“Innocent Until Proven Guilty!”
We live our ‘normal’ lives in the belief that this is what our revered UK legal system and laws abide by, and give us opportunity of utilizing it if we find ourselves in the unenviable position of defending ourselves. It is impossible to prove yourself innocent after all. However this did not happen to me.
After 27 years of service and a clean conduct record I was dismissed by Royal Mail on 4 December 2014 for Gross Misconduct, accused of allegedly stealing greetings cards. I did not steal from Royal Mail. I am innocent. I knew I had not done it but you can’t prove you did NOT do something.
I was stopped by the Royal Mail Investigation Bureau on 16 July 2014. They searched my person, private car, Royal Mail van and my home but did they didn’t find anything. I was cautioned, interviewed and suspended. Later, I was cited in the criminal case against me. A disciplinary meeting was held 15 weeks later. An intolerable wait. I submitted a Statement as part of my defense, but the manager holding the meeting said it would have no bearing on his decision. I was dismissed on 5 December 2014 (my mum’s 83rd birthday). My appeal was heard on 8 January 2015, but the manager did not feel the concerns I was raising were credible. Why had they not searched me and my van as I turned out of the road at the Cupar Delivery Office on 16 July? This would have given them the concrete evidence that I did not have the items they allege I stole? Why had they not used CC TV, trackers on the envelopes or tracers on the contents? Not a huge investment to ensure an innocent man’s life and reputation were not ruined?
The Procurator Fiscal threw out the case as there was ‘no evidence’ and I went on to raise an Employment Tribunal for Reinstatement. I won full reinstatement. Only 1% of Employment Tribunal Reinstatement cases win this. But Royal Mail say they will not reinstate me, which a ‘gap’ (or flaw?) in the law allows them to do. It has been 15 months since my nightmare began and my family has suffered alongside me. My health has suffered and though I look for alternative employment it is almost impossible under the circumstances. I am 100% innocent. I only want to go back to work and for my life to go back to some sort of normality. I am 57 years old, I have given Royal Mail the best years of my life. I stood up and tried to prove my innocence, and though this is impossible to do I did prove I could beat the odds. I won my case. If Royal Mail, will not do the Royal and honourable thing and reinstate me as Her Majesty’s judge has ordered please support me by signing my petition to demand that the law changes so that this cannot happen to any other innocent person.