Tim Brentnall ran the Roch Post Office in Pembrokeshire. He was convicted of false accounting in 2010. His conviction was quashed at the Court of Appeal on 19 July 2021. Tim gave evidence to the Post Office Horizon Inquiry on 1 March 2022.
Tim’s closing statement is a powerful piece of rhetoric aimed at reminding the inquiry chair Sir Wyn Williams that he should not be investigating the IT, but the people who used it to systematically deny hundreds of people their reputations, livelihoods and mental well-being.
Following Tim’s lead I have clipped out the relevant section of video from the inquiry’s youtube channel so you can watch what he said as well as read it):
Here is the text of Tim’s statement, slightly tidied up for clarity.
“I know this inquiry is called the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry. It’s fair to say it’s the root cause – and the problems started with Horizon – but we’re here discussing the human impact and I think the inquiry should also be looking at the human cause of these problems.
Myself as every other Subpostmaster you’ve heard from and probably will hear from, had problems that started with Horizon, but their problems did not finish with Horizon.
Horizon merely provided the data that showed a shortfall, but it was people who chose to believe that data over myself or hundreds of other Subpostmasters.
It wasn’t Horizon that prosecuted us, it was the Post Office. It wasn’t Horizon who encouraged us to pay back money under threat of theft charges, that was people at the Post Office.
It wasn’t Horizon that sacked Second Sight when they found uncomfortable truths in their report in 2013, that was people at the Post Office.
It wasn’t Horizon that then went on to shred documents. That was people at the Post Office.
Horizon then did not try and outspend the group litigation people – the 555 as we are known – in court, as an attempt to deny us justice. That was a Post Office decision.
Horizon did then not try and recuse the judge at that trial. That was a Post Office decision.
Horizon did not tell hundreds, if not thousands of us that we were the only people having problems.
That is the evilest of lies. And again, that was the Post Office.
And I hope this inquiry will look very closely not only at Horizon, but the people.”