Following being chased after cash missing from the Post Office IT scandal, it is believed that four of those involved took their lives.

Daily Mail investigations have revealed a string of horrific human tragedies, which relatives blame on the company for its persecution of staff over two decades.

At least 19 people died before justice could possibly be served, including 3 who committed suicide, 1 suspected of it, and many others from stress-related diseases.

Karen Wilson with a picture of her late husband Julian as she finally saw his name cleared this year

Karen Wilson with a picture of her late husband Julian as she finally saw his name cleared this year

Some are still fighting for compensation more than a decade after their loved ones died, while one man has received just £21,000 for his family’s trauma.

The Post Office prosecuted hundreds its staff between 1999 and 2015. This destroyed families and drove people into despair.

After money seemed to be’missing,’ it accused sub-postmasters, who manage local branches that are pillars in their community, of stealing from the bank accounts.

The tragic loss of loyal employees who were never able to see justice is the price they paid. 

The Widow Who Will Never Forgive Bosses

Karen Wilson clutched a photograph of Julian her husband as she saw the name clear this year.

Mr Wilson, whose branch in Worcestershire saw £27,000 go ‘missing’, died of bowel cancer in 2016 after fighting to restore his reputation for almost a decade.

He was charged by the Post Office and his car and house were taken away. Mrs Wilson declared, “I will not forgive the Post Office.”

The pain and suffering of the mother who had to leave two children

A mother-of-two killed herself after being charged with false accounting over £30,000 that went ‘missing’ from her Edinburgh branch. 

Fiona McGowan (47) overdosed in alcohol and antidepressants on September 9, 2009. She had two sons, 12 and 14.

It was not known to her that she had been charged. Phil Cowan, her partner said that she placed the blame squarely on the Post Office. It’s immoral.’

Fiona McGowan, pictured, was charged with false accounting over £30,000 that went 'missing' from her Edinburgh branch

Fiona McGowan, pictured, was charged with false accounting over £30,000 that went ‘missing’ from her Edinburgh branch

Former policeman died a criminal

Peter Holmes, 74, was accused of taking £46,000 from his post office in Newcastle.

A brain tumour took the life of this former policeman in 2015. He died before his name was cleared.

He was sentenced to life in prison this year. His widow Marion said: ‘It was the one thing he wanted – to prove he wasn’t a thief.’

The marriage of a father and his daughter ended in divorce

One father, whose marital marriage had been destroyed, died at the tender age of 63.

The body of Peter Huxham, who ran a branch in Devon where £16,158 went ‘missing’, was found in July this year, weeks after he passed away.

His marriage, which had been 22 years, was destroyed by the stress of this case. He also fell into depression and alcoholism.

A decade later the truth emerged – that dozens of glitches in its computer software, called Horizon, were to blame.

The Post Office is already facing a compensation bill of £233million from the scandal, but legal experts believe it could rise considerably higher.

Around 75 postmasters had their convictions overturned by the courts for fraud theft and false account. A public inquiry is scheduled to begin in January.

But for dozens of victims of the scandal – labelled the ‘biggest miscarriage of justice in our history’ – it will come too late.

Fiona McGowan was a mother of two young sons and was charged with falsifying accounting in order to cover up cash shortages at her Edinburgh postal office.

Her partner, Phil Cowan, has received just £21,000 in compensation.

Martin Griffiths, a postmaster in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, threw himself in front of a bus in 2013 after he and his family were forced to pay back a total of £100,000 of phantom losses over four years.

Gina Griffiths was forced to sign a gag clause by her husband, a tactic that raised concerns about the cover-up of Horizon’s worst cases.

Devon postmaster Peter Huxham, 63, died alone in a suspected suicide after he was jailed for eight months over an unexplained £16,000 shortfall.

This ordeal led to his divorce from his 22-year-old marriage. He then turned to alcoholism, and later fell into deep depression.

He was never found and the cause of his death could not be determined by the coroner.

Louise Mann (the wife of Moretonhampstead postmaster, Devon) was the fourth victim. She took her life after being labeled a thief and felt ashamed.

Charles her husband has not been paid a dime. According to the 66-year old father-of-1 from Buckfastleigh in Devon, he said, ‘I lost all my jobs. Then, I lost the love of my life.

Justice for Sub-Postmasters Alliance reported this week that at most 15 postmasters had died due to stress-related illness or old age. Compensation can now be paid.

Bosses that failed to take action 

Paula Vennells, the Post Office Chief Executive from 2012 to 2019, was her title. Her CBE (for’services provided to the Post Office) is being called out.

Between 2006 and 2010, 200 postmasters were charged and the managing director was Alan Cook.

Alice Perkins was the £100k-a-year PO chairman from 2011 until 2015 when around 120 postmasters were hounded.

Between 2010-2018, Dame MoyaGreene served as chief executive at Royal Mail. In exchange for assurances about the handling, she agreed to an extensive investigation. 

Paula Vennells (pictured) was Post Office chief executive from 2012 to 2019

Paula Vennells was the chief executive of Post Office from 2012 to 2019.

Julian Wilson, the Astwood Bank branch manager in Worcestershire who died from bowel carcinoma, was treated by doctors.

Peter Holmes was the father of three and widowed one. She, at 74 years old, stated that she believed his conviction had led to Holmes’ untimely demise in 2015. The Court of Appeal acquitted Holmes’ conviction in April.

Families are still being denied compensation for the anger generated by revelations that postmasters have taken their own lives.

Lord Arbuthnot (Tory peer) was an activist for postmasters and has been a campaigner since the 1970s.

The Government must compensate these families right away, not delay.

The Mail, through its Save Our Post Offices campaign to support postmasters for many years has helped win important decisions at Parliament and Government. 

One spokesperson for the Post Office said that they were deeply sorry about the pain felt by the victims of the Horizon scandal. We are determined to provide the best compensation possible. The Government has established an independent inquiry. We fully participate in it. 

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