DISGRACED postmistress Karen Judd collapsed and fell down the stairs from the dock to the cells when she was jailed for a year yesterday for stealing parcels from the post.
Judd, 43, sobbed and screamed when Judge William Hart sentenced her to 12 months imprisonment at Gloucester Crown Court.
She fell backwards down the steep steps which lead from the dock in court two to the holding cells below. It was understood she suffered an ankle injury in the fall.
Judd, a mum of one and a former Financial Times manager of New Street, Painswick, had pilfered six postal packets when she was running Painswick Post Office. At her trial last month she denied a total of eight charges of stealing parcels during a six month period in late 2012 and early 2013 and was found not guilty of two of the them.
Yesterday Judge Hart told her that despite her previous good record she had to go to prison for the breach of public trust she had committed.
"You were a well thought of mother and employee but the seriousness of an abuse of trust by a postmistress is hard to overstate," the judge told her. "What is bewildering is your absurd denials of the offences.”
Roger Carne, for Judd, had told the court: "She is of previous good character and these offences are clearly out of that character."
She had been a respected and much appreciated member of the community, delivering parcels personally to the elderly as well as their prescriptions, he said.
The offences of which Judd was convicted were theft of a Boden jacket in one parcel, a skirt in another, a Samsung phone in a third, a carriage clock in another, a Blackberry phone and 65 Canadian dollars in a fifth - and an iPod Nano and 25 Euros which were in a test parcel posted by Royal Mail investigators.