It was announced today that dozens of former sub-postmasters are now close to have their convictions for fraud, theft and false accounting quashed.
The scandal, which Lucy Allan MP has followed closely, led to many sub-postmasters being falsely accused of stealing money from the tills due to glitches in the Horizon computer system.
The opportunity arose for Post Office workers to seek justice and have their convictions overturned following a review of their cases last year. Lucy is a passionate advocate of their cause, and has been working closely with MPs from all parties to see that this issue is raised at the highest levels of government.
These MPs of all parties, from across the country, were in agreement that this scandal will not go away and must be tackled by Government and those responsible be held to account. In many circumstances, Post Office workers were encouraged to plead guilty to lesser charges to avoid prison. They still had to pay over to the Post Office ‘missing money’ to make good the discrepancies thrown up by the flawed system.
Many sub-postmasters and their families lost everything they had including their homes, businesses, families and reputation in their communities and continued to have criminal records.
Today's news marks a landmark moment for those who have lived with criminal records, and in some cases spent time in prison. After more than 900 prosecutions, 550 sub-postmasters raised civil actions against the Post Office which agreed to pay nearly £60 million in damages.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is now also considering whether there should be charges of perjury against officials who claimed in court there were no problems with the Horizon accounting system, even though emails and other documents now suggest they knew there were.
Lucy has fought extensively to support the sub-postmasters by tabling questions in the House of Commons, securing debates and working closely with campaigners and the CCRC.
Lucy Allan MP said:
"This is fantastic news. My constituent Tracy Felstead and many other sub-postmasters around the country have today had the good news they have fought long and hard for over so many years.
This shocking miscarriage of justice has blighted the lives of too many innocent sub-postmasters, who were scapegoated by the Post Office long after the grounds of their convictions were brought into doubt.
Well done to all the campaigners - your perseverance has been extraordinary in the face of such an imbalance of power."
Lucy's contributions in Parliament:
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