Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Perth woman sentenced for mail theft

Date of Publication: 
24 October 2019

Today, Perth woman Alesha Stopforth (30) was sentenced in the District Court of Western Australia to 3 years imprisonment, to be released after serving 16 months upon entering into a Recognisance Order in the amount of $10,000 and to be of good behaviour for a period of 20 months, after pleading guilty to stealing four Australia Post mail bags.

On 21 June 2017, Ms Stopforth and another woman, Sara Dodd (37), broke into an Australia Post drop box and stole the four mail bags. They took the bags to the house of their co-offender, Danny Parker, and opened the mail, obtaining items including driver’s licences, credit cards, bank statements, gift cards, and items from parcels.

Australia Post estimated that approximately 854 different delivery addresses were potentially affected by the theft. The post bag also included 33 registered mail items and parcels which could be tracked by Australia Post as not being delivered.

Police recovered 420 mail items during a search of the property. In addition, police discovered a photo of Ms Stopforth posing with one of the opened mail bags.

The CDPP’s Deputy Director for Revenue and Benefits Fraud, James Carter, said Ms Stopforth’s offending had the potential to undermine public confidence in Australia’s mail system.

“The community is entitled to expect that their personal items, such as licences and credit cards and items bought online will be delivered safely and securely,” Mr Carter said.

“The sentences imposed on Ms Stopforth and the co-accused send a clear message of deterrence. The CDPP will continue to work with our partner agencies to prosecute and deter others from engaging in this type of criminal offending.”

Summary of charges:

•    1 x dishonestly appropriated mail receptacles, namely four Australia Post Mail Bags with the intention of permanently depriving Australia Post of the mail receptacles, contrary to section 471.1(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

Sentences for co-accused:

•    Sara Dodd (37) was sentenced in January 2019 to two years’ imprisonment to be released after 12 months. Ms Dodd was convicted after trial. 
•    Danny Parker (42) was sentenced in June 2018 to 14 months’ imprisonment to be released after 9 months for his part in the offending. 

CDPP Media contact: media@cdpp.gov.au or 02 6206 5708.
 

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