Justice for postmasters with more Horizon humiliation for shamed Post Office bosses

Postal, Post Office (PO), Postmasters

Image credit: Jevanto Productions at Shutterstock.com
Friday 2nd October 2020

Former postmasters hailed another step towards justice today, when shamed Post Office bosses announced they will not contest the vast majority of Horizon-related convictions that were sent to the Appeal Court by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

The CCRC sent 39 cases to the Court of Appeal back in March and a further eight in June, after considering the convictions in each instance.

And today’s humiliating climbdown by those running Post Office Limited means that more than 44 of the 47 cases sent to the Court of Appeal will not now be contested.

Reporting the breakthrough earlier, BBC finance correspondent Kevin Peachey Post Office scandal: Postmasters celebrate huge victory against convictions interviewed Jo Hamilton and Seema Mistra – two postmasters who learned today that the full quashing of their convictions is now within sight.

In his article, Peachey explains how Ms Misra was jailed back in 2010 as a result of this fundamentally flawed computerised accounting system, while Ms Hamilton lost her business, job and livelihood as a result of this miscarriage of justice.

Mark Baker, CWU Postmasters Branch secretary, told CWU News: “I am delighted at today’s news, with so many convictions being sent to the Court of Appeal unchallenged by the Post Office and I look forward to the day when the formal quashing of these convictions is announced.

“This is by far the largest scale of miscarriage of justice in British legal history and we still have more convictions to be reviewed,” Mark continued.

“It is patently obvious to me that hundreds of postmasters have been systematically let down by both the Post Office and the NFSP and the case for properly recognised independent representation from the CWU is compelling.

“The efforts to bring those who allowed this travesty of justice to happen to account will continue. This is a shameful day for the Post Office.”

Andy Furey, CWU assistant secretary, said: “This is great news following the Government’s announcement earlier this week of an inquiry led by retired judge Sir Wyn Williams. However, what this proves beyond doubt is that senior Post Office directors and managers were complicit in their actions that have led to such a nationwide scandal on such a huge scale. 

“The buck has to stop somewhere and those responsible must be held to account for their actions as they have brought so much misery to so many people and their families’ lives. What the Post Office should now be doing is working out a meaningful compensation package without further delay for those who have suffered injustice.”

  • These 44 cases don’t include Scotland, where the separate Scottish CCRC is writing to postmasters on the issue now, to determine whether there are potentially wrongful convictions.
  • On Wednesday, CWU News reported that the Government has appointed senior High Court Judge Sir Wyn Williams to head an inquiry into the Horizon scandal (link to that story please
  • The Director of Public Prosecution is currently considering whether to bring charges of perjury against officials who claimed in court at the time of the original prosecutions that there were no problems with the Horizon system.