Late Post

Publish Workplace contacts over 500 subpostmasters doubtlessly wrongly prosecuted for monetary crimes

The Publish Workplace is contacting 540 individuals it may need wrongly prosecuted for monetary crimes.

An extra 100 individuals have been recognized and the Publish Workplace is looking for further info.

They may have been wrongly convicted of crimes resembling false accounting and theft after being blamed for unexplained losses that had been brought on by laptop errors.

That is a part of a scandal that’s 20 years outdated, having begun when the Horizon laptop system was launched to Publish Workplace branches in 1999-2000.

In 2009, a Pc Weekly investigation revealed the tales of seven former subpostmasters whose lives had been devastated after they had been blamed for unexplained money shortfalls (see field beneath for Pc Weekly’s protection of the story since 2009). Some subpostmasters had been despatched to jail and plenty of extra have lived with prison data for many years.

Final month, 39 former subpostmasters had their prison convictions quashed by the Court docket of Attraction. They joined six whose convictions had been overturned at Southwark Crown Court docket in December 2020.

There are about one other 50 instances with the Court docket of Attraction, that are being reviewed by the Felony Instances Evaluation Fee (CCRC).

The Publish Workplace is contacting subpostmasters following a evaluate of related historic prosecutions since 1999. This work is being performed by prison regulation specialist Peters & Peters Solicitors, with greater than 60 barristers reviewing tens of millions of paperwork to establish any materials that must be disclosed to these traditionally prosecuted.

A Publish Workplace spokesperson stated: “The Publish Workplace sincerely apologises for critical historic failures. We proceed to take decided motion for individuals affected.

“Along with full cooperation with the CCRC’s evaluate, Publish Workplace has made strenuous efforts to establish people who had been traditionally convicted and an intensive post-conviction disclosure train is going down to establish and disclose all materials which could have an effect on the security of these convictions.”

A complete of 736 subpostmasters had been prosecuted by the Publish Workplace, based mostly on Horizon proof, between 1999 and 2015. Chatting with Pc Weekly in a current interview, Helen Pitcher, chairman on the CCRC, stated it was potential that the rest of those instances, the place subpostmasters had been prosecuted based mostly on Horizon proof, might come ahead. “In the event that they do, that is going to be big,” she added.

Pitcher defined that it doesn’t matter what individuals pleaded responsible to, or had been prosecuted for – if the prosecution was based mostly on proof from the Horizon system, they might come ahead. Any new appellants might anticipate their instances to be handled sooner than the preliminary teams, she stated.

In accordance with Pitcher, the CCRC will be capable to evaluate instances faster now it is aware of what it’s on the lookout for, and the statutory physique will evaluate particular person instances fairly than a big group. “This implies we are able to unfold it throughout extra of our individuals,” stated Pitcher.

Any one who was prosecuted by the Publish Workplace or Royal Mail Group after July 1999, and who believes the prosecution case relied on Horizon proof, could make contact by emailing [email protected].

 

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