A couple of Hermes employees have been spared jail after stealing 340 Hermes packages costing the company as much as £300,000.

The pair worked out of a Hermes super-hub in Warwickshire where they took part in the inventive scheme.

Emanuil Radu, 26, and Isac Radu, 26 – who the court heard are not related - pleaded guilty to theft at Warwick Crown Court.

Hermes investigation.

It came to the attention of the company when an unusually high number of parcels were being delivered to the same address.

In September last year, the security manager at Hermes began an investigation after noticing how many parcels were being delivered.

Prosecutor Holly Kilbey said: "This led to further investigations which showed at least 100 parcels had been delivered to the address. It was discovered this had been going on over a nine-month period, with a total loss to the company of approximately £300,000.

"It is not possible for the Crown to attribute the entire loss to the actions of the two defendants.

“However, at least 340 parcels had been identified through the Hermes tracking system as delivered to addresses linked to the defendants.

"The method used is that they would have fake shipping labels printed attributed to addresses of the defendants, or their friends, which would be stuck over the top of the genuine label."

Hermes reputation

Sentencing the two men, Recorder William Edis QC, explained how it was clear the stealing of parcels had been in “operation for some time” and would not charge the men as part of a wider conspiracy.

He said: "It is quite clear you did not implement this, and that it had been in operation for some time before you joined it, and the prosecution accept the maximum value which can be attributed to you is in the region of £10,000 for each of you.

"If someone had not made the remarkably stupid decision to send a large number of parcels to the one address there is every chance this serious dishonesty would have gone undetected.

"Your role was significant. If you had not applied those tickets, the goods would not have been stolen, and if you had not allowed your own homes to be places of delivery, these thefts would not have happened.

"The goods had to be identified by someone as being worth stealing, and I believe you did that. There was a significant breach of trust.”

As lockdown sparked a surge in parcel deliveries, William Edis QC, added that Hermes “may suffer very severe reputational damage”.

He said: "2020 was, of course, lockdown year, and the entire country was relying on the good offices of delivery companies for goods they could not go out and get themselves.

"It was vital to all of us that those companies could be trusted to deliver our goods as and when we wanted them.

"Not only that, if companies such as Hermes get a reputation as unsafe custodians of our property, it is easy to see that they may suffer very severe reputational damage."

Hermes employees sentenced

Both men were sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months. They were also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.

Recorder William Edis QC said: "There is arguably strong personal mitigation, and immediate custody would result in harmful impact on others."