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    Seema Misra slams Post Office for sending her to jail ‘to save £15k’

    Former sub-postmistress Seema Misra, who was wrongly imprisoned, poses for a photograph at her home in Knaphill on January 12, 2024. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

    Former sub-postmistress Seema Misra has accused the Post Office of putting her in prison to “save £15,000”.

    On Wednesday (17), the inquiry into the Horizon scandal heard that the Post Office was reluctant to spend £15,000 on producing five years of transaction log data in Misra’s case.

    Speaking to The Telegraph, Misra said, “When I saw that £15,000 figure – I couldn’t believe it. They were willing to let an innocent person go to prison to save £15,000.

    “People committed suicide as a result of this scandal – you had CEOs receiving millions of pounds, but they were worried about spending £15,000 on disclosure – it’s completely unethical.”

    The inquiry was shown emails between Jon Longman, a former Post Office investigator involved in her case, and Post Office colleagues discussing disclosure requests from Misra’s defence team.

    They included one email sent to Mandy Talbot, a member of the Post Office’s dispute resolution team, in which Longman wrote, “One of the sticking points in all of this was that the defence indicated they needed five years of transaction log data, but this would have cost the Post Office over £15,000.”

    Longman went on to tell the inquiry that he believed that the data requested was for a three-year period – however only a partial amount of so-called Audit Record Query (ARQ) data, which has previously been described as a complete record of all keystrokes made on Horizon, was eventually provided.

    Misra had run a post office in West Byfleet, Surrey, for less than three years when her accounts were found to have a £74,600 shortfall as a result of faulty Horizon software.

    She endured a two-year long investigation that included having her house searched. She was eight weeks pregnant with her second child when she was handed a 15-month sentence in 2010 for six counts of false accounting and one of theft. The 48-year-old mother-of-two had to give birth wearing a tag.

    The former Post Office investigator conceded on Wednesday (17) that he wished all data requested had been provided to defendants and their legal representatives.

    Describing the search Longman and his colleagues carried out, Misra said, “He was going through my house from the morning to the evening and they were there that long because I had nothing to hide.

    “I had a freezer and they moved that to see if there was anything behind it. Then I had a temple in a room and I asked them to remove their shoes but they didn’t, it was so horrible.”

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