- 27 April 2021
- Transport / Logistics Services
The Post Office has offered an apology for the serious failings that led to the wrongful conviction and sackings of dozens of subpostmasters in the Horizon accounting system scandal.
Some 39 postmasters had their convictions quashed late last week, another six has theirs quashed in December 2020 and another 22 are having their cases reviews by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
Post Office chairman, Tim Parker, said, “The Post Office is extremely sorry for the impact on the lives of these postmasters and their families that was caused by historical failures. Post Office stopped prosecutions soon after its separation from Royal Mail a decade ago and has throughout this appeals process supported the overturning of the vast majority of convictions.
“We are contacting other postmasters and Post Office workers with criminal convictions from past private Post Office prosecutions that may be affected, to assist them to appeal should they wish. Post Office continues to reform its operations and culture to ensure such events can never happen again.
“The full ruling by the Court of Appeal judges published today is detailed, therefore Post Office will assess the judgment carefully to understand what further action may be required.”
Post Office chief executive Nick Read added, “I am in no doubt about the human cost of the Post Office’s past failures and the deep pain that has been caused to people affected. Many of those postmasters involved have been fighting for justice for a considerable length of time and sadly there are some who are not here to see the outcome today and whose families have taken forward appeals in their memory. I am very moved by their courage.
“The quashing of historical convictions is a vital milestone in fully and properly addressing the past as I work to put right these wrongs as swiftly as possible, and there must be compensation that reflects what has happened.
“In addition, since arriving at the Post Office 18 months ago, my focus has been on resetting the culture at the Post Office and forging a substantive partnership with our postmasters. We are determined that they must come first in everything we do because without them there is no Post Office. We must transform the Post Office so that it can continue to provide essential services in local communities across the UK.”