The Post Office is contacting hundreds of people who may have been wrongfully prosecuted following the subpostmaster miscarriage of justice scandal.
Dozens of subpostmasters were prosecuted for theft, fraud and false accounting. This was due to the Post Office’s defective Horizon accounting system, which had “bugs, defects and errors” from the outset.
Last month, 39 former subpostmasters who were convicted and even jailed based on Horizon data had their convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal.
The Post Office said it is contacting around 540 people with potentially relevant convictions. Additional information is being sought in another 100 cases.
A spokesman said: “The Post Office sincerely apologises for serious historical failures. We continue to take determined action for people affected.
“Post Office has made strenuous efforts to identify individuals who were historically convicted and an extensive post-conviction disclosure exercise is taking place to identify and disclose all material which might affect the safety of those convictions.”
Computer Weekly reported that:
Over a period of almost 15 years, some were sent to prison, many were heavily fined, large numbers were made bankrupt and families were ruined. It has been described as the biggest miscarriage of justice in UK legal history and has been linked to at least one suicide.
Helen Pitcher, chairperson of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, told Computer Weekly:
It is an absolutely awful set of circumstances that has had far-reaching implications on people’s lives, their families’ lives and their mental well-being.
I think it’s unconscionable that this could happen.
Pitcher also added:
It is the largest miscarriage of justice we have ever worked on.
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