Post Office Horizon IT Scandal
Hudgell Solicitors is proud to have so far successfully helped 33 former subpostmasters to overturn their convictions for crimes including theft and false accounting which resulted from the Post Office Horizon Scandal.
The ‘landmark moment’ came on Friday, October 2nd, 2020, when the Post Office confirmed it would not contest 44 out of first batch of 47 cases sent to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
Solicitor Neil Hudgell, who has led our representation of clients alongside one of the UK’s leading appellant barristers, Tim Moloney QC of Doughty Street Chambers, says these successful cases have ‘opened the door to justice’ for many more.
The Post Office has admitted that as many as 900 people may have been prosecuted over a two-decade period, using unsafe Horizon figures.
“For the Post Office to concede defeat and not oppose these cases was a landmark moment, not only for these individuals, but potentially hundreds of others. The door to justice has been opened,” said Mr Hudgell.
“We secured what amounts to a clear admission from the Post Office that people were convicted of crimes on the basis of unsafe and unreliable evidence.
“That is truly significant and we’ll now fight for every other unsafe conviction to be overturned.”
For more information on how we can help in making an appeal you can email email@example.com
"First Post Office Horizon Scandal convictions officially quashed in court allowing subpostmasters to ‘start living, heal and rebuild lives’"Read Full Story
"This conviction impacted on every aspect of life. Today I can start living again"Read Full Story
"The quashing of these convictions feels like the heavy lead box we have been trapped in has had the lid ripped off"Read Full Story
The team at Hudgell Solicitors have been absolutely awesome in what they have done for us to have our convictions overturned. Neil Hudgell and Abby Taylor were brilliant in the way they explained everything in plain English, not legal talk. They were straight-talking and honest, never over promising but always very passionate about getting us justice in the end. They have a really strong team, reflected in how they brought Tim Moloney QC on board, who is exceptional.
Jo Hamilton, Post Office chose not to oppose appeal against conviction, October 2, 2020
Hudgell Solicitors have really pulled together a top team to represent former subpostmasters, especially given they are working with people like Ron Warmington and Ian Henderson of Second Sight, who really know everything about the case. It was also really nice to deal with a legal firm who talk to you in real language, and not legal speak you can’t understand.
They are plain speaking and know their stuff and have done a wonderful job for us.
Wendy Buffrey, Post Office chose not to oppose appeal against conviction, October 2, 2020
Neil and Abbey provided excellent support and advice at all times and their confidence always made me feel that I’d get a good result. I think the most important thing was the way they were always available and in touch, and able to explain everything clearly. As part of a large group of people being represented, you can worry that you are just one of the many, but it didn’t feel like that at all with Neil and Abby. They were always in touch and responded to me immediately.
Pauline Thomson, Successfully appealed to overturn conviction for false accounting
A leading team to challenge unsafe Post Office Horizon conviction
Hudgell Solicitors represented 33 of the 44 people successful in overturning their convictions in October 2020.
Importantly, those convicted by the Post Office of crimes relating to the Horizon scandal can turn to not only a highly-experienced legal team, but also one which uniquely benefits from unrivalled knowledge of the problems sub-postmasters faced, and of the Horizon system and its many issues.
Specialist forensic accountants – Second Sight – who were at one stage hired by the Post Office to investigate discrepancies in the branch accounts of sub-postmasters – now assist our legal teams when considering cases and gathering evidence to submit to the court for convictions appeals.
Ron Warmington and Ian Henderson were tasked with reviewing approximately 150 claims by sub-postmasters as part of a mediation scheme in 2013, after sub-postmasters had faced allegations of false accounting and theft.
However, when their investigation highlighted problems with Horizon which could cause accounting discrepancies, and suggested that legal action had been taken too quickly against many sub-postmasters, the Post Office dismissed their findings and dropped the investigation.
We also have an excellent relationship with the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance (JFSA), who were instrumental in securing the High Court ruling in December 2019, which concluded that a number of “bugs, errors and defects” had caused “discrepancies” in sub-postmasters’ branch accounts, paving the way for conviction appeals to begin.
Our work is also supported by campaigning MP Karl Turner, who has repeatedly raised the issue of justice for wrongfully convicted subpostmasters in Parliament and called for a Public Inquiry.
Post Office paves way for compensation claims
In a statement on its website, the Post Office says: “Post Office wishes to ensure that all postmasters entitled to claim civil compensation because of their convictions being overturned are recompensed as quickly as possible. Therefore, we are considering the best process for doing that.”
As an experienced civil claims firm, Hudgell Solicitors is able to pursue compensation cases on behalf of all those who have their convictions overturned.
Claims will look to seek damages for loss of reputation, liberty, property and financial loss.
There may also be other heads of claim in any damages action, such as false imprisonment, breach of human rights, or misfeasance in public office.