Postmasters convicted for flawed IT system to get reparations
Some of them were imprisoned or left out of pocket after being asked to make up the shortfalls
THE government on Monday (18) announced that every postmaster convicted because of a flawed IT system will be offered hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation.
Around 700 people running small local Post Offices were found guilty of false accounting and theft between 1999 and 2015 because of a software bug that made it look like money was missing.
Some of them were imprisoned or left out of pocket after being asked to make up the shortfalls, while others failed to find other employment and lost their homes.
The scandal surrounding the Horizon IT system has been described at a public inquiry into the affair as “the worst miscarriage of justice in recent British legal history”.
Eighty-six postmasters have so far seen their convictions overturned and £21 million has been paid in compensation.
The government said those who have already received interim compensation or have settled with the Post Office for less than £600,000 will be paid the difference.
“This is about righting a wrong and providing some form of relief to those wrongfully caught up in this scandal,” said Kevin Hollinrake, the minister for small business.
“Too many postmasters have suffered and for too long, which is why the government remains committed to seeing this through to the end until it is.”
The wider compensation scheme including other Post Office staff caught up in the scandal has paid more than £120m to 2,600 individuals, the government said.