A THIEVING Bradford postman who plundered the mail to fund a gambling habit has been jailed for 12 months.

Adrian Brocksom was caught on camera drawing money with stolen bank cards, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

He was wearing his Royal Mail uniform at the cash points and was identified by his pronounced limp.

Brocksom, 50, of Hanover Gardens, Burley-in-Wharfedale, pleaded guilty to theft and fraud.

Royal Mail prosecutor, Michael O'Garra, said Brocksom, a postman in Wibsey, was caught by a police operation focusing on criminal transactions at cash points in Bradford city centre.

On November 13 last year, his home was searched and stolen bank cards seized, along with pin number documents and gift vouchers and cards.

He admitted stealing £200 a week for about six months.

Mr O'Garra said it was estimated that Brocksom's dishonesty amounted to £5,000.

His spoils included a William Hill bonus card that he used at a local bookmakers.

Brocksom admitted targeting letters containing householders' bank cards and then looking out for their pin numbers, following in the post a few days later, and stealing them.

He was spotted making five cash withdrawals, totalling £1,220.

Brocksom, of previous good character, told investigators he had a gambling habit and was in financial difficulty.

His solicitor advocate, Julian White, said he was fully co-operative with the enquiry and no other Royal Mail employee had fallen under suspicion.

He had worked the same route for several years and the finger of suspicion was pointed immediately at him.

"Ultimately, he was bound to be caught," Mr White said.

"He fell into the habit of gambling and spiralled into despair. He was a decent, honest working man and circumstances have overtaken him."

Brocksom, who lost his job, was £25,000 in debt and under severe pressure from payday loan companies.

Judge Jonathan Rose told him: "The British postman is an institution. He is regarded by all as invested with great trust.

"You have undermined the trust the banks, the customers and the Royal Mail places in you and every other postal worker."

The judge said Brocksom was in a job with a high degree of trust.

"Mail should not go missing, and it doesn't. It is taken by thieves like you."

Judge Rose said a gambling habit provided no mitigation.

"Those who rely on the postal system must know that they can do so," he said.

After the case, a Royal Mail spokesman said: "Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any dishonesty. This stance is shared by the overwhelming majority of postmen and women, who are honest and hardworking and who do all they can to protect the mail and deliver it safely."