We now finally know how many people the Post Office successfully prosecuted between 2000 and 2013 over Horizon-related discrepancies. It is 736. After some confusion as to what the settled numbers were at the Court of Appeal last week, the judges asked if the Post Office could provide the court with the correct figures.
In the document submitted to court at the end of proceedings on 25 March, the Post Office explained why its numbers differed from those it gave in a press release last year.
At the time the Post Office was engaged in a post-conviction disclosure exercise, prompted by the two High Court rulings against it in 2019. This "PCDE" was only completed in February this year. Between 3 and 4 million documents have been examined.
Last year the Post Office could not be certain which of its prosecutions definitely involved Horizon-related shortfalls. Now it knows, and here they are, year by year:
• In 2001, there were 41,
• In 2002, there were 64.
• In 2003, there were 56.
• In 2004, there were 59.
• In 2005, there were 68.
• In 2006, there were 69.
• In 2007, there were 50.
• In 2008, there were 48.
• In 2009, there were 70.
• In 2010, there were 55.
• In 2011, there were 44.
• In 2012, there were 50.
• In 2013, there were 56.
"included a category of offences described as ‘other’. It has not been possible to ascertain what offences this referred to and so they have been included as they may relate to shortfall cases." [my emphasis]
"the Government will not be taking further action at this time. The Horizon IT system was put in place in 1999, with the first issues being raised by postmasters in the early 2000s. Over an almost 20-year period decisions were made by many people, including in relation to the prosecution of postmasters. There is therefore no single person accountable for what has taken place."
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