Bucklebury celebrates postmaster, who attended wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, after he is cleared in landmark Post Office fraud appeal
Friends and residents of Bucklebury gathered at the village's Memorial Hall to celebrate the acquittal of local postmaster Hash Shingadia, who was wrongly convicted in the national Post Office scandal.
Mr Shingadia, who was a guest at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, was handed a suspended prison sentence for fraud in 2011, as one of more than 700 personnel prosecuted by the Post Office based on faulty evidence.
Much of this evidence was derived from Horizon, an accounting software programme which has since been exposed as defective, flagging up false discrepancies which were interpreted by the Post Office as dishonest activity.
Those wrongly convicted as a result of these errors faced dismissal, fines, and, in some cases, imprisonment.
The prosecutions took place between 2003 and 2013, and Mr Shingadia, along with the other postmasters, was only acquitted this year.
He and his wife, Chan, joined well-wishers at the Memorial Hall for tea and cake on Sunday.
The chair of the Bucklebury Events Committee, Wynne Frankum, said: "Hash has always been a very popular and supportive member of the local community.
"In the first Covid lockdown, he went far out of his way to help people, which was acknowledged by a letter thanking him for his valuable work from the High Sheriff of Berkshire.
"The celebration for Hash and his wife Chan, at Bucklebury Memorial Hall, was a great success.
"His daughters Meera, with her husband, and Maya were there. Having grown up in Bucklebury, many people loved catching up with them.
"Throughout the afternoon, there was a steady stream of the family’s well-wishers, customers and friends enjoying cream teas and homemade cakes along with Chan’s wonderful samosas."