A postman who stole more than £3,000 from residents on his round in Barton, Oxford, was todayfri starting a two-and-a-half year jail sentence.

Rotimi Ayeni, 37, applied for a job with the Royal Mail in Oxford in 2004 using false identification stolen from a Dutch man.

Over his eight months as a postman, Ayeni stole at least five credit cards, as well as store cards and a cheque book from homes on his round.

The father-of-one wept profusely throughout yesterday's hearing at Reading Crown Court.

Ayeni was found guilty in March of stealing more than £1,250 in credit cards.

He also deposited £1,750 in a bank account using a stolen cheque.

Mustapha Hakme, defending, said the 89 days Ayeni had already spent in custody had taught him a lesson, and he was now on medication for depression.

Jailing him, Judge Mary Jane Mowat said: "To steal credit cards from the mail and to put them to use and obtain goods, cash and services with them is extremely serious.

"If you cannot trust the mail then what can you trust?"