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Sub-postmasters shortchanged over Horizon scandal to get full compensation

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Published Time: 12.02.2024 - 15:40:19 Modified Time: 12.02.2024 - 15:40:19

Five employees were offered lower sums because Post Office did not believe that evidence of faulty software was essential to prosecutions TOLGA AKMEN/AFP A group of wrongfully convicted sub-postmasters are finally set to receive full compensation

Five employees were offered lower sums because Post Office did not believe that evidence of faulty software was essential to prosecutions

: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP

A group of wrongfully convicted sub-postmasters are finally set to receive full compensation.

Five victims were originally offered lower sums because the Post Office did not believe that evidence about faulty Horizon software was essential in their prosecutions.

However, Kevin Hollinrake, the Post Office Minister, has now agreed that they should have equal treatment.

Parmod Kalia, one member of the group, hid his prison sentence from his elderly mother out of shame.

Mr Kalia spent £22,000 of his own money attempting to balance the accounts of his Oprtington branch, but was ultimately still prosecuted by the Post Office.

Despite pleading guilty to one count of theft – in the hope that he would receive a more lenient sentence, a judge sentenced him to six months in prison in 2001.

Yet when Mr Kalia’s conviction was quashed in 2021, the Post Office did not oppose his appeal on the grounds that it wasn’t in the public interest to pursue a retrial.

However, the Post Office said that if there had been a retrial, there was a reasonable prospect of convection and therefore he was not owed full compensation for malicious prosecution.

However, he and four other victims known as “public interest” cases – have been told they will be treated the same as other wrongfully convicted victims.

Mr Kalia told the BBC it was “about time” such a decision was made.

“It was Horizon that showed the discrepancy, and based on that, our cases are Horizon-related,” he told the broadcaster.

Prof Chris Hodges, chair of the Independent Horizon Compensation Advisory Board (IHCAB), said the board had raised the issue.

He told The Telegraph: “This did not seem fair or just to us.

“The HCAB said firmly that they should all be treated the same and be entitled to the same level of full and fair compensation.

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