A RESPECTED subpostmaster has admitted stealing almost £19,000.
Purgan Gill pleaded guilty to stealing cash belonging to The Post Office while running the business at Railway Terrace, South Hylton, Sunderland.
The total sum he was charged with taking is £18,989.
Gill, who runs Costcutter on Railway Terrace, took over the post office last year.
The 40-year-old had also been accused of false accounting but the charge was dropped after he admitted the theft offence.
No details of how the crime was carried out were given during yesterday’s short hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.
Prosecutor Barry Robson told the court: “He was a sub-postmaster. Money had been taken and while it should have been put in one place, it has been put in another.”
Gill, of Railway Terrace, will be sentenced next Friday after the preparation of a probation service report.
Judge James Goss, QC, said he had not been told enough about the case to indicate what the likely outcome would be.
But the judge warned Gill: “All sentencing options are open.” He was granted bail in the meantime.
Residents in South Hylton were relieved after the post office was saved from closure last year and relocated inside the Costcutter store.
Gill’s business was nominated for Independent Retailer of the Year at this year’s Sunderland Retail Awards by his customers.
He said at the time: “Everyone thought they would end up losing the post office, so they were pleased when we took it on.”
Gill admitted taking the cash between July 1 and August 23 last year.