Sub-postmaster: Ex-boss showed no humility

Sally Stringer
Sally Stringer ran a Post Office branch in Worcestershire for 20 years [BBC]

A former sub-postmaster who was caught up in the scandal surrounding the Post Office's faulty IT system said ex-boss Paula Vennells shed "crocodile tears."

Friday was the third and final day that Ms Vennells gave evidence at the long-running inquiry into the Horizon scandal, and at one stage became visibly upset.

Sally Stringer ran a Post Office branch in Beckford, Worcestershire, for 20 years, and had to pay £50,000 from her life savings to cover false accounting problems caused by the IT system.

"I had hoped that she (Ms Vennells) would show humility and contrition, and she hasn't," she said.

Ms Stringer watched Paula Vennells' three days of questioning at the Post Office inquiry.

"I've seen the crocodile tears, I've seen the 'oh, well I wasn't told, or perhaps my staff weren't truthful to me'," said the former sub-postmaster.

"As a chief executive of a public company she is culpable," she stated.

More than 900 sub-postmasters were prosecuted for stealing because of incorrect information from the Horizon computer system.

It has been called the UK's most widespread miscarriage of justice.

The Post Office itself took many cases to court, prosecuting 700 people between 1999 and 2015.

Another 283 cases were brought by other bodies, including the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Many sub-postmasters went to prison for false accounting and theft, and many were financially ruined.

Their convictions are set to be quashed.

Jess Kaur
Jess Kaur was wrongly accused of stealing £11,000 from the West Midlands branch she operated [BBC]

Jess Kaur suffered a mental breakdown after being wrongly accused of stealing £11,000 from the Post Office branch she operated in Aldridge, Walsall.

Charges against her were dropped in 2009, but not before she attempted suicide and was sectioned in hospital.

She was at the inquiry on Friday.

"We did get an apology, which I don't think anybody is going to accept, but she (Ms Vennells) did apologise. She just needs to tell the truth," said Ms Kaur.

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