A postman who failed to deliver thousands of letters out of "pure laziness" has been given a suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Oliver Ennis (27) avoided jail after Judge Martin Nolan said that he didn't even know the offence existed until the case came before him yesterday.
Over the course of nearly two years, Ennis stashed undelivered letters in his car boot so he could finish his shifts early.
Ennis, of Pearse House, Pearse Street, plead guilty to "detaining and delaying" more than 2,500 pieces of post at the Shelbourne Road Sorting Office between December 1, 2008, and July 8, 2010.
He had faced a maximum sentence of five years or a €50,000 fine.
Judge Nolan said: "It would never have struck me that this was a criminal offence until it was brought to my attention.
"And thanks be to God it doesn't apply to barristers when they're supposed to send letters," he said, to laughter from the court.
He sentenced him to 18 months which he suspended for two years.
Garda Karen Fitzsimmons told prosecuting counsel, Melanie Greally, that in April 2010, An Post received a complaint about undelivered post in the Beggars Bush area and started an investigation. They sent two test letters and monitored their delivery
Ennis was observed doing his postal route but not delivering the letters. He was seen finishing his shift and going home early. Gardai later called to his home and asked him about the undelivered post.
Ennis initially said he had six "dead", undeliverable, letters in his car. However gardai then found 2,500 more letters and packages in his car boot.
He said if a letter was difficult to deliver he would just keep it in his car so he could finish work early. He said his only excuse was "pure laziness" and if he was delivering a package and the recipient was not there to sign for it, he would stash it in his car.
He had worked for An Post for two years but has now been dismissed.
Defence counsel Luigi Rea said his client's wife was having a difficult pregnancy with their fourth child at the time and he was under pressure caring for their other children.