CWU demands ‘criminal investigations’ – into the postmaster jailings

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JANET SKINNER (centre) with her daughter and niece outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Friday, she was imprisoned in 2007 for nine months and separated from her two children

‘HEADS must roll for the humiliation and misery inflicted on decent, upstanding people,’ the CWU (Communication Workers Union) insisted yesterday.

It is demanding criminal investigations into senior Post Office figures who oversaw the criminalisation of hundreds of postmasters, including jailing many of them.

This demand comes after 39 postmasters had their convictions for theft, fraud or false accounting quashed by the Court of Appeal last week.

Judges overseeing the case ruled last Friday that corrupted data from the Post Office’s Horizon system was at fault, not the workers.

The system, which was supplied by Fujitsu, erroneously registered cash shortages.

It was also ruled that the Post Office prevented workers from having a fair trial on whether that system data was reliable.

The CWU is also demanding that Paula Vennells be stripped of her CBE, which she received in 2019 for ‘services to the Post Office’.

CWU National Officer for Postmasters Andy Furey said: ‘At long last, 39 innocent people have been exonerated for crimes they did not commit.

‘This has been one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British history.

‘For years, decent and upstanding members of the community have been vilified through no fault of their own. Their lives and the lives of their families have been devastated, and some have even died carrying the shame of unjust criminality on their shoulders.

‘The CWU is so glad that this long legal struggle has been won. But this isn’t the end of it.

‘Alongside appropriate financial compensation for all the victims of this injustice, there must be acknowledgement of the aggressive, despicable way that senior Post Office directors treated their loyal employees.’

He continued: ‘We also demand a criminal investigation against those who put loyal, decent workers in this diabolical situation.

‘Many senior figures who are complicit in this scandal will now want to run from this situation, but we must not let that happen.

‘Heads must roll for the humiliation and misery inflicted on decent, upstanding people who were simply providing much needed local services and were pillars of their local communities.

‘It will be only when justice is done that the suffering of so many can be mended, and these decent, loyal Postmasters can get real closure.’