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Home Breaking Convictions of Hundreds of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent of the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

Convictions of Hundreds of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent of the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

In a landmark development, hundreds of postmasters who were wrongly convicted have had their names cleared today. The Royal Assent of the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024 marks a significant step toward rectifying one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice in our history.

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

The Horizon IT Scandal: A Dark Chapter

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

The scandal, commonly known as the Horizon IT Scandal, unfolded over several years. It involved Post Office Limited pursuing thousands of innocent sub-postmasters for financial shortfalls in their accounts. These shortfalls were, in fact, caused by faults in the Horizon accounting software, which was developed and maintained by Fujitsu. More than 900 sub-postmasters were wrongly prosecuted for theft due to incorrect information from the flawed computer system.

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (horizon System) Offences Act 2024

Clearing Their Names

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

Today’s Royal Assent means that all convictions in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland related to the scandal will be quashed, provided they meet specific criteria:

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

  1. Prosecutions were brought about by the Post Office or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), or in Northern Ireland, by the state prosecutor or the police.
  2. Offences were committed in connection with Post Office business between 1996 and 2018.
  3. The convictions were for relevant offences such as theft, fraud, and false accounting.
  4. The charges were against sub-postmasters, their employees, officers, family members, or direct employees of Post Offices using the Horizon system software.
  5. The convictions have not been considered by the Court of Appeal.

This legal exoneration clears the names of those who endured financial ruin, lost their homes, livelihoods, and reputations due to the scandal. Justice has been served, and the path to financial redress is now swifter for these victims.

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

Next Steps

Convictions Of Hundreds Of Postmasters Quashed Following Royal Assent Of The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024

Postmasters affected by the scandal will receive written notifications in the coming weeks, informing them of their overturned convictions. Additionally, an open letter to postmasters has been published today, outlining the next steps in this process.

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