Amazon delivery driver who was robbed of 62 parcels while on duty is sacked and ordered to REPAY the cost of the van repairs and stolen packages

SOLD DOWN THE RIVER Robbed Amazon driver sacked then told to pay for van AND stolen parcels

Duped driver Martyn Gilham, 28, said: ‘I’m a victim but I’m being blamed’

AN Amazon courier robbed while on duty was sacked and told the cost of the van repairs and stolen packages would be taken out of his wages.

An Amazon delivery driver was sacked after he was the victim of a robbery and could now be forced to pay the cost of the lost parcels.

Martyn Gilham, of Kettering, Northamptonshire, was forced to the ground by an assailant as he delivered products to the website’s customers in Coventry, West Midlands. The robber then drove off with the van and all its contents.

But Mr Gilham’s plight was made all the worse when he was told by the agency he worked for, Fast Despatch Transport Ltd, that they would no longer be using him as a driver.

More than 60 parcels were still in the delivery van when Mr Gilham was told to hand over the keys by an assailant on December 28.

As he recovered from the incident, his boss sent him a text message stating: ‘We will not use your service anymore… about your earning, we have to wait to see what will be the bill for the van and for the parcels inside and you receive the rest.’

The van was later recovered by police who have held the vehicle while they carry out forensic checks.

Mr Gilham said: ‘I feel like I was blamed for something that wasn’t my fault at all. I’m a victim of crime.’

The father of Sophia, 11 months, was delivering a parcel to a home in Coventry at noon on 28 December when a man in black grabbed him.

He said: ‘Someone came from behind and shoved me to the floor. I obviously froze and dropped my van key.

‘I didn’t know whether he was armed or what he might do to me. He grabbed the key, pushed me out of the way, jumped into the van and drove off.’

Although Martyn’s wallet was inside the van, he had his phone in his pocket and immediately called the police.

He was taken to a police station in Coventry and telephoned his boss.

He said: ‘His first question was: “Did you leave the key in the ignition?” His second question was: “Is there anything you could have done to prevent it?”

‘I think he expected me to fight the thief off but I didn’t know what was going to happen.

‘If I put up a fight, who’s to say how that would have turned out? He could have been carrying a knife. Who’s to say what he would have done?’

A week later, on 2 January, Martyn received the text message telling him that his services were no longer required and that the cost of any repairs and packages would be taken out of his wages.

He says the effective sacking has left his family struggling to pay the bills.

‘My wallet was in the van as well so I had no bank card for days and I still have no driving licence.

‘My last payment from the company was on Tuesday 19 December and now I’m missing six full days of pay.

‘I should imagine a company like Amazon would have insurance for their parcels so I don’t understand why my wages have to cover them.’

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: ‘Police are investigating after a van driver was forced to the floor and had his vehicle taken from Recreation Road, Coventry, at around midday on 28 December.

‘The 28-year-old driver was not injured and the van has since been recovered for forensic examination.’

A spokesman for Amazon said: ‘This is a serious incident and we are pleased the delivery driver is safe. We are working with the independent delivery provider which is investigating.

‘We are committed to ensuring that the people contracted by our independent delivery providers are fairly compensated, treated with respect, and follow all applicable laws.’

A spokesman for Fast Despatch Transport Ltd said: ‘The safety of the contracted drivers we work with is our key priority and we are investigating this matter with the police.

‘Drivers are trained in the safety and security of themselves and their vehicles.’

The company added: ‘When drivers leave Fast Despatch Transport they are paid all money owed to them after a short time period which allows us to calculate outstanding amounts due, such as repair of any damage to the vehicle caused by the driver while delivering parcels.

‘This is clearly explained to the drivers when they start working with us. The driver will not be charged the cost of stolen parcels.’

Last month, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency vowed to investigate after drivers complained about the conditions they face while delivering packages for agencies employed by Amazon.

Drivers told The Sunday Mirror that they regularly work longer than the legal-maximum 11-hour days and break speed limits to meet delivery goals, which don’t take into account traffic jams, road closures or weather problems.

An Amazon spokesman said at the time: ‘Our delivery providers are expected to ensure drivers receive a minimum £12 per hour before deductions and excluding bonuses, incentives and fuel reimbursements.’

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