Statement from former sub-postmaster Vipinchandra Patel, 67, today following the quashing of his conviction relating to the Post Office Horizon Scandal.
He was handed an 18-week prison sentence for fraud in June 2011, having been accused of stealing £75,000.
Good faith, honesty, honour, integrity, and trust are the foundations of any relationship. Sub-postmasters delivered on these values wholeheartedly.
The Post Office was a great, iconic founding British institution, but it became void of transparency. Intimidating and patronising sub-postmasters, whenever and wherever possible it took advantage of the judicial system by maintaining its stance as a trusted brand with an apparent robust IT system.
In doing this it deceived magistrates and judges, and along the way wrongfully convicted many innocent people.
Personally, the past nine years have been hellish and a total nightmare.
This conviction has been a cloud over my life. There are members of my family I’ve never told about it, and my mother died five years ago never knowing what we’d been through as a family.
It has impacted on every aspect of life, causing the breakdown of relationships with some family members and friends, impacting on the lives of my wife and children and leaving me in ill health and unable to work due to having a criminal record.
Today I feel I can start living again. I can look forward and focus on enjoying life.
It is a matter of immense sadness and tragedy that the Post Office, once a constitution of great stature, fell victim to corporate greed, due to there being no accountability and no oversight.
This case has seen it fall from grace and from a great height.
Surely now the time has come for the Prime Minister to take personal charge of this scandal, if the honour, integrity and prestige of a UK institution is to be salvaged in any way at all.