THE former West Byfleet sub-postmaster who was wrongly accused of stealing from takings is due to relate the ordeal that sent her to prison at a public inquiry today.

Seema Misra is one of 41 former sub-postmaster witnesses at the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, which is examining how more than 700 people came to be prosecuted because of flaws in a computer system.

Some, like Mrs Misra, were jailed, many went bankrupt repaying money they did not owe, and others killed themselves before their names were cleared.

At the inquiry in London, she will tell of the horrors she suffered as the Post Office’s accounting system regularly flagged up shortfalls in the takings in the three years she ran the shop.

As she made up the deficits with her own money, the amounts grew to become several thousand pounds, with denials from the Post Office that the Horizon accounting system was not to blame.

“My ordeal is not yet over,” Mrs Misra told the News & Mail. “It won’t be until my compensation claim is fully settled and the full truth of what happened is published. Preparing for the inquiry is bringing back all the awful memories of what happened to me.”

Her conviction for stealing £75,000 from the till at West Byfleet Post Office was quashed by High Court judges in April last year, along with the guilty verdicts suffered by dozens of others who were wrongly prosecuted as part of the Horizon scandal.

Today, she must recall being jailed for 15 months in 2010, on the day of her older son’s 10th birthday and when she was two months pregnant with her second son.

Like the other witnesses at the inquiry, Mrs Misra has submitted a statement detailing the history of buying the West Byfleet business, the events leading up to her suspension in 2008, the subsequent prosecution and the human impact of being convicted.

While she was experiencing deficits, she was told no other sub-postmasters had takings problems, but it transpired that Horizon was causing hundreds of nightmares around the country. She believed she was alone in being investigated for fraud and false accounting.

During the legal actions and appeal court cases of the past two years, Mrs Misra has kept in touch with many of her fellow Horizon victims. “We have been talking to each other and lending moral support,” she said.

After the inquiry, her thoughts will turn to claiming much more than the £100,000 payment to wrongly accused Post Office staff authorised by the Government. A forensic accountant is working out the figure above that amount she feels she deserves.

“It has to be confidential at the moment, but we will be claiming a substantial amount,” said Mrs Misra, who used thousands of pounds of her and her husband Davinder’s money to make up for apparent shortfalls in takings.

The family lost the shop and post office business and another home they owned as a result of the scandal.

A financial controller in the City of London before taking over the post office, she has found work as a home-based call centre agent, after helping her husband run his taxi business.

“I’m still not ready to work with lots of people in an office, but I’m aiming to get back to updating my skills and getting a job in finance again,” she said.