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Post Office convictions quashed

28 May 2024

Convictions of hundreds of postmasters have been quashed following Royal Assent of the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024.

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024 has overturned many postmasters’ convictions.

The Horizon IT Scandal, a major miscarriage of justice, led to financial ruin, loss of homes, livelihoods, and reputation for many postmasters. Some tragically lost their lives.

Following Royal Assent on 24 May, convictions in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will be overturned if they meet these criteria:

  • Initiated by the Post Office or CPS (or state prosecutor or police in Northern Ireland).
  • Occurred from 1996 to 2018 in Post Office operations.
  • Involved crimes like theft, fraud, and false accounting.
  • Affected sub-postmasters, their staff, officers, family, or direct Post Office employees using the Horizon system.
  • Not reviewed by the Court of Appeal.

This action clears their names, delivers justice, and speeds up compensation access.

Postmasters will soon receive letters about their overturned convictions. An open letter detailing next steps is also published.

The Department for Business and Trade is finalizing the Horizon Convictions Redress Scheme. It will compensate those cleared by this law and should start by summer.

The scandal led to public outcry and legal process reevaluation. The government’s Act passing shows a commitment to right past wrongs and restore dignity.

Postmasters, once trusted local commerce pillars, faced a technological nightmare. The flawed Horizon system wrongly implicated them in crimes, causing unwarranted legal actions and severe consequences.

Overturning these convictions restores honor and warns against over-relying on technology in justice. It highlights the need for oversight and a more human legal process.

The Department for Business and Trade is working on the redress scheme, bringing relief and hope to postmasters. They anticipate financial redress, offering a chance to rebuild their lives and reputations.

Source: Other Tue, 28 May 2024 00:00:00 +0100

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