MW are closely following the developments in the Post Office Subpostmasters case, a scandal in which at least 550 Post Office workers appear to have been wrongly accused of fraud and theft, with many being convicted.
Partner & Head of Civil & Commercial Litigation
A High Court judge approved a settlement of almost £58 million compensation at the end of last year, for those workers accused of the shortfalls in their branches’ accounts. This goes some way to providing vindication for the workers, with their lawyer stating
“They have finally been proved to have been right all along when they have said that the Horizon IT system was a possible cause of shortfalls in their branch accounts”.
This is only the first step towards the workers achieving justice, and closure.
MW have learned that these workers are now hoping to have their convictions for fraud and theft overturned, further to 30 cases being referred by the Judge, to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), with hundreds more referrals expected. The CCRC reviews suspected miscarriages of justice. It will only refer a case back to the appeal court for re-trial where some new evidence, or other new issue, has been identified which might provide grounds for a fresh appeal. Currently, by law the CCRC can only refer a case for a fresh appeal if it thinks there is a ‘real possibility’ that the appeal court will quash the verdict.
What’s more, during his High Court ruling, Mr Justice Fraser also confirmed that he would refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions stating in that regard:
“Based on the knowledge that I have gained, I have very grave concerns regarding the veracity of evidence given by Fujitsu employees to other courts in previous proceedings about the known existence of bugs, errors, and defects in the Horizon system”.
We could yet see convictions of Fujitsu employees for perjury.
Victims of this scandal may be able to bring further compensation claims for miscarriages of justice and malicious prosecution.
We Can Help
At MW Solicitors we have a team who specialise in miscarriage of justice and malicious prosecution claims. We are keen to hear from anyone affected by this scandal. Collectively our team has over 50 years experience in bringing such claims and have acted for several Claimants who have been wrongly accused and have been successful in bringing legal action and achieving significant sums of compensation.
If you are a former subpostmaster and would like advice please contact us on 0203 551 8500.