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UK News

Postmasters accused of theft due to faulty IT system have convictions overturned


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Thirty nine sub-postmasters who were wrongly prosecuted by the Post Office have had their criminal convictions overturned.

The appellants, some of whom were imprisoned for crimes they never committed, had been accused of theft and false accounting because of a faulty computer system.

In court, Sam Stein QC, the barrister representing several sub-postmasters, said the scandal had turned the Post Office “into the nation’s most untrustworthy brand”.

Between 2000 and 2014, the Post Office prosecuted more than 700 sub-postmasters, on average one a week, after a bug in the computer system Horizon led to financial shortfalls in branch accounts.

It previously agreed a nearly £58m settlement with 550 sub-postmasters, but most of that money went on legal costs and funders.

The barrister who led that civil claim called today’s judgment an “incredible victory” that could pave the way for more substantial compensation.

“This is something we should all be ashamed of – that it ever happened, but money will never compensate these people for what’s happened to them,” said Patrick Green QC.

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In a statement, the Post Office said it “sincerely apologises” for “historical failures”.

A spokesperson said: “Throughout this appeals process we have supported the quashing of the overwhelming majority of these convictions and the judgment today will be an important milestone in addressing the past.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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