Ain’t that something?
The Post Office will not contest 44 of the 47 convictions referred to the courts by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
For those 44, the fight for some kind of justice has just turned a massive corner. I would be very surprised they don’t now get their convictions quashed. But many a slip….
It’s really hard to know what tone to strike writing this email, and I think some of those at the centre of the story, whilst celebrating, are feeling a little empty too. Many of the 47 convicted Subpostmasters whose cases were referred back to the courts by the Court of Appeal read this email. If you are one of the three who will now have to fight, please get in touch.
Go on, Seema
The first person to tell me their news this morning was Seema Misra, god bless her. I must admit to getting a tiny bit emotional hearing her voice. I met her husband Davinder ten years ago next month, whilst Seema was still in prison. I interviewed them both countless times over the years, sometimes in the depths of despair, sometimes when even the hope seemed chimerical. The battles that family, that woman has fought…
But she hasn’t been alone. The campaigning Subpostmasters have supported each other on this extraordinary journey, and they have forged an unbreakable bond.
There are also many many other professionals who have done stirling work helping out quietly behind the scenes, not because they were being paid to, but because they saw something that had gone badly wrong and felt moved to get involved.
Thanks to everyone who called, emailed, sent photos and helped me make sense of today. Particular congratulations to Hudgells solicitors and Aria Grace Law. Hudgells got all but one of their 33 clients through to the next stage. Aria Grace got all three. I do not know about the Subpostmasters represented by other law firms. Again if that’s you – please get in touch. It would be nice to know how everyone is doing.
I have written up a piece for the website with some reaction from various people, including Lord Arbuthnot. I asked Alan Bates from the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance for a comment. He didn’t want to say anything until he knew who of the 47 had been accounted for, and who is now going to have to steel themselves for another fight. I’m not going to be annoyed with him on this occasion!
And now I am going to bed. I was up at 3am trying to get a corporate job squared away before the news hit and I’m already starting to flag.
It’s hard to overstate how important a day this is in the history of this story. Nothing that ever happens in the future will compensate for the years of pain, shame and penury which has been visited on what now looks like hundreds of people, but if the first few dozen achieve the aim of clearing their names, well… that would be something.
Have a great weekend everybody.
Oh and my photo of the day is from Wendy Buffrey, whose false accounting conviction (an appalling, ridiculous prosecution) is now being uncontested by the Post Office. Take it away, Wendy:
Good on you.