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MP in call to reinstate St Keverne postmistress after case collapses
4:20pm Wednesday 7th August 2013 in News
There are calls for St Keverne’s former sub-postmistress to receive a full apology, compensation and her job back after she was cleared of false accounting, with the prosecution offering no evidence against her.
A verdict of not guilty was recorded against Susan Knight, who ran St Keverne Post Office, when she appeared before Truro Crown Court on Monday.
The prosecution decided that continuing with the case would not be in the public interest and the Post Office is currently reviewing all its cases under prosecution.
Ms Knight had been accused of false accounting involving sums alleged to be more than £20,000.
In a statement read outside the court by her solicitor, Ms Knight said she had spent her savings trying to meet alleged accounting errors after she relied on the company’s Horizon system, which was the subject of a review nationally.
The 58-year-old, who had worked for the Post Office for 32 years, said she was “grateful” she would not now face a prosecution and described the system as “clearly producing inaccurate accounts which the Post Office had relied on for far too long.”
The St Keverne community has now rallied behind Ms Knight and is calling for her to be reinstated behind the post office counter.
Yesterday, Tuesday, West Cornwall MP Andrew George said he would be seeking a full apology and compensation for Ms Knight and also for her to be offered her old job back.
Mr George said: “This whole episode has been devastating and very unfair for Susan. She is not the only sub-postmistress to have been falsely accused in this way.
“The Post Office clearly has a serious problem with its Horizon computer accounting system. They now need to deal with this rather than put their sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses through the kind of treatment Susan has endured.”
Mr George is part of a group of MPs that has called for an independent review of the Post Office's handling of this situation.
A spokesperson for the Post Office said she was unable to comment on individual cases “at this stage.”
However, the company said in a statement: “The Post Office is committed to supporting its people and improving the way we do so.”
It claimed a review it commissioned “makes clear” that the Horizon computer system functioned “effectively”, adding: “The review underlines our cause for confidence in the overall system.
“It does however raise questions about the training and support we have offered to some sub-postmasters and we are determined to address these issues.
“The people who work in the post office network in communities across the country are the lifeblood of our business and we take our responsibilities to them very seriously.”
The company added that it “regrets very much” if any sub-postmaster felt its standards of support or training had “not met their needs”.
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