A post office boss who was wrongfully convicted of fraud has said he does not want to accept a £600,000 compensation offer.

Sami Sabet, from Shoreham, was one of more than 700 sub-postmasters across the country who were convicted of fraud and/or theft as part of the nationwide Post Office scandal.

The 67-year-old, who owned three post offices in Shoreham and Brighton, had to use credit cards, loans and even work as a petrol station toilet cleaner while paying back a false shortfall created by the Post Office's computer system.

Mr Sabet received a 12-month suspended prison sentence in 2009 which was eventually overturned at the Court of Appeal in 2021.

He is now eligible for £600,000 compensation but said "there is no value you can put on the losses" and pain he has been through.

The Argus: Mr Sabet owned three post offices in Shoreham and BrightonMr Sabet owned three post offices in Shoreham and Brighton

“The Post Office has been in control all along, I am very angry with them. When I told them there was a problem with the computer systems they still insisted on prosecuting me,” Mr Sabet said.

“When I wrote to them saying they’re destroying my family, they couldn’t give a damn.

“They didn’t give a damn about me or any of us. They have the public on their side because it’s a lot of money.

“It’s an incredible amount of money and would have been for me, but when you think about all the losses, health issues, shame, indignity, I have PTSD, the lost income, everything over 16 years.

“There is no value you can put on the losses.

“They have done us a complete an utter injustice, they destroyed us for years. Now they’re still trying to minimise it.

The Argus: Mr Sabet outside his old shop in Ferry Road, ShorehamMr Sabet outside his old shop in Ferry Road, Shoreham

“The case is take it or leave it. If you leave it, it could take for ever and you could be dead before you get it.

“I feel it is wrong. My health issues aren’t getting better and this is affecting it. I don’t want to accept this.”

Mr Sabet is one of 86 postmasters who have had their wrongful convictions overturned.

He said he “doesn’t know yet” and will talk with his solicitors about whether he accepts the £600,000 compensation announced yesterday.

What happened to Sami Sabet?

Mr Sabet was a subpostmaster for three post offices in Shoreham and Brighton from 2003.

However, his post offices inexplicably started losing money just after 2005, leaving him owing money to Post Office Limited.

He ended up owing more than £100,000 and was accused of “fanatically stealing”.

Mr Sabet felt pressured to plead guilty and at Lewes Crown Court was given a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours community service.

The Argus: More than 700 sub-postmasters were prosecuted over 20 yearsMore than 700 sub-postmasters were prosecuted over 20 years (Image: PA)

He said people looked at him like he was a thief and would "cross the road to avoid him". 

In the following years, he suffered with PTSD which he gets therapy for, had a heart attack which left him partially sighted and developed type two diabetes.

The Post Office convicted subpostmasters between 1999 and 2015. 

Mr Sabet estimates the money he lost in total from his three post offices is £2.8 million. 

Post Office Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “This is about righting a wrong and providing some form of relief to those wrongfully caught up in this scandal.

“Too many postmasters have suffered and for too long, which is why the government remains committed to seeing this through to the end until it is resolved and ensuring this cannot ever happen again.”

The government said postmasters who do not want to accept the £600,000 offer can continue with the existing compensation process.