A POSTMAN has been jailed for stealing cash cards and emptying people’s bank accounts.

Damon Alvey, of Friday Court, Thame, helped himself to post between June and October last year after he was moved by Royal Mail from Oxford to their Banbury sorting office.

The 45-year-old used his job to search for letters containing bank cards and PIN numbers, which he used to withdraw at least £4,033 from two customers’ accounts.

He pleaded guilty to one count of theft and four counts of fraud by false representation.

Timothy Boswell, prosecuting yesterday at Oxford Crown Court, said Alvey had also taken letters belonging to 15 other people and police found the remains of more post that had been shredded when they searched his home.

Mr Boswell said one of his victims was Darren Blythe, 34, of Bretch Hill, Banbury, who is registered blind and receives around £400 a month from the local authority.

Speaking after the hearing he said when he realised all the council money had been stolen, plus about £2,700 from another account, he was left feeling sick. He said: "Without that money I wouldn’t be able to afford to do anything. I wish he had got a longer sentence.’’ Timothy Greaves, defending, said his client had been a postman for three-and-a-half years but turned to crime after he got into £25,000 of debt.

Judge Ian Pringle sentenced Alvey to 10 months and ordered him to pay a £100 victims’ surcharge.