Dec 11, 2019

Post Office reaches £58m settlement with sub-postmasters

The Post Office has reached a near £58m settlement with hundreds of sub-postmasters to end a three-year legal battle over an allegedly faulty computer system that led to some of the workers going bankrupt or being imprisoned. A group of 550 current and former sub-postmasters, who run Post Office franchises across the UK, took action after some were prosecuted, a few jailed and others forced to declare bankruptcy after the introduction of the company's Horizon IT system. In a highly unusual move, the Post Office later attempted to get the trial judge to step down, complaining that Mr Justice Peter Fraser's ruling contained criticism of the company and its witnesses. Legal fees for the Post Office amounted to £20m last year, according to the company's 2018/19 annual report, and £3m the year before that. Tim Parker, Post Office chairman, said: "We are grateful to the claimants for taking part in this mediation and agreeing a settlement . . . We accept that, in the past, we got things wrong in our dealings with a number of postmasters and we look forward to moving ahead.".

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