Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:51 UK

Mail burning postman avoids jail

Aaron Heaney(Pic: MEN Syndication)
Aaron Heaney admitted burning letters and packages

A postman from Greater Manchester who admitting setting hundreds of packages and letters on fire has escaped a jail sentence.

Aaron Heaney, 20, of Croydon Avenue, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and intentionally delaying post at Manchester City Magistrates' Court.

He was given a three month sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He burnt letters and packages on moorland in Rochdale and kept post in his car between 20 January and 3 April.

Royal Mail brought the prosecution against Heaney after a passer-by found the piles of post on the moor.

A spokeswoman for the company said a "zero tolerance approach" was taken towards any dishonesty but that the majority of postmen and women were honest and hardworking.

"We will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust."

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