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Ex-Post Office boss admits to ‘joining in the backslapping’ over pregnant postmistress’s conviction

The man who got The Godfather made – by making friends with the Mob
Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 22:40:51 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 22:40:51

Inquiry hears Rod Ismay described Seema Misra’s guilty verdict as an ‘excellent result’ Andrew Baker A former Post Office boss admitted to “joining in the backslapping” over the conviction of a pregnant postmistress

Inquiry hears Rod Ismay described Seema Misra’s guilty verdict as an ‘excellent result’

: Andrew Baker

A former Post Office boss admitted to “joining in the backslapping” over the conviction of a pregnant postmistress.

Rod Ismay described Seema Misra’s guilty verdict as an “excellent result” and thanked his team and colleagues for their work in what he described as an “important case”.

Mrs Misra was eight weeks pregnant when she was handed a 15-month sentence in November 2010 after pleading guilty to false accounting and being convicted of theft by a jury.

She began running a branch in West Byfleet, Surrey, in 2005 – but was prosecuted over an alleged shortfall of £74,000.

An previously shown to the inquiry showed Jarnail Singh, then a senior lawyer at the Post Office, sharing the news of the jury verdict with colleagues in October 2010, before adding: “It is to be hoped the case will set a marker to dissuade other defendants from jumping on the Horizon-bashing bandwagon.”

Mrs Misra was one of more than 900 sub-postmasters wrongfully prosecuted as a result of the Horizon scandal, due to the software falsely recording shortfalls on branch accounts.


On Friday, Jason Beer KC, lead counsel to the Post Office inquiry, revealed that Mr Ismay’s response to Mr Singh’s – which could not be located when he first gave evidence last year – had been found.

After being told by managing director David Smith to “pass on his thanks” to his own team, the then-head of product and branch accounting copied numerous staff s into a message which read: “Dear all – please note Dave Smith’s thanks to you for all your work on this important case.

“Dave and the ET executive team have been aware of the significance of these challenges and have been supportive of the excellent work going on in so many teams to justify the confidence we have in Horizon and in our supporting processes.”

He added: “This is an excellent result and a big thanks to everyone.”

Addressing Mr Ismay, Mr Beer said: “You’ve joined in the backslapping?”

“Yes,” Mr Ismay responded, “I have congratulated people for their input to that, yeah.”

Just a few months before the was sent, Mr Ismay had compiled a report which listed reasons why the Post Office should be able to take assurance about the Horizon System.

: UNPIXS

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