job, is due to be sentenced today – and District Judge Jonathan Bennett warned him ‘all options’ were open, including jail.

Hayes, of Trent Close, Edlington, admitted damaging more than 2,000 postal packets in April and May, and intentionally delaying the delivery of the packets.

Royal Mail began investigations on May 13 when council skips in Lidgett Lane, Rotherham, were found to contain six bin liners containing 1,649 postal packets, including election material.

Tim Williamson, prosecuting, said Hayes was seen on May 15 and was ‘quick to accept’ responsibility. He had put the mail in his car before disposing of it in skips at Lidgett Lane and Crookhill, Conisbrough. There had been no attempt to open the mail. He said: “Regrettably, the mail included European election polling cards which would have been denying them the right to vote.”

Dale Harris, defending at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court, said Hayes was ‘put under enormous pressure’ by his employers when recovering from a knee injury.

“He was signed off for three months but after three weeks he had phone calls from a manager saying they were short-staffed and he came back to work on crutches.

“After a brief period in the office he was expected to go out on his round with five bags.”