‘I took blame for Post Office shortfall to guard my mum’ | EUROtoday

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Katie Hunter,BBC Scotland News

BBC Ravinder Naga - outside in a blue sweaterBBC

Ravinder Naga fears his conviction is probably not overturned as a part of the brand new Scottish laws

A person who says he falsely confessed to stealing cash from his mom’s Post Office to guard her from going to jail is ready to seek out out whether or not his conviction can be quashed.

Ravinder Naga pleaded responsible to stealing £35,000 after auditors found a shortfall at Belville Street Post Office in Greenock.

Hundreds of individuals throughout the UK have been convicted on the premise of proof from a defective Post Office IT system referred to as Horizon.

Legislation exonerating all affected sub-postmasters in Scotland is anticipated to move on Thursday.

But Mr Naga doesn’t know if it would cowl him as a result of he wasn’t the sub-postmaster.

In 2009 auditors turned up on the Post Office within the Inverclyde city, the place his mom was the sub-postmistress, and uncovered an alleged shortfall of greater than £33,000.

Mr Naga, from Port Glasgow, mentioned he instructed her to inform Post Office investigators that he had stolen the cash to “buy some time”.

But the lacking cash by no means appeared and the father-of-two ended up pleading responsible to theft. He was sentenced to 300 hours’ neighborhood service.

The former Belville Street Post Office  - a small shop with red shutters pulled down

Mr Naga pleaded responsible to a shortfall of £35,000 after auditors found a shortfall at his mom’s publish workplace in Greenock

Mr Naga mentioned he confessed to a criminal offense he did not commit as a result of his mom wouldn’t have survived jail.

He added: “If someone had to be sacrificed then better me than my mum.

“The household may have coped if possibly I wasn’t there but when my mum had been taken and one thing had occurred to my mum then there would have been no restoration from that.”

Mr Naga said his health deteriorated during his community service and he struggled to get work.

And he told BBC Scotland News the theft he confessed to amounted to “robbing your individual mom”.

Mr Naga described how his parents had built a business portfolio – including the Post Office – from scratch when they came to Scotland.

He added the only good thing to come from his confession was that his mother’s reputation was never tarnished because he took the hit.

Mr Naga’s father died before the alleged shortfall was discovered.

‘Less certain’ of exoneration

Mr Naga’s solicitor Greg Cunningham said he could not be sure whether his client would be cleared by legislation expected to pass in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

He explained if Mr Naga’s mother had been convicted there would be no doubt that she would be exonerated but his client’s situation was less certain as he wasn’t the sub-postmaster.

But Mr Cunningham said Mr Naga’s business connections to the Post Office – where he helped his mother on a regular basis – meant he may be included in the bill.

Mr Naga’s case has also been referred to the court of appeal.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which looks into potential miscarriages of justice, found that “Horizon proof was important to the proof of the accounting shortfall that led to the prosecution”.

It also concluded that Mr Naga may “have pled responsible in circumstances that have been clearly prejudicial to him”.

Mr Naga said he had nothing to hide.

Prosecutors in Scotland have not decided whether they will oppose his appeal.

Mr Naga’s mother is fully supporting her son’s bid to clear his name.

But he said the saga has left her stressed and tired.

Mr Naga added: “They’ve taken 15 years of her life. My mum was all the time a girl who was formidable and needed to construct one thing up.

“To some people this is a TV programme or a news story but to other people it’s their life.”

A Post Office spokesperson mentioned: “We apologise unreservedly for the hurt and suffering that was caused to victims of the Horizon IT Scandal and their loved ones.

“We know an apology from Post Office just isn’t sufficient and so our focus stays on supporting the Public Inquiry to ascertain the reality, working with authorities to overturn wrongful convictions, and paying redress as rapidly as attainable.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/crggqxlq589o