Former Hogsthorpe postmaster wrongly accused of theft by Post Office welcomes £100k interim compensation payout by government
Thomas Hedges was one of dozens of postmasters in a Post Office IT scandal who had their conviction overturned by the Royal Courts of Justice in April.
More than 700 sub-postmasters were prosecuted between 2000 and 2014 after a bug in the computer system Horizon led to financial shortfalls in branch accounts.
Some had been imprisoned for crimes they never committed.
Mr Hedges lost his job at the age of 57, the respect of a village he loved and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs. He and his wife eventually moved from Hogsthorpe to Chapel St Leonards.
More people have been affected by the scandal than in any other miscarriage of justice in the UK.
The Government agreed to fund the initial payments last week.
After the Government announcement, Mr Hedges said: ”I was delighted with the news that PO will use government money to pay up to £100,000 in interim compensation to the now 59 acquitted postmasters.
”Hundreds more cases are lining up to start the process.
“I stress the ‘up’, too. I rather think that this is a headline figure designed to grab media attention and to start to show the PO and Government in a good light.
“I hope I am wrong, but I suspect only one or two people will get the ‘big money’ and the rest just a few thousand.
“I am afraid after 12+ years fighting for justice I have become rather cynical.
“However, the good news is, yes, I am one of the people in line for a payment.
“I do stress this is an interim payment - my full claim which is £100k mentioned in this latest news.
“You must remember that I was thrown onto the scrap heap in employment terms by my conviction.
“I was forced to live on state handouts and sell our business, which was also our home. We were very lucky to avoid bankruptcy.
All of this at the hands at the hands of the PO. No-one can give me back the last 12+ years.”