THE case of a Starcross sub postmaster who was jailed after money went missing has been highlighted at the national Post Office Inquiry. 

Peter Huxham was convicted and served a prison term in 2010 after pleading guilty to fraud by misrepresentation on the advice of his lawyers. 

His conviction and nine month prison sentence led to the end of his marriage, drove a split with his family, left him destitute and alone for years before his death in 2020. 

Now, his case has been highlighted at Post Office Inquiry following the national scandal which has become the worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history. 

Mr Huxham’s case was highlighted at the hearing in London when barrister Harry Bowyer, an employee to Cartwright-King, solicitors to the Post Office, was giving evidence. 

Mr Bowyer was quizzed about the failure of the prosecution by the Post Office to make disclosures during case reviews. 

It was quoted from documents that Post Office solicitors said there was ‘no danger’ of his conviction being found unsafe as he had admitted his guilt from the ‘very first’. 

Mr Bowyer admitted the prosecution had failed to make disclosure and they could not prove any actual theft.

Peter Hinchcliffe, who has lived in Starcross for more than 50 years, said he found Mr Huxham to be ‘very friendly and most helpful’ with a collection of ‘superb’ ties. 

He said: ‘In 2008, faced with the might of the Post Office and the then belief in the infallible Horizon system, Peter had little choice but to plead guilty.

‘He lost everything, his freedom, his marriage, his family, his home and business and his reputation.

‘And Starcross lost one of its most pleasant residents.’

Mr Hinchliffe believes the Mr Bowyer’s evidence to the inquiry was significant because the admission was there was no disclosure of the shortcomings in the prosecution case and no proof there had ever been any theft at Starcross Post Office. 

Mr Hinchliffe said: ‘Had these been made at Mr Huxham’s trial, he would never have been convicted.’ 

Mr Huxham had been sub-postmaster for 25 years until auditors found a shortfall of £16,158 in his accounts.

The whole family was locked out of the post office immediately and they were targeted with windows being egged and his children were affected at school. 

In 2010, Mr Huxham was advised by his lawyers to plead guilty to fraud by misrepresentation, while telling the judge it was his wife who had stolen the money, and was sentenced to eight months in jail. 

The experience left Mr Huxham a broken man who died at a flat in Western House, Dawlish in 2020.

An inquest heard his body was only found following concerns from his landlord and was so badly decomposed that the cause of his death could not be confirmed.

He had been known to be suffering from mental health and alcohol problems following his conviction. 

In an interview, his family claimed imprisonment ‘drove’ him to alcoholism and his death had been treated as a suspected suicide.