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Postman is caught in the act stealing charity cash


Paul Ellard (47) was caught stealing. Photo: Ray Cullen

Paul Ellard (47) was caught stealing. Photo: Ray Cullen

Paul Ellard (47) was caught stealing. Photo: Ray Cullen

A POSTMAN opened letters and stole cash that was intended to help a charity fighting poverty in Africa.

Paul Ellard (47) was caught stealing the money from a post office box in south Dublin after detectives set up a surveillance operation.

Mr Ellard was observed by gardai taking envelopes out of the box at Glenageary Post Office.

Detective Garda Daniel Treacy said that Ellard was observed taking two envelopes out of a PO box.

Garda Treacy said one envelope contained €10 in cash while a second had a €20 postal order.

However, Ellard has admitted to opening eight other charity envelopes and gardai do not know how much money was taken from these.

A judge has ordered him to pay €500 to a children's charity.

The detective said donors were sending money to Breadline Africa, a UK-based charity, via a PO box number at Glenageary Post Office.

Dun Laoghaire District Court heard the charity also kept eight envelopes which had been opened in Dublin prior to them receiving them.

Garda Treacy said the envelopes were only supposed to have been opened in London.

The matter was before the court for sentencing after a judge ordered a probation report.

Judge John Lindsay said he would strike out the charges if Ellard donates €500 to the Children's Sunshine House Hospice Fund. Ellard, of Cromlech Fields in Ballybrack, had admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to eight counts of opening a postal packet contrary to his duties as an employee and the Communications Regulations (Postal Services) Act, 2011.



The packages belonged to Breadline Africa.

Ellard also admitted to two counts of theft at Glenageary Sorting Office on July 11 last year. Defence solicitor John Neville said Ellard co-operated fully with gardai.

He said he was going through a difficult time when this incident occurred.

The court heard that Ellard, who has no previous convictions, suffers from underlying mental health issues.

Judge Lindsay ordered Ellard to donate €500 to charity and he would leave him without a conviction.