A postman who stole from letters and packages he should have delivered has escaped a prison sentence.
Simon Williamson was caught after an investigation was carried out by the Royal Mail last August following complaints that items of post had not been delivered.
John Dove, prosecuting at Stafford Crown Court, said: "He was told he was suspected of stealing from the post.
"His car was searched and a number of packages were found including perfume a Harry Potter CD and a test postal packet which was open.
"He put his hands up straight away and said: 'I have done wrong. I took things which did not belong to me. It was foolish and compulsive'."
Williamson (38) of Gayle, Wilnecote, Tamworth, Staffordshire, admitted four charges of delaying and stealing from mail and asked for four similar offences to be considered.
He was ordered to carry out 250 hours community service and told to pay prosecution costs of £500.
Dominic Shelley, defending, said: "Before these offences he was a loyal, hardworking member of the community. He has lost his job and suffered a high level of disgrace."