Personal documents and cash belonging to a Chingford student were delivered by post to the wrong address hundreds of miles away - only to land in the hands of another Chingford student living in Newcastle.

Mathew Di Salvo, 23, of Mount View Road in Chingford, was surprised last week to find his Royal Mail package containing a portfolio of journalism cuttings also included a sealed envelope with Georgina Greene's passport, savings book and private bank details.

Mr Di Salvo is currently on a journalism training programme and is based in Jesmond, Newcastle. 

The portfolio was sealed by Mr Di Salvo's mother and sent by recorded next-day delivery to Newcastle by staff at the Royal Mail branch in Station Road, Chingford, on April 30.

The bankbook containing £1,000 and passport belonging to 17-year-old Miss Greene, of Sewardstone Gardens in Chingford, came tumbling out as he opened the parcel.

"It was crazy to find those documents. There was enough there to take all the money and even steal her identity," said the 23 year-old.

Miss Greene’s step-father, Keith Relf, 65, had put away a thousand pounds in a building society and had helped his step-daughter fill in the relevant forms in order to set up an adult account with Lloyds TSB.

The precious documents were sent by recorded next-day delivery to Chorley in Lancashire in order to open the maturity account, but the online tracking status was showing as 'undelivered'.

Mr Relf said: "The envelope was addressed clearly and was sent off for a next day delivery.

"I checked online with The Royal Mail to see if it had arrived and even rang them myself.

"They rang me back six hours later and said it was still progressing in the system. I was extremely worried."

Miss Greene, a part-time student at Epping Forest College, was concerned the documents never arrived in Chorley, but was relieved they were in safe hands.

"I was livid. If someone else had got hold of this post, goodness knows what might have happened. So much for recorded delivery," added Miss Greene.

The documents have since been sent to the building society address, but it is still unclear how the envelope ended up sealed inside a package for Mr Di Salvo.

A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said: "We have not heard of any instance like this before.

"We are keen to investigate if both special delivery labels could be provided to us. Every item of mail is important to us and the overwhelming majority of items we handle are delivered safely and on time."