UK Govt: £600,000 of new compensation for every wrongfully convicted Postmaster

UK Govt: £600,000 of new compensation for every wrongfully convicted Postmaster

Post Office today welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that people whose convictions were overturned on the basis of Horizon evidence will be given the option of settling their claims for compensation for an up-front sum of £600,000, without the need to bring a formal claim.

Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read said: “Post Office is making good progress to pay compensation to those affected as quickly as possible and therefore welcomes the news that Government has found a way to provide the option of concluding settlements through their upfront offer. This will be an entirely voluntary choice and so claimants should obtain specific advice from their independent legal and professional representatives in considering whether it is suitable in their individual case.”

The offer is not expected to be appropriate in every case and anyone who does not want to accept it can continue with the existing process where each claim is fully assessed by reference to its specific facts and individual losses. Post Office will continue to process these claims as quickly as possible.

So far, 86 convictions have been overturned and £21 million has been paid in compensation

Starting in the late 1990s, the Post Office began installing Horizon accounting software, but faults in the software led to shortfalls in branches’ accounts. The Post Office demanded sub-postmasters cover the shortfalls, and in many cases wrongfully prosecuted them between 1999 and 2015 for false accounting or theft.

Postmasters who were wrongfully convicted have been forced to endure great hardships, losing clean criminal records, loss of liberty and huge financial losses – that is why the Government believes today’s announcement can finally bring the pain to a close.

The Government’s announcement can be found here Government announces £600,000 of new compensation for every wrongfully convicted Postmaster – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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