A former sub-postmaster is threatening legal action against the Post Office.

More than a year after a post office was closed a former sub-postmaster is teaming up with other disgruntled postmasters to take on the Post Office.

Rivenhall’s Oak Stores post office closed in September, 2008, forcing villagers to travel to Silver End or Witham.

Graham Ward, former sub-postmaster and shop owner, saw equipment taken away by the Post Office after a dispute over an audit.

In October 2005 he was supsended for an unexplained loss of £1,900, however, he was reinstated after a month.

Mr Ward said there were a number of disputes over financial irregularities and he blames the Post Office’s computer system.

He said there are about 50 similar cases around the country and he is in touch with other postmasters and together they have engaged a solicitor.

A website set up to highlight the plight of Mr Ward, and those in a similar position, states: “After years of being forced to suffer in silence, the injustices that have been forced upon many Subpostmasters by the Post Office are about to be exposed across the country. No longer will the Post Office be able to hold a financial gun to the head of Subpostmasters.”

Mr Ward, who has support from Brooks Newmark, Braintree MP, and Priti Patel, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Witham, said: “The Post Office are not talking to me anymore. They are not accepting their computers are wrong and they have no proof of me doing any wrong.”

He said his business has gone from being a “viable village shop and post office to one that’s really struggling”.

Mr Newmark said: “If the Post Office had a strong case they would have brought it against him. Graham has done everything above board and he has all the paperwork to show he has done nothing wrong.”

Melanie Corfield, a Post Office spokesman, said it would be inappropriate to comment on individual cases.

She added: "Our Horizon IT system, which operates across the Post Office network, is extremely robust and successfully records millions of transactions each day and there is no evidence pointing to any fault with the technology. We would always look into and investigate any issues raised by subpostmasters."

Visit www.jfsa.org.uk to find out more about the postmasters’ campaign.

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