HANDS up if you support capital punishment. Yes? Then please read on….

The news that former South Warnborough postmaster Jo Hamilton must continue her fight for total compensation for the effects of the Post Office scandal (Gazette, December 28), should send a shiver down one’s back.

Four years have passed since a High Court judge ruled that the Horizon software contained bugs. There is now the possibility of some comfort, as a criminal investigation may be held regarding an alleged cover-up.

The appearance of total incompetence by the Post Office directors is breathtaking. Two or three reports of financial irregularities would be entirely possible, but 700? Did no director around the boardroom table stand up and say 'this cannot be correct - something is clearly wrong with our systems'. No, instead, prosecutions were initiated and four postmasters took their own lives in what must be the biggest miscarriage of justice for decades.

As a former programmer, I can say that a thorough review of the systems might have thrown up a not-uncommon software error: the writing of a comma instead of a full-stop can produce a completely different calculation. 

Now, just imagine that the crime of stealing from your employer carries the death penalty. Would you still be in favour of capital punishment?

Hugh Sawyer

Foyle Park 


Send letters by email to newsdesk@basingstokegazette.co.uk or by post to Editor, Basingstoke Gazette, Absolutely Offices, Lutyens Cl, Lychpit, Basingstoke RG24 8AG.

All letters and e-mails must include full names and addresses (anonymous letters will not be published), although these details may be withheld from publication, on request.

Letters of 300 words or less will be given priority, although all are subject to editing for reasons of clarity, space, or legal requirements. We reserve the right to edit letters.