A FORMER Clacton councillor and sub-postmaster has been awarded £19,000 in compensation after he was wrongly accused of stealing as part of the Horizon post office scandal.

The long-running scandal, which has been branded the biggest miscarriage of justice in British legal history, received widespread attention after ITV screened its acclaimed drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office.

One of those affected was Kanagasundaram King, known as KT, who was previously a councillor for the former Holland-on-Sea and Eastcliff Matters party.

He ran the post office branch in Stratford Road, Holland-on-Sea.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Rectified - Kanagasundaram KingRectified - Kanagasundaram King (Image: Newsquest)

In 2007, he was accused of stealing money from the branch.

At the time, KT calculated the shortfall of the office as £13,500, which he paid out of his own pocket and kept in a safe in the building. 

The office was then audited and it was calculated that the shortfall as £27,000, and then £21,000, which did not match KT's numbers. 

After the accusations, KT and his wife, who owned the office, were kicked out of the building and could not return.

In the meantime, a sub-postmaster took over the post office.

KT said he told the temporary owner that the money was in a separate safe, which the then-owner found. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Building - The Holland-on-Sea post officeBuilding - The Holland-on-Sea post office (Image: Newsquest)

After this was discovered, KT was allowed back into the office and was paid three months of wage losses, which amounted to £8,000.

KT has now recived £19,000 in compensation, making up for the business money he lost during the time he was accused of stealing.

KT King said: "It's very nice to have the compensation money.

"I'm thankful that the local community and my customers, who were always behind me and supported me.

"It's not only good for me, but also the people who got sent to prison.

"Thank God everything is now OK."

At the time, in 2007, KT had just been elected as a district councillor.

He feared residents would no longer trust him following the accusations.

However, KT was re-elected in 2015 and 2019.

Subpostmasters caught up in the Horizon IT scandal have this week moved a step closer to having their convictions quashed after MPs supported a law change.

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill received an unopposed second reading on Wednesday, with Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch insisting the state must act “as quickly as possible”.