Former postmistress calls for those responsible for scandal to face justice

Alison Hall with her partner Richard pictured outside the Post Office, Halifax Road, LiversedgeAlison Hall with her partner Richard pictured outside the Post Office, Halifax Road, Liversedge
Alison Hall with her partner Richard pictured outside the Post Office, Halifax Road, Liversedge
A former sub-postmaster has spoken of how the Post Office IT scandal has devastated her life.

A public inquiry is taking place after dozens of former sub-postmasters were convicted and even jailed for theft, fraud and false accounting. Their convictions have since been quashed at the High Court.

Among those exonerated was Alison Hall, 52, of Liversedge, who ran Hightown Post Office. She was sentenced to 120 hours of community service after admitting false accounting in 2011.

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She thanked Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater for her support in raising her case in Parliament last week, and has called for those responsible to be brought to justice.

Alison said: "This has been the worst 12 years of my life, not just for myself but for my partner Richard and our family.

"Life has been a little easier following the quashing of my conviction at the Royal Court of Justice in April last year.

"I can finally hold my head high and begin to talk about the torturous manor in which the Post Office destroyed not just my life, but that of many other sub-postmasters considered keystones to local communities.

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"In 2017 I was apart of a group of former sub-postmasters (555 of us) who, supported by the Alliance for Sub-postmasters, went on to win two landslide victories in a historic litigation trial at the High Court in London.

"Along with the euphoria of our victory was anger at the Post Office's tactics.

"It soon became apparent that they were just throwing money into opposing us - estimated at £120million - knowing there would come a point when we could no longer secure financial backing from our investors.

"This resulted in a financial settlement of £57million. It sounds like a lot, but following unexpected deductions for legal fees, it left approximately £11million to share between the 555 - on average £20,000 each.

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"This figure was deemed 'full and final' by the Government.

"Of the 555 I am one of approximately 44 who had a criminal conviction, and I am now part of civil action against the Post Office which is ongoing.

"We are the trailblazers for thousands others who are still carrying the burden of the Post Office’s actions.

"Whatever the outcome, they will, as it stands, receive nothing more. How can that be fair?

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"Something has to be done to provide full and fair compensation to all those caught up in what is the biggest miscarriage of justice in British legal history.

"I sincerely hope that following the current independent inquiry, the people responsible for all this are brought to justice and made to suffer the consequences of their actions."