LONDON, May 11 /PRNewswire/ --

LONDON, May 11 /PRNewswire/ --

- At Least 7 Postmasters Bankrupted, Prosecuted, or had Livelihoods Disrupted - we Investigate why

- Postmasters Encountered Losses They Could not Explain

Lee Castleton cannot get a mortgage or a bank account, and is unlikely to ever own his house. He works over 100 hours a week as an electrician to make ends meet and support his wife Lisa and two children, Millie, 13, and Cameron, 11.

The 40-year-old former postmaster was declared bankrupt after he refused to pay the Post Office GBP27,000, money he owed because the accounts of his Post Office branch in Bridlington, Yorkshire, showed deficits over a 12-week period in 2004.

Castleton insists he did not owe the money - although it showed as a loss on the Post Office's IT system which postmasters use to do their accounting. He is one of several postmasters to come across losses they could not explain. After an investigation of six months, Computer Weekly has found that at least 7 postmasters are in a similar position to Castleton. They have encountered bankruptcy, prosecution and the loss of their life savings because of the deficits on their accounts.

The Post Office denies any IT-related fault could have caused the systems to show incorrect sums of money owed by some postmasters. It says, the system is extremely robust which operates over our entire Post Office network and successfully records millions of transactions each day. There is no evidence that points to any fault with the technology. We would always look into and investigate any issues raised by sub-postmasters.

Notes for editors

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