A disgraced former Braintree postman who stole more than 40,000 mail items has been warned he faces a prison sentence.

Graham King, 47, has admitted stealing more than 40,000 Royal Mail letters and packets from his round in Braintree over a seven year period.

On Tuesday, Chelmsford Crown Court heard how King, who became a postman in December 2002, admitted stealing 35,538 unaddressed door to door items in Braintree between April 23 2011 and September 17 last year.

He further admitted stealing 6,539 postal packets between November 1 2006 and November 8 2013, as well as stealing a postal packet containing gift cards and vouchers worth £40 on or about December 19 2012 and a postal packet on November 8 2013.

Judge Charles Gratwicke told him: "A prison sentence is almost inevitable."

King, formerly of Easterford Road, Kelvedon, now of St Peters Street, Lowestoft, has been released on bail after his case was adjourned for reports and sentencing.