UK’s ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells: ‘I am very, very sorry’

By Thomson Reuters May 22, 2024 | 4:03 AM

LONDON (Reuters) -Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells apologised on Wednesday for the wrongful convictions of hundreds of sub-postmasters that became one of Britain’s biggest miscarriages of justice

“I am very, very sorry,” she told a long-running public inquiry which has examined how shortfalls in sub-postmasters’ branch accounts were caused by a faulty IT system.

Vennells, who headed the Post Office from 2012 to 2019, told the inquiry that her understanding until May 2013 was that no bugs had been found in the Horizon software system.

Some of those who were convicted spent time in jail, while others went bankrupt and saw their marriages and reputations destroyed. Some have died before they saw their names cleared.

Vennells, a 65-year-old ordained priest, led the state-owned group during a period in which it continued to pursue sub-postmasters despite evidence, according to previous inquiry witnesses, that the software could be remotely accessed.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle and Muvija M; editing by Sarah Young and Kate Holton)