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Post Office scandal: Former Scottish sub-postmaster Rab Thomson 'overwhelmed' after conviction overturned

A former sub-postmaster who attempted to take his own life after being criminalised in the Post Office scandal has told Sky News he is "overwhelmed" after his conviction was overturned.

Rab Thomson, from Clackmannanshire, is one of around 50 people in Scotland wrongfully convicted after bogus shortfalls appeared in the faulty Horizon IT system.

The 64-year-old father-of-two had been due to have his miscarriage of justice claims heard at the Court of Criminal Appeal in February, but prosecutors confirmed on Wednesday that they were not going to object to Mr Thomson's name being cleared.

Prosecutions north of the border were managed by the Crown Office, as opposed to internal criminal investigations led by the Post Office in England and Wales.

Mr Thomson, who took over his local Post Office near Alloa in 2000, was convicted in 2006 over an apparent shortfall of almost £6,000.

Reacting to news of his conviction being quashed, he told Sky News he felt "sick" when his lawyer phoned to deliver the news.

He said he was feeling "emotionally drained" and "overwhelmed but glad it's all over".

Mr Thomson previously described the emotional toll this has taken on his life over the decades.

Speaking earlier this month, he said: "As the time went on, it [apparent shortfalls with Horizon] kept going up and up to £10,000, £15,000, up to £60,000. Panic set in.

"I tried to commit suicide. I came and told my wife that I was finished. I said 'I can't live with this'. Depression is a really serious thing."

Mr Thomson said when his case came to court in 2006 he was told to confess to the allegations minutes before appearing in front of the judge to make life "easier" for his family.

He said: "I said, no, no, no. I don't want to plead guilty. I said I've not done nothing wrong. I said I've told you this from day one."

Read more:
What is the Post Office scandal?
Distressed sub-postmasters say Horizon system 'still causing mystery shortfalls'

The news comes just weeks after the head of Scotland's prosecution service, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC, appeared before MSPs at Holyrood.

Ms Bain had been called to clarify when the Crown Office knew about the flawed system.

Ms Bain said: "I am very deeply troubled by what has occurred, and I remain acutely concerned that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service was repeatedly misled by the Post Office.

"Assurances, which were just not true, were repeatedly given.

"To those wrongfully convicted, I understand your anger and I apologise for the way that you've been failed by trusted institutions and the criminal justice system. And I stand beside you in your pursuit of justice.

"I want to assure this chamber, those wrongly convicted, and the people of Scotland that I will do all I can to prevent such an affront to our justice system from ever happening again and to right the wrongs which have occurred."