Post Office Horizon IT Scandal - Justice for Subpostmasters
Hudgell Solicitors and Doughty Street Chambers have so far represented 32 former subpostmasters to have convictions of theft, fraud and false accounting quashed.
As an experienced civil claims firm, we will now seek to pursue compensation cases on behalf of all those who have had their convictions overturned. Claims will look to seek damages for loss of reputation, liberty, property and financial loss.
Our team is also now instructed by dozens of others who will now follow the same process, seeking the clearing of their names at the Court of Appeal.
If you feel you were wrongly convicted as part of Post Office Horizon scandal, contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0808 159 8239
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Words from some of those we’ve helped so far…
Alison Hall of Liversedge. Conviction for false accounting QUASHED
Myself, my partner and my family have had to endure 11 stressful years. During these 11 years we have had to constantly defend ourselves from the Post Office’s refusal to accept that we are all in fact innocent. Our Post office is attached to our living quarters, so I am reminded of that dreadful day I had my office taken away from me every time I walk down our stairs. The constant questions about why are you not still running your office?
The pressures of dealing with this, and trying to run a somewhat normal life, has resulted in both myself and my partner suffering from mental illness. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who has supported me through this ordeal.
Mohammad Rasul of Manchester. Conviction for theft QUASHED
The overturning of wrongful convictions has been too long in coming. We can claim our lives back from all the doubts and mistrust thrust upon us. Over the years I have been through hell and back. Without family support and reassurance most of us would not have weathered this life-destroying assault by the management and rank and file of the Post Office.
I worked almost all my adult life for the Post Office and remain devastated at how that service was discarded with malice. The people who were responsible for the wrong doing at the individual level should be made to account for their actions and to apologise.
I am grateful for the hard work and commitment of Hudgell Solicitors and the barristers who fought to clear my name with elegance and compassion. I would also like to thank the Courts for helping to restore some faith in the system, even after 16 years.
William ‘Dave’ Graham of Kent. Conviction of false accounting QUASHED
Having this conviction hanging over my head for the past 10 years has affected my wife, children and I both emotionally and financially. Having it quashed brings mixed emotions. I am both relieved that the shame the conviction brought will be over but also angry that the Post Office knew all along that there were problems with the Horizon system. Moving forward, I would hope that the Post Office has genuinely learnt from mistakes and that no other subpostmasters have to go through what we have.
A leading team to challenge unsafe Post Office Horizon conviction
How the scandal unfolded, paving the way for appeals
Subpostmasters were victims of a scandal which saw the Post Office use its private prosecution powers over a 15-year period from 2000 onwards to convict them of crimes including theft and false accounting when its faulty Horizon accounting system showed unexplained shortfalls or discrepancies at branches across the country.
Many were forced to ‘repay’ thousands of pounds and told they’d likely face jail unless they admitted to taking the money out of Post Office funds.
However, in 2019 the High Court ruled that many of the accounting shortfalls and discrepancies were likely to have been caused by the faulty Horizon IT system which had been installed into thousands of branches as long ago as 2000.
That paved the way for the first six successful conviction appeals in December 2020, followed by a further 39 on Friday, April 23rd at the Court of Appeal.
The Post Office has admitted that the unreliable and flawed computer evidence may have been used to prosecute more than 700 subpostmasters without any police involvement as people were charged and convicted of crimes they had not committed.
If you believe you are one of those wrongfully convicted and want information on how we can help in making an appeal, you can email email@example.com or call us on 0808 159 8239
A leading team now ready to represent hundreds more
Hudgell Solicitors have represented the vast majority of those affected by the Post Office Horizon scandal in overturning convictions (32 out of 45).
We have established 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 – have assisted 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.
If you feel you were wrongly convicted as part of this scandal, contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0808 159 8239