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Former Post Office investigator adamant sub-postmaster is guilty, inquiry hears | UK | News


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A former Post Office investigator still believes a sub-postmaster stole money from his branch despite a court overturning his wrongful conviction, the Horizon IT inquiry has heard.

Raymond Grant told the probe he considered William Quarm to still be guilty of stealing money from his Post Office branch in North Uist, Scotland. Still, he denied that was the reason for not regarding the inquiry as a priority.

Mr Quarm was convicted of embezzlement in 2010 and told to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

He died two years later aged 69 and his conviction was quashed in the Court of Criminal Appeal last year.

Mr Grant, who no longer works for the Post Office, also lamented that “there was nobody paying me the salary to do the work that we’re here talking about today” as he was asked to recall his work.

He said he had to do research “in my own time” and had “spent some time in my sick bed reading” in preparation for giving evidence.

The probe heard Mr Grant had to be forced to attend on Wednesday as his “time was limited” due to his “10 to 11-hour” working days and moving house.

He submitted a “minimum” witness statement little over two pages long.

But he said that he was looking after homeless residents in a Salvation Army Christian shelter during December where “there are a lot of activities going on”.

Counsel to the inquiry Jason Beer KC said he would see if the witness could improve on his statement, before adding: “Now carol services and dog walking are out of the way”.

Mr Beer asked the former investigator if he thought Mr Quarm was guilty of the crime, Mr Grant replied: “Yes I do.”

The counsel to the inquiry went on: “Despite the verdict of the High Court of Judiciary in Scotland?”

Mr Grant said: “Yes.” Mr Beer then asked: “Was that amongst the reasons you didn’t regard this inquiry as a priority?” Mr Grant responded “No” but continued to complain about time demands placed on him. He said: “I’ve done a bit of research since, in my own personal time I hasten to add – I’m not employed by the Post Office any more, my employer is the Salvation Army.

“I recognise the seriousness of this inquiry, and I understand why it’s being done. But to ask a layperson, which is what I am right now, these facts and figures, documents to recall 16 years ago – I find that very difficult.”

More than 700 branch managers were prosecuted by the Post Office after Fujitsu’s faulty accounting software, Horizon, made it look as though money was missing from their shops.

Hundreds of sub-postmasters are awaiting their £600,000 compensation.

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