Post Office sabotaged Horizon probe, says investigator

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The investigators wrote an interim report into the Horizon system, published in July 2013, which identified bugs that could have made Horizon convictions unsafe.

Following this report the Post Office, along with Second Sight and campaigners led by former sub-postmaster Alan Bates, set up a mediation scheme in August 2013.

The Post Office closed this scheme in March 2015.

Mr Henderson said that towards the end of the scheme “some questions asked 12 months earlier had still not been answered”.

“Protecting ‘the brand’ was the priority, not supporting sub-postmasters,” he said.

He added that many aspects of the individual cases that were prosecuted “just didn’t make sense”.

“For example, in none of the cases that we looked at did we find any evidence of personal gain or benefit,” he said. “This may indicate that the alleged loss was not real and was more likely to have been caused by a faulty computer system.”

The Post Office did extensive vetting of sub-postmasters before taking them on, he added, but “would have us believe that significant numbers… had suddenly become career criminals. I found this implausible.”

Mr Henderson added that at one point the Post Office had more people working in its public relations department than its legal department, which appeared an “inappropriate” and “unsustainable” priority for the business.

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