Inquiry hears that Horizon IT scam subpostmasters were wrongly charged with theft, fraud, and false accounting. They are now in ‘imminent financial trouble’ and need to be compensated.

  • From 2000 to 2014, 736 Subpostmasters (SPMs), were prosecuted using information from Fujitsu’s Horizon system.
  • Many SPMs were sentenced to criminal charges after the High Court indicted that 2019’s system was prone to ‘errors or defects.
  • This ex-Post Office worker is now in imminent financial ruin after false accusations remain.

A Post Office inquiry heard that Postal Workers wrongly Accused of Fraud, Theft, and False Accounting should be Recompensed by Government and the Post Office. This is because they are now facing ‘imminent Financial ruin.

Seventy-six subpostmasters, and subpostmistresses were charged in the Horizon scam. They were convicted based upon information from Fujitsu’s accounting system.

They saw innocent Post Office workers get sacked or bankrupted, and many were wrongly convicted.

Pictured in April 2021, former post office workers celebrating outside the Royal Courts of Justice after their convictions were overturned, and now the inquiry into the scandal hasbeen launched

Photo of ex-post office workers enjoying a celebration outside Royal Courts of Justice in April 2021 after their convictions were overturned. The inquiry into this scandal has been launched.

However, a judge at the High Court ruled in December 2019 that Horizon’s system had a variety of “bugs and errors” and that there was a risk that the system caused shortfalls to the Post Office branches accounts. 

Dozens upon dozens of SPMs had their criminal convictions overturned in the past, and the probe into the scandal began. 

Sam Stein QC, speaking on behalf of the 151 postal workers affected in the scandal demanded that his clients be compensated immediately as they face financial ruin.   

The court heard Mr Stein tell it: “Today, ex-SPMs are facing imminent financial ruin.

Representing the 151 postal workers affected by the scandal, Sam Stein QC told the inquiry into the Horizon scandal that ex-SPMs face 'imminent financial ruin' and the Post Office should repay the legal costs of the SPMs' High Court civil litigation

Sam Stein, QC represented the 151 affected postal workers. He told the Horizon inquiry that ex-SPMs are in ‘imminent Financial Ruin’. The Post Office should pay the civil legal costs of SPMs’ High Court Civil Litigation

“The truth is, people are in financial trouble.

People will soon lose their homes unless they are assisted immediately.

Stress-related illness may make it impossible for some to survive this inquiry.

“This scandal is always about money or reputation.

“On one side, the Post Office painted a false picture of its finances, seeking to maintain its reputation, while on the other, the Post Office attacked SPMs’ financial integrity and damaged their reputations.

“Despite all the judgements of the High Court and civil court of appels, SPMs still do not receive adequate financial redress.”

The court was informed about the “stigma” and “reputational damage” suffered by falsely accused persons of fraud, theft and false accounting.

Pictured in April this year, postmaster Tom Hedges (centre) celebrating outside the High Court in London after 39 former subpostmasters, convicted of theft, fraud and false accounting due to the Post Office's defective Horizon accounting system had their names cleared by the Court of Appeal

Photo taken in April of this year by Tom Hedges, Postmaster, celebrating outside High Court London. Hedges was one of 39 subpostmasters convicted of fraud and theft in connection with the Post Office’s Horizon accounting system. Their names were cleared by Court of Appeal

He said that all of his clients had experienced horrible stigmatization in their community, and this is still true in some cases. You will be able to hear the heartbreaking stories of children who were bullied and spat upon at hearings starting next year.

“Those who have died before their name could be removed, as well as those who attempted or contemplated suicide.

“Many are still suffering from years of reputational harm.” Stein demanded the Post Office to reimburse the costs of civil litigation at the High Court by the SPMs.

Continue the inquiry.