Post Office Lawyer Expresses Shame Over Role in Horizon IT Scandal

Lawyer for UK Post Office expresses shame over Horizon IT scandal, admitting the organization engaged in the "greatest miscarriage of justice" and dismissing warnings about the faulty system.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Post Office Lawyer Expresses Shame Over Role in Horizon IT Scandal

Post Office Lawyer Expresses Shame Over Role in Horizon IT Scandal

Rodric Williams, a senior lawyer for the Post Office, has expressed shame and regret over his association with the organization during the Horizon IT scandal public inquiry. Williams, who joined the Post Office in 2012 and currently serves as the head of legal for dispute resolution and brand, admitted that he took no pride or comfort in having worked for an employer that engaged in the "greatest miscarriage of justice" he has seen.

The public inquiry is examining who in the government and the Post Office knew about the accounting computer program Horizon, which falsely generated financial losses at Post Office branches and led to the wrongful conviction of hundreds of sub-postmasters for theft and false accounting between 1999 and 2015. Williams acknowledged that there was a "defensive mindset" among Post Office staff regarding media coverage of the faulty Horizon system, and he dismissed warnings from a former sub-postmaster about issues with the system.

Why this matters: The Horizon IT scandal represents a significant miscarriage of justice that devastated the lives of hundreds of innocent sub-postmasters. The public inquiry aims to uncover the truth behind the scandal and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

During the inquiry, it was revealed that the Post Office feared sub-postmasters challenging their convictions if damaging documents surfaced during the mediation process. Williams was also accused of knowing that the Post Office had "relied on a liar and a perjurer to convict innocent people" following expert evidence provided by Horizon engineer Gareth Jenkins, which was later found to be problematic.

The inquiry also heard about the alleged shredding of meeting minutes concerning Horizon bugs, which Williams said was "an extremely serious allegation" that he did not recall investigating at the time. When questioned about the Post Office's actions in 2014, when it continued to assert the safety of the convictions despite issues with the expert evidence, Williams admitted that the two positions did not sit well together and that the serious allegations raised in the legal advice should have been investigated.

Williams expressed his shame and apologized for his involvement in the scandal, stating, "I take no pride, comfort or confidence in having worked for an employer that engaged in the greatest miscarriage of justice we've seen." The Post Office has faced widespread criticism over its handling of the Horizon IT issues, which had a devastating impact on the lives of the wrongfully convicted sub-postmasters and their families.

Key Takeaways

  • Lawyer Rodric Williams expresses shame over Post Office's role in Horizon IT scandal.
  • Post Office had "defensive mindset" and dismissed warnings about Horizon system issues.
  • Inquiry reveals Post Office feared sub-postmasters challenging convictions if documents surfaced.
  • Post Office relied on problematic expert evidence to convict innocent sub-postmasters.
  • Williams admits Post Office's actions in 2014 did not align with the serious allegations.