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April 23rd 2021

Post Office Horizon

POST OFFICE SCANDAL: Subpostmasters speak of ‘immense relief’, ‘happiness’ and ‘anger’ as longstanding convictions finally quashed at Court of Appeal

Dr Neil Hudgell

Dr Neil Hudgell

Executive Chairman

POST OFFICE SCANDAL: Subpostmasters speak of ‘immense relief’, ‘happiness’ and ‘anger’ as longstanding convictions finally quashed at Court of Appeal

Clients of Hudgell Solicitors gave their reactions as their longstanding convictions for theft and false accounting, related to the faulty Horizon Post Office accounting system, was today quashed at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Clients of Hudgell Solicitors gave their reactions as their longstanding convictions for theft and false accounting, related to the faulty Horizon Post Office accounting system, was today quashed at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Alison Hall of Liversedge – conviction for false accounting – QUASHED

This is a great day for all of us. Myself, my partner and my family have had to endure 11 stressful years for this day. 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. We are all innocent hard-working people supporting our community. The impact on our lives has been immense. 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 am currently receiving psychotherapy treatment to deal with the stress brought on through this ordeal. Going forward, I hope the government are watching today’s events and supports the Post Office in providing the compensation we all deserve to help get our lives back on track.

Can I finish by saying a huge thanks to everyone who has supported me through this ordeal, the Justice For Subpostmasters Alliance, Second Sight, Freeths Solicitors and Hudgell Solicitors.
A huge thank you to our MP of 11 years ago Mr Mike Wood who believed me and supported me until he retired from duty. He was also instrumental in assisting the JFSA in lobbying Parliament.

Mohammad Rasul of Manchester – conviction for theft – QUASHED

The overturning of wrongful convictions has been too long in coming. Its arrival will mean, despite the Post Office’s lies and manipulation, that 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.

Hughie ‘Noel’ Thomas of Anglesey – conviction for false accounting (sentenced to nine months in prison) – QUASHED

At last justice. It has been a long time – 16 years. Having worked for an institution, a Royal one, for 42 years, been treated along with others very badly, and suffered denials and lies for years, it is not compensation I am after but my good name and the money I lost and worked for all my life. At last there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel for all involved. My biggest wish would be to meet the people behind the decision making face to face, and ask them why the ruined so many family’s lives. The question would be WHY?

David ‘Tom’ Hedges of Skegness – conviction for thefts and false accounting QUASHED.

I feel immense relief and great happiness to finally have my conviction quashed. I have been feeling pretty good since we won our original court case in December 2019 and the local newspaper ran a story headlined ‘Local Postmaster Vindicated’.
It is the cream on the cake to finally have the stain washed away. I will be applying for a new DBS check, safe in the knowledge it will say nothing. I could even take my grandchildren to Disney in Florida, something I have been barred from doing since my conviction as the USA will not allow people with criminal convictions into their country, even for a holiday. That of course is dependent on what happens next with my case against the Post Office for malicious prosecution and the level of compensation I get. If I get a decent payment, I hope to be back in a position to buy my retirement bungalow and live the financially comfortably retirement that I had always planned for before the Post Office trashed my life.

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.

Julian Wilson (deceased), Worcester – convicted of false accounting QUASHED

Widow Karen said: “My husband Julian was a good and honest man. He is not alive to hear the Judgement today. Losing his good name and reputation broke him. The Post Office would not listen to him and would not disclose the evidence to prevent a conviction of him any many others. Why did it launch this relentless spree of private prosecutions to convict innocent people? We do not yet know but we must know and the truth must come out.

Clearing his name means so much to me and his family. I will continue with many others to get to the truth of what happened and why. This must never happen again.

Harjinder Butoy of Chesterfield, conviction of theft (three years, three months prison sentence) QUASHED

Our lives have been destroyed by this, as have those of many others, and it is a disgrace. Now people at the Post Office need to be held accountable and sent to jail like I was.

I’ve never once, since the day the auditors walked into our Post Office back in 2007, given up trying to prove my innocence. I’ve repeatedly said that I’ve been innocent for 14 years and I have finally been able to prove it today.
It feels like justice for standing my ground and never giving in, as I was told by so many people just to admit to stealing the money. I was never going to do that.

I’m obviously pleased to have my conviction overturned, but we have lost so much. This can’t be the end of it and I really hope that the people who did this to me, my family, and so many others now face serious investigation.

Gail Ward of Wells, conviction of false accounting QUASHED

It is hard to put into words what having my conviction overturned means to me.

It has impacted on my life both personally and professionally for 14 years. I have found it hard to hold my head high in the city where I live, and have always felt as though I was being scrutinised and prejudged by people. Professionally, having a criminal conviction has really limited my job opportunities. Who in the financial services industry is going to employ someone with a criminal record?

Moving forward I would like to see Post Office pay substantial compensation to myself and all the other ex-subpostmasters who have had their lives ruined by them and their Horizon computer system.

Tim Burgess, of Catterick, conviction for false accounting QUASHED

If you’d have told me 10 years ago that we’d be finally having the injustice that was handed down to me and my fellow sub postmasters quashed I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

The relief in our house is tangible, for nearly 11 years my family and I have had to deal with the snide remarks about how we ‘destroyed’ the village, and to now be at the point where we can look people in the face and not have to feel some sort of misplaced guilt feels great.

It’s been a rocky ride a lot of the time, we nearly lost the house and our daughter felt she had to move over a hundred miles away to complete her sixth form because of the stigma, but thankfully all that is behind us now and we can move on as a family.
Of course none of this would have been possible were it not for Alan Bates of the Justice For Subpostmasters Alliance whose tireless efforts for the past god knows how many years have got us to this point. The guy deserves a medal.

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