An ex-subpostmaster who was wrongly convicted in the Post Office Horizon scandal has spoken about his ordeal.
Sami Sabet, who ran three Post Office branches in Shoreham and Portslade, had his conviction overturned last year.
He was given a 12-month suspended sentence following his conviction in 2009 based on evidence from the Post Office’s faulty IT system.
He told how he was bombarded with error messages but blamed for everything. The Post Office has not yet commented.
Hundreds of people who ran Post Office branches were convicted of offences including theft, fraud and false accounting because of the IT faults.
Two more ex-subpostmasters were acquitted earlier this month, bringing the number of overturned convictions to 75.
Mr Sabet, from Shoreham, said he paid for errors ranging from a few hundred to thousands of pounds with his own money, and on one occasion was asked for £12,000.
Remembering how auditors were sent to his branches in March 2008, he said they went to his house to search his papers.
“They sat and they sifted through my desk and cupboards and every so often they’d look at each other and [say] ‘there we go’ and they’d put it into this box,” he said.
Mr Sabet recalled how, after he was questioned, auditors asked him to pay money on the spot and he replied: “No I can’t, because over the last two years you’ve almost bankrupted me.”
He said he knew he had done nothing wrong but had to plead guilty to two counts of fraud to avoid a jail term.
Remembering the day his conviction was overturned, he said: “My wife and I were jumping with joy. Tears were rolling down my eyes.
“The thing is, you go through the shock stage and the fear, then over the years I put it behind me, I had to suppress it.
“For 12 years, I managed to do it. However, I got diabetes, I had a heart attack, I had open heart surgery, I lost my peripheral vision.
“I was scrimping and saving and had creditors trying to come to my door and possess things. I moved house to get away because people crossed the road when they saw me.”
Mr Sabet said the Post Office had not been held to account.
Hudgell Solicitors, the law firm representing 62 people including Mr Sabet who have had convictions quashed, has said every subpostmaster deserved their day in court to have their names and reputations cleared, but they also deserved “meaningful compensation”.
After the latest convictions were overturned this month, a Post Office spokesman said: “We are sincerely sorry for the impact of historical failures on the lives of the people affected.
“We continue to take extensive action to fully address the past and to ensure past shortcomings can never be repeated.
“We have undertaken fundamental reforms to rebuild trust.”