• Look North 16 Dec 2021

    This news report by Mark Ansell features former Postmasters Harjinder Butoy and Alison Hall with a contextual cameo from me at the end.

    Read More…: Look North 16 Dec 2021
  • “This guy should never be let near a witness-box again”

    The above photo is of Dr Robert Worden, who was an expert witness for the Post Office in the Horizon trial, which was part of the Bates v Post Office group litigation. You can read about my experience of watching Dr Worden be cross-examined here, and you can read Mr Justice Fraser’s thoughts on the value of Dr Worden’s work here. There follows, reprinted with permission, an article published yesterday by Jeremy Dawson. Jeremy lives in Australia and holds a PhD in Pure Maths and a Diploma of Law. He has spent 5 years in research and practical statistics, 3…

    Read More…: “This guy should never be let near a witness-box again”
  • Compensation, Compensation, Compensation

    Tuesday 14 December 2021 was a busy day in Westminster during which three sources of compensation for three distinct groups of Subpostmasters were discussed in various parliamentary corners. At just after 9am yesterday morning the Business (Postal Affairs) Minister Paul Scully (left) published a written statement announcing the government was going to underwrite compensation for Subpostmasters whose convictions have been quashed – or in minister-speak: “making funding available to facilitate Post Office to make final compensation payments to postmasters whose convictions have been overturned.” We knew the Post Office was unable to meet its compensation obligations which had arisen during…

    Read More…: Compensation, Compensation, Compensation
  • More Opposed Cases Fail at Appeal

    Two Subpostmasters appealing their convictions at the Court of Appeal have failed to have them quashed. Roger Allen and Alan Robinson, who were prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions, were told today by a panel of three judges that Horizon evidence was not essential to their prosecution, and therefore their convictions would stand. They join Wendy Cousins, Stanley Fell and Neelam Hussain, whose convictions were upheld on 23 April 2021. In April 2004 Roger Allen was sentenced to six months in prison at Norwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to the theft of £37,000 between 30 June 2000…

    Read More…: More Opposed Cases Fail at Appeal
  • Govt Reverts to “Full and final” Mantra

    It seems the government has given up on trying (if it ever was) to find a way to offer proper compensation to the 555 claimants who settled with the Post Office for £57.75m in December 2019. As we know, £46m of that compensation was spent on lawyers and legal success fees with each claimant receiving and average of £20,000 each. When I interviewed the Business Minister Paul Scully for Episode 11 of the Great Post Office Trial in May this year, he told me (during a section which I’m not sure made the final cut in full): “We want to…

    Read More…: Govt Reverts to “Full and final” Mantra
  • Inquiry Confirms All Compensation Is Under Scrutiny

    A week is certainly a long time in this story. Last Friday I was telling you Alan Bates had pulled the JFSA from the Satutory Inquiry into the Post Office Horizon Scandal because scrutiny of the compensation for the 555 was not explicitly present in the inquiry chair’s List of Issues. Bates encouraged his members to stop co-operating with the inquiry, asking them to: “withdraw your applications and show solidarity over the failure of the Inquiry to be concerned in the slightest of the victims’ greatest priority and most desperate need.” This provoked the inquiry chair to ask Howe and…

    Read More…: Inquiry Confirms All Compensation Is Under Scrutiny
  • Seven More Convictions Quashed

    Seven more Subpostmaster convictions have been quashed at the Court of Appeal, bringing the total number to 72. This represents just under a tenth of the 738 people convicted using Horizon evidence between 2000 and 2015 when the Post Office stopped prosecuting people. Pauline Stonehouse, Greg Harding, Angela Sefton, Anne Nield, Janine Powell, Marisa Finn and Jamie Dixon were told Horizon evidence was essential in the cases against them, and there was inadequate investigation and/or disclosure in all cases. In two cases – Greg Harding in 2010 and Jamie Dixon in 2013, the Post Office only accepted a guilty plea…

    Read More…: Seven More Convictions Quashed
  • JFSA Withdraws From Inquiry

    Founder says “the powers that be have decided the real and desperate needs of the victims are of no importance.” Alan Bates, the leader and founder of the Justice for Subpostmasters’ Alliance has decided not to co-operate with Sir Wyn Williams’ statutory inquiry into the Post Office Horizon IT disaster. Yesterday, Sir Wyn published the List Of Issues the inquiry will pursue. Alan Bates says the list contains “just two paragraphs purporting to deal with financial redress. Neither of them have any relevance at all to the victims group – probably, because in their eyes, we have had full and…

    Read More…: JFSA Withdraws From Inquiry
  • Six More Convictions Quashed – Total Now 65

    These were the first convictions quashed since July and the third round at Southwark Crown Court. As of today, the Southwark Crown Court has overtuend sixteen convictions (six on 11 Dec 2020 and two on 14 May 2021) and the Court of Appeal has quashed the remaining 51 (39 in a judgment handed down on 23 April 2021 and 12 at a hearing on 19 July). Today marked the first conviction quashed after a prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service rather than the Post Office. David Hughes (who did not take part in the group photograph above) was employed at…

    Read More…: Six More Convictions Quashed – Total Now 65
  • Launch Day

    Please forgive the indulgence of marking the launch day of my book with a blog post. It has been a very strange year. I am used to collaborating with people on broadcast projects, or firing off short blog posts. Putting together a 500 page monster over five and a half months has been another matter entirely. That’s not to say there wasn’t any collaboration. Of course there was and I’d be floundering without it. The publishing/editing/admin team at Bath (David, Helen and Hannah) have been amazing, as has Clare Hoban from Reviewed and Cleared who lawyered the book. Cover designer…

    Read More…: Launch Day

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