An evangelical church leader who stole more than 100 mobile phones because ”mystic forces” told him to has walked free from court.
Oddball Vanie Loue, 52, pinched 140 phones worth £3,500 from a postal sorting office where he worked.
The father-of-two was caught by hidden video cameras at the post office which had been installed by suspicious bosses.
Officers raided his flat in Coventry and found dozens of mobile phones along with jewellery and computer games.
On Friday Loue, originally from the Ivory Coast, admitted theft at Coventry Crown Court.
He was given a nine month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work.
Sentencing Loue, Recorder David Pittaway QC told him: ”The integrity of the postal system has to be protected.
”The confidence the public has in the postal system to send letters and other articles of value is a matter of fundamental importance.
”What you did was in breach of that trust.”
The court heard Loue pinched the phones from the postal sorting office in November last year.
When questioned by cops, Loue, a deacon at an evangelical church, told them ”mystic forces” told him to steal the phones.
John Dove, prosecuting, said: ”In the most bizarre interview police had ever conducted, Loue admitted: ‘I know that I did it. I do it every day.
”I have been asking myself why. It’s two people in my body. Mystic forces are attacking me.
”I do not want to do it. I really need help.”
Mr Dove added: ”He has done nothing with the phones other than store them at his flat.”
Louse refused to comment after the case.