Former Post Office head of criminal Rob Wilson pushed for prosecution of hundreds of sub-postmasters despite suppressing an investigation

Former Post Office head of criminal Rob Wilson pushed for prosecution of hundreds of sub-postmasters despite suppressing an investigation

Rob Wilson, former head of criminal law at the Post Office, pushed for the prosecution of hundreds of sub-postmasters despite suppressing an investigation into the faulty Horizon IT system, an inquiry into the scandal revealed.

In 2010, an email from Wilson cautioned against probing suspected bugs in the Horizon software, emphasizing potential reputational damage.

The faulty accounting data, leading to wrongful accusations of missing money, continued to be used for prosecuting postmasters until 2015, contributing to over 900 prosecutions between 1999 and 2015.

Denial Culture Exposed:

Campaigners highlight Wilson’s stance as indicative of a culture of denial within the organization, contributing to what is considered the worst miscarriage of justice in modern British history.

At least 180 postmasters were prosecuted after Wilson’s 2010 email. Public outrage surged following the exposure of the scandal through the ITV series, Mr. Bates vs The Post Office.

Landmark Legislation and Compensation:

Amid the public outcry, ministers are now preparing legislation to exonerate wrongly convicted postmasters, earmarking an estimated £1 billion compensation fund.

Scrutiny intensifies on legal advisors as questions arise about their role in the organization’s decisions.

Aggressive Pursuit and Plea Deal Controversy:

One of Wilson’s investigators, Stephen Bradshaw, faced criticism during the inquiry, described as ‘threatening’ and ‘aggressive’ in pursuing sub-postmasters.

Allegations likened their behavior to “Mafia gangsters” collecting “bounty with threats and lies.” A memo revealed the offer of a plea deal with the condition that the postmaster affirm there was nothing wrong with Horizon, a proposition deemed “probably not acceptable.”

Contradictory Emails and Regret:

Wilson’s internal email in 2010, urging an investigation into Horizon, contradicted his subsequent recommendation to avoid such inquiries, fearing damage to ongoing criminal cases.

In his witness statement, Wilson expressed deep regret for sending the 2010 email but maintained it did not alter his advice on approaching Horizon data cases.

Victims Demand Accountability:

Postmasters wrongly convicted in the scandal demand accountability for individuals like Wilson. Chris Trousdale and Wendy Martin, both affected by false accusations, express the need for investigation into the perpetrators.

Alan Bates’ lawyer describes the evidence as painting a disturbing picture of the Post Office, raising questions about malevolent intent.

Post Office’s Response:

The Post Office acknowledges the public inquiry’s aims to uncover the truth and ensure accountability. Expressing awareness of the human cost of the scandal, they affirm their commitment to rectifying past wrongs as far as possible.

The unfolding revelations in the Post Office scandal shed light on a complex web of decisions and actions, prompting a reevaluation of the organization’s role and responsibility in the grave miscarriage of justice endured by numerous postmasters.

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