6 former Post Office subpostmasters captured up in the Horizon scandal have become the first to have their names officially cleared after the Court of Appeal quashed their wrongful criminal convictions.
The choice, made by Her Honour Judge Deborah Taylor sitting at Southwark Crown Court this morning, saw 6 people cleared of criminal convictions the Post Office gotten by relying on its dodgy Horizon IT system.
Reporter Nick Wallis, who has actually been relentlessly following the case for years, tweeted the judge’s judgment today.
Judge allows the appeals and gets in innocent decisions in relation to all appeals.
— Nick Wallis (@nickwallis) December 11, 2020
Julie Cleife, Christopher Trousdale, Susan Rudkin, Vipinchanddra Patel, Kamran Ashraf and Jasvinder Barang have all had their names formally cleared of criminal convictions consisting of false representation, incorrect accounting, fraud and theft. Some of their convictions date back to 2004.
The Post Workplace relied on proof from its Fujitsu-made Horizon branch office management IT system when it privately prosecuted a great deal of subpostmasters throughout the 2000 s and early 2010 s. While the system was understood to toss up accounting mistakes, supervisors kept this from subpostmasters. Faced with big shortages in between reported incomes and actual profits, some desperate subpostmasters resorted to putting their own money into their franchised branch workplaces to balance the books.
When Horizon continued tossing up discrepancies, Post Office managers accused the subpostmasters of taking cash from the public sector body. Personal prosecutions and criminal convictions followed. A minimum of one subpostmaster later on dedicated suicide.
It was recently declared, as part of the Court of Appeal’s evaluation into convictions from the Horizon scandal, that the Post Office kept evidence in its private prosecutions that showed the IT system was susceptible to generating errors. Journalist Wallis formerly reported that a 2013 document called Fujitsu experts Gareth Jenkins and Anne Chambers. Both gave evidence in earlier criminal prosecutions that ended with subpostmasters being jailed for crimes they did not devote.
In a statement to the BBC, the Post Office said: “We have actually taken identified action to resolve the past, ensuring there is redress for those impacted and to avoid such events ever happening once again.
” Basic reforms have been made to create a new relationship with postmasters, helping them to build prospering Post Office businesses for clients and communities throughout the UK.” ®