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Wrongly jailed sub-postmistress rejects apology

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A former sub-postmistress wrongly jailed while pregnant during the Post Office scandal has rejected an apology from an ex-Fujitsu engineer whose evidence helped convict her.

Seema Misra told the BBC that a statement from Gareth Jenkins was “too little, too late”.

At the inquiry on Tuesday, Mrs Misra said she wanted to know “why on earth he did what he did”.

While at Fujitsu, Mr Jenkins was involved in the development of the Horizon accountancy software used by subpostmasters across the UK.

Hundreds of them were wrongly prosecuted for theft and fraud on the basis of incorrect data from the system.

At Mrs Misra’s trial in 2010, Mr Jenkins failed to tell the court about a bug in the software which could have undermined the case against her.

Mrs Misra was found guilty of theft and false accounting and was sent to prison while she was eight weeks pregnant. Her conviction was quashed in 2021.

In a witness statement submitted to the Post Office Inquiry on Tuesday, Mr Jenkins said: “I did not know that Mrs Misra was pregnant at the time of her conviction and only learned of this many years later.

“This makes what has happened even more tragic. I can only apologise, again, to Mrs Misra and her family for what happened to her.”

But Mrs Misra said Mr Jenkins could have said sorry “ages ago” and there was no way he could understand what she went through.

“Nobody can understand it,” she said.

She also questioned why he had not told the court in her case about the Horizon bug, saying it would have been “common sense”.

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