London: An Indian-origin employee of Britain's national postal service Royal Mail has been penalised after he admitted stealing Christmas parcels from the sorting office where he worked.
Mohan Kodisana, 23, was among temporary staff drafted in to help with the seasonal rush in the Manchester area.
He stole 11 items including a watch, a torch and a gold-plated chain, according to court proceedings in Warrington.
Kodisana pleaded guilty to theft by an employee, opening postal packages, and was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and was made to pay 1,400 pounds in court and investigation costs.
Kodisana stole the goods while working at Warrington Mail Centre, reports from Manchester said.
The alarm was raised in early December after opened packages were discovered on the office floor.
Kodisana was arrested with two other men by Cheshire Police on December 16, and kept overnight for questioning.
The other men were released without charge, but Kodisana was charged and prosecuted by Royal Mail, who say they have a 'zero tolerance' policy on mail theft.
A spokesman for Royal Mail said: "We have a zero-tolerance approach to any dishonesty and that stance is shared by the overwhelming majority of postmen and women, who are honest and hard-working and who do all they can to protect the mail and deliver it safely".