Advertisement

Post Office investigator still believes wrongly convicted sub-postmaster was guilty, inquiry hears

A former Post Office investigator still believes a sub-postmaster who was wrongly convicted and had his name cleared was in fact guilty, the inquiry into the Horizon IT scandal has heard.

Raymond Grant was involved in the prosecution of William Quarm, who ran a Post Office branch on the Scottish island of North Uist.

Mr Quarm was convicted of embezzlement in 2010 and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

He died two years later, more than a decade before his conviction was quashed in the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Despite the ruling, Mr Grant told the inquiry he still thinks Mr Quarm stole money.

Counsel to the Inquiry Jason Beer KC asked Mr Grant: "Do you remain of the view that he's guilty of the crime?"

Mr Grant replied: "Yes I do."

Mr Beer went on: "Despite the verdict of the High Court of Judiciary in Scotland?"

Mr Grant said: "Yes."

'They still think we were the enemy'

Jo Hamilton, a sub-postmistress who is played by Monica Dolan in the ITV drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office, was among those listening to the former investigator's evidence.

Speaking to Sky News afterwards, she described his assertion of Mr Quarm's guilt as "madness".

"They still think we were the enemy," said Ms Hamilton, who was prosecuted for a shortfall of £36,000 before her conviction was overturned in 2021.

She added: "It's a corporate mentality, that we're all thieving from them.

"I don't know how many investigators have to be put in front of the inquiry to realise nothing's changed."

Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts

Mr Grant had to be legally compelled to appear at the inquiry and complained that he had to conduct research "in my own personal time" in preparation for giving evidence.

When asked why his witness statement was only two pages long, he answered that his "time was limited".

Mr Grant said he had been too busy carol singing, moving house and walking his dog, among other activities.

But at the end of his evidence, he became emotional and appeared to be holding back tears as he apologised for his "part" in the scandal, and took aim at his former employer.

Read more:
Victim 'overwhelmed' after conviction overturned
Compensation chief to step down from board
Horizon system 'still causing mystery shortfalls'

Accusing the Post Office of "being less than open and honest with information that should have been shared", Mr Grant added: "They deceived me and they deceived an awful lot more."

More than 900 Post Office workers were wrongly convicted after Fujitsu's faulty accounting software, Horizon, made it look as though money was missing from their accounts.

The inquiry continues.