A former doorman who posted a parcel full of ice cubes insured as iPads has denied fraud after he sent a compensation claim to Royal Mail, unaware that the package had burst open in a Shropshire post office.
At the start of his trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday, Nathan Cameron Meunch, 29, of Leegomery, Telford, told the jury he had “absolutely no idea” of the parcel’s true contents, as he had posted it for a friend.
His co-accused, Nigel Darren Bennett, 39, of Culmington, Stirchley, pleaded guilty to fraud on March 14.
Meunch used the Special Delivery service at Wellington Post Office, telling the counter clerk the box contained iPads, so she insured it up to value of £2,500.
But an hour later shocked staff saw water flooding from the parcel and its contents were revealed to be a bag of ice cubes.
The dodgy delivery was noted by Royal Mail investigators, patched up and sent on to its destination. And before long they received a compensation claim saying the valuable contents were missing.
Elaine Sloane, a counter clerk at the post office on Market Street told the court how she served Meunch on May 14, 2012.
“When the gentleman came to the counter and said he wanted to do a special delivery I did notice the package had damp patches on it and the front of his jacket had damp patches on it too,” she said.
“I just happened to say to the gentleman is it raining outside and he said yes but it seemed strange to me because I could see from where I was sitting it didn’t look like it was raining.” She added: “I asked him what was inside and he said iPads. I said how much is it worth but he wanted to make a phone call. I asked him for a return address but he couldn’t remember the postcode.”
About an hour later, a colleague noticed a puddle of water beneath the pile of parcels to be sent by Special Delivery.
“We had a little look and you could see all ice in there,” said Mrs Sloane. “We were shocked. He had sent it as iPads and I couldn’t believe it was all this water and the box was disintegrating.”
Meunch said Bennett, director of Rechabite Hall Limited, a music venue in Tan Bank, Wellington, asked him to post the package and complete the claim form but he was not aware of any “scam”.
He said he worked on the door for Bennett and they often stripped out shut down shops and nightclubs and sent recovered goods on to pawnbrokers to be sold.
Mr Richard Cole, prosecuting said: “The prosecution say it was a poor scam as it was discovered an hour afterwards.”
The trial continues.