Two more Post Office workers die awaiting final compensation, inquiry hears

Two Post Office workers have died “over the last few months” without receiving their final compensation, the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry was told.

On Tuesday the inquiry’s chairman, Sir Wyn Williams said that Isabella Armstrong-Wall and Lynette Hutchings had died.

Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, hundreds of subpostmasters were taken to court by the Post Office for fraud after the Horizon IT system led to flaws in accounting at branches across the UK.

In 2019, a group of 555 subpostmasters successfully challenged the Post Office over the Horizon system in the High Court.

Previously, it has been reported in the Daily Mail that at least 33 Post Office staff affected by the scandal have died without receiving their final compensation.

A public inquiry was established in September 2020 to examine the failings which led to the scandal.

Sir Wyn told the inquiry: “Over the last few months, two of the inquiry’s core participants have passed away.”

“Ms Isabella Wall died shortly before Christmas and Ms Lynette Hutchings died more recently.

“Each of those ladies were made core participants shortly after the public inquiry was constituted as such.

“On behalf of the whole of the inquiry team, and on my own behalf, I extend condolences and deepest sympathy to their family and close friends.”

Sir Wyn then established with the women’s legal representatives that they had died awaiting their final compensation.

In her evidence to the inquiry in March last year, Ms Armstrong-Wall said: “I have been mentally and physically scarred by the Post Office.

“I knew I had not done anything wrong but the Post Office helpline made me feel like I was to blame and that I was on my own as the only one having problems with the system.”

Lynette Hutchings told the inquiry she felt “humiliated and unable to speak” about the situation.

“At one point I was in such a dark place I even had thoughts about taking my own life,” she added.

Sir Wyn told the inquiry that “the evidence demonstrates the hardship which both those ladies suffered”.