The High Court judgment in the long-running Post Office Group Litigation was handed down on Monday by the Managing Judge, Mr Justice Fraser.
The judgment concludes the second trial in the High Court class action against the UK Post Office. This trial concerned the operation, functionality and reliability of the Horizon IT system which is currently operational in over 12,000 post office branches.
In 2016, a group of 550 sub-postmasters took action against the Post Office, claiming the Horizon system, which managed sales and accounting, was not fit for purpose and was responsible for discrepancies and cash shortfalls within a number of branches. As a result, over a dozen sub postmasters claim they were wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting.
In a press statement last week, the Post Office announced it had settled the group litigation and has agreed to pay almost £58m to former sub postmasters; marking the end of a three-year legal battle.
In a statement, the Post Office chairman Tim Parker declared that “in the past, we got things wrong in our dealings with a number of postmasters”.
The Horizon Judgment
IT Group’s Jason Coyne, assisted by Siobhan Forster, Chris Raske and Patrick Grant, was instructed as the independent Technology expert by the claimants and was cross-examined over four days by June 2019 as part of the Horizon trial.
Mr Coyne’s independence and impartiality and the thorough nature with which the team conducted their examination was highlighted in the judgment. The judge stated that “In all the major respects therefore, and taking account of all the points made both in cross-examination and submissions by both parties concerning their own, and the opposing side’s, IT expert, I prefer the evidence and conclusions of Mr Coyne…”.
A copy of the judgment can be found here.