A former sub-postmaster of a Brentwood post office "never saw justice" before his death after being falsely accused of racking up thousands in losses, his surviving wife has said.

Kathy Wenborn, 72, a Hornchurch resident of 40 years, told the Recorder about the experience of her husband Michael, 67, who died at Queen's Hospital in 2021 from Covid after an eight-year cancer battle.

Michael ran Woodland Avenue Post Office in Hutton, Brentwood, for 26 years from 1990 and Kathy claims he was falsely accused of accumulating £3,000 losses, money that he had to dip into his savings to cover.

From 1999 until 2015, the Post Office prosecuted 736 employees based on information from computer operating system Horizon, which wrongly made it look like money had gone missing.

Some went to prison, while others suffered financial hardship. In 2019, a group of sub-postmasters successfully challenged the Post Office in the High Court and a public inquiry is ongoing.

The scandal has been brought back into the public eye by the ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

Of her husband Michael, Kathy said: "He never really saw justice.

"It's horrible what postmasters had to go through: they lost houses, businesses, it split families up - terrible," she said.

“No amount of compensation will make up for what they suffered.”

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The Hornchurch widow also claimed the Post Office took money out of Michael's salary.

Kathy said the loss of money would have been the most distressing factor for Michael, a trained accountant, who retired in 2016 after balancing the books from his savings.

"Knowing that he'd been a postmaster for 20-odd years, knowing he hadn't taken any money and he'd [still] had shortfalls - that must've been very distressing."

Michael and Kathy married in 2018 after meeting at social space The RAFA Club, Romford, in 2016.

Kathy did not know Michael when the losses began around 2013, but said she was told by friends of the emotional toll on him when £1,000 went missing, then odd amounts of £300 and £400, before eventually totalling £3,000.

"Two friends of mine said he was very upset about it," she said. “The embarrassment of having to ring the Post Office up and saying he has a shortfall, and [them] blaming the people that work for him.”

Kathy said Michael always knew there was a bigger problem.

“He was a very proud man and he knew that Horizon was faulty," she said.

The couple had enough savings to get by from previous jobs, but Kathy said she feels for other sub-postmasters across east London and Essex.

She said Michael never received any compensation from the Post Office.

"There must be more people in Havering and Brentwood that must be affected who haven't come forward.

"I don't want to push my case too much," Kathy said. "It's for other people."

In a public statement, the Post Office said: "We urge anyone affected who has yet to come forward to claim compensation to do so and we also strongly encourage anyone who believes they were wrongly convicted of an offence to consider an appeal."

Kevin Hollinrake, minister for investment, said: "The Post Office Horizon scandal, which began over 20 years ago, has had a devastating impact on the lives of many postmasters.

"I am pleased to see the progress that Post Office has made in delivering compensation to postmasters."

He added that 98 per cent of eligible claimants have been issued offers of compensation, totalling £90.2 million.

"Post Office are working to issue offers to remaining claimants as soon as possible," Mr Hollinrake said.