A 23-YEAR-OLD Pensnett postman who failed to deliver a number of letters and packages because he was feeling depressed after a relationship breakdown, has been locked up for three months.

Damien Turner left 28 pieces of mail in a bin bag inside the wardrobe at a flat he had rented in Foxdale Drive, Brierley Hill, said John Dove, prosecuting.

Some of the items were six months old and, when he realised they had been discovered, Turner burned four other packets in an oil drum in the back garden of his new home in Broad Street.

"Royal Mail have to expect absolute trust in the people who deliver mail," Judge Michael Dudley told Turner, "So many people rely on a speedy and accurate delivery service."

The judge said Turner had tried to deliver the items and instead of returning them back to the Dudley Delivery Office he had hung onto them for some considerable time.

He said the father-of-one, whose partner is expecting their second child, was a man of previous good character but the offences were so serious only immediate custody was appropriate.

Turner admitted delaying mail and burning the other items at a time, said Geraldine Toal, defending, when he was "suffering considerably" at the breakdown of his relationship.

She said Turner had great expectations in the relationship and afterwards he began to associate with "undesirables" and take drugs”.

Miss Toal said he had delivered thousands of letters each week while working as a postman and the items in the charges were a "small amount" of the mail that passed through his hands.

He had not delivered the items because of the impact the end of his relationship had on his life and things had then "spiralled out of control."

Mr Dove told Wolverhampton Crown Court that Turner had been employed as a postman for three years and he was rumbled when a betting agency took over his old flat in Brierley Hill.

The manager found a number of postal packets inside the built in wardrobe and inquiries then revealed Turner had been living at the property but he moved out because of rent arrears.

When approached by investigators he told them, "I've been waiting for this" adding he forgot to deliver them and felt there was "no way back."

He told the investigators he did not know what to do and things got worse because matters then went on so long, said Mr Dove.