Black Post Office staff who have been falsely accused within the Horizon scandal have been labeled utilizing a racial slur, based on paperwork obtained by campaigners.
More than 700 former Post Office workers have been wrongly prosecuted for theft and false accounting in what has been described as “the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history”.
Post Office prosecutors tasked with investigating sub-postmasters have been requested to group suspects based mostly on racial options.
The doc, thought to have been revealed in 2008, requested investigators if the suspects have been “Negroid Types” – a racist time period from the colonial period of the 1800s that refers to folks of African descent.
Other classes on the doc embody “Chinese/Japanese types” and “Dark Skinned European Types”.
The paperwork got here to gentle by way of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request obtained by campaigner Eleanor Shaikh.
She is a supporter of the greater than 700 department managers who have been prosecuted between 1999 and 2015 on theft, fraud and false accounting expenses.
Responding to the FOI, a Post Office spokesperson described it as a “historic document” however mentioned the organisation didn’t tolerate racism “in any shape or form” and condemned the “abhorrent” language.
They added: “We fully support investigations into Post Office’s past wrong doings and believe the Horizon IT Inquiry will help ensure today’s Post Office has the confidence of its postmasters and the communities it supports.”
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A statutory, unbiased inquiry started in 2022 to look at how the Horizon scandal occurred.
The sub-postmasters have been falsely accused of theft and false accounting after a pc system known as Horizon was launched by the Post Office in 1999 and incorrectly confirmed shortfalls on firm accounts.
In 2000, the Post Office started taking authorized motion in opposition to sub-postmasters utilizing Horizon knowledge as proof. By 2014, 736 had been criminally prosecuted.
Some ended up in jail, others turned bankrupt attempting to repay cash they didn’t owe, and some even took their very own lives earlier than their names may very well be cleared.
However, in December 2019, a High Court choose dominated the system contained a variety of “bugs, errors and defects” and there was a “material risk” that shortfalls in Post Office department accounts have been the truth is brought on by it.
Many sub-postmasters have had felony convictions overturned.