Post Office Ltd
Noel Thomas was 'on his knees' after being wrongly jailed when £48k vanished from office accounts.
By Anna Marie Robinson
BBC Radio Cymru
The jailing of Post Office staff after software problems is “one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in our history”, Boris Johnson says.
By Kevin Peachey
Personal finance correspondent, BBC News
The widow of a Post Office branch manager who was wrongly convicted of stealing money said she believes the case contributed to his death.Copyright: PA Media
Julian Wilson owned and ran the Astwood Bank village post office branch near Redditch, Worcestershire and was convicted after a prosecution in 2008.
He died in 2016 from cancer before his name could be cleared along with others on Friday by the Court of Appeal.
His widow, Karen Wilson, said: "His health deteriorated after he was suspended in 2008. I think the stress contributed. He may have still got cancer but I think it contributed.
"For 13 years I have lived and breathed it. We almost lost everything."
Mr Wilson's daughter, Emma Jones, added: "This is a bittersweet day for us. Very unjust, very unfair."
The Post Office should repay former postmasters with interest for the money they spent trying to pay for alleged shortfalls on their tills, an MP has said.Copyright: PA Media
Lucy Allan, MP for Telford, said there had been a "failure to be open and honest" at the organisation and it should repay shortfalls "with interest to all those affected".
Her reaction came after judges quashed the convictions of 39 former postmasters after the UK's most widespread miscarriage of justice.
They were convicted of stealing money, with some imprisoned including Tracey Felstead, from Telford, after the Post Office installed the Horizon computer system in branches.
Some sub-postmasters attempted to plug the gap with their own money, even remortgaging their homes, in an attempt to correct errors.
The system was flawed and postmasters and postmistresses have spent years trying to clear their names.
Former postmasters react after judges quash their convictions in the UK's most widespread miscarriage of justice.
- Copyright: PA
Former Post Office workers are celebrating today after 39 people had their criminal convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal in London.
And that's where we'll leave our live coverage for now.
You can read the full story here which is being updated throughout the day.
- Quote Message: We welcome the landmark decision by the Court of Appeal today to overturn these convictions, which marks another important milestone for postmasters affected by the Horizon dispute. The Post Office has rightly apologised for its historical failings and is taking determined action to right the wrongs of the past, and we continue to monitor this work very closely.” from Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
The solicitor who represented 29 of the postmasters has said it is "almost impossible to describe the true impact" that the scandal has had on the lives of those who had their reputations and livlihoods "so unfairly destroyed".
Solicitor Neil Hudgell said: "They are honest, hard-working people who served their communities but have had to live with the stigma of being branded criminals for many years, all the while knowing they have been innocent.
"Indeed, given its actions, everything the Post Office has sought to do over the last year or so, whether it be by way of apology and offers of redress, or by talking about a cultural change, completely unravelled when our clients' cases where heard."
He added: "The Post Office failed to offer any sort of explanation as to why wholesale disclosure of evidence was withheld in cases, nor why a proper investigation was not carried out when known problems in the Horizon system started to appear."
- Copyright: Getty Images
"This is a huge victory in the fight for justice for the subpostmasters affected by this appalling decades-long scandal, in the face of inaction from government," said Ed Miliband, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary.
"But there are so many other names to clear. For some who lost their homes and their reputations, it's too late.
He said Labour was pushing for a "proper Inquiry with teeth" to get the bottom of how this scandal happened who was responsible.
"The government's inquiry risks being a whitewash," he said.
Helen Pitcher, the chairwoman of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which asked the Court of Appeal to review the convictions, said: "This has been a serious miscarriage of justice which has had a devastating impact on these victims and their families."
"Every single one of these convictions has clearly had a profound and life-changing impact for those involved," she said in a statement.
"The Post Office has rightly acknowledged the failures that led to these cases and conceded that the prosecutions were an abuse of process."
"We sincerely hope that lessons will be learned from this to prevent anything similar happening elsewhere in the future."