Post Office inquiry: We meet the West Country victims of the Horizon scandal

  • Watch victims of the Post Office scandal meet here.

Victims of the Post Office scandal have spoken to ITV West Country about what they went through when they were falsely accused of embezzling thousands of pounds.

More than 700 Post Office (PO) branch managers were given criminal convictions after faulty Fujitsu accounting software called Horizon made it appear as though money was missing from their shops.

There has been fresh backlash to the scandal after ITV aired a drama starring actor Toby Jones about the scandal, also leading to victims speaking out about their experiences.

A public inquiry is underway to establish if anyone linked to the Post Office could be held responsible for the wrongful accusations.

Andrew Tizzard and his wife Kathy, from Othery in Somerset, ran a post office in South Wales. They were accused to taking £10,000.

During the ordeal, Kathy's weight dropped below six stone due to the stress and she went into organ failure.

Kathy's own mother, who also ran a post office, didn't believe that the system could be faulty and told her daughter it must be her fault. 

Wendy Buffrey is a former postmistress from Cheltenham who was wrongly prosecuted for stealing £26,000 from the postal service.

She went on to lose her business as a result of the prosecution, eventually pleading guilty to charges against her to avoid being sent to prison.

Her criminal record was officially overturned but both her father and her son had passed away without the verdict being completely removed.

Janine Powell ran a Post Office in Tiverton and is now living in County Durham. 

She was wrongfully accused of stealing £74,000 and sent to prison two days after her daughter's 10th birthday.

She maintained her innocence but was sentenced to 18 months in prison, serving five months.

Janine said the hardest part of her wrongful jailing had been leaving her children. She has now had her conviction quashed and is in the process of getting compensation.