A former postmaster whose dad died with HIV believes he is the only person in the country to be deeply affected by two of the most shocking UK Government scandals in history.

Dave Farry, who was sacked because Post Office bosses mistakenly thought he was fiddling accounts, reckons the now discredited Horizon computer software cost him well over £1 million.

Hundreds of people were wrongly prosecuted, some were jailed and others committed suicide as part of the largest scale miscarriage of justice in UK criminal history.

The 61-year-old gave evidence at the infected blood inquiry because his father, John, who was a haemophiliac, contracted HIV after receiving blood treatment and died from pneumonia aged 52.

The contaminated blood scandal is widely regarded as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

Mr Farry, who lives in Ferryhill, said: “Although it was very serious, one was just financial but there is no comparison with the other because that cost my father his life.

"One of the barristers who represents me is involved in both cases so I think I would have heard if someone else was involved in both. Or I would just hear it through the grapevine.

“The likelihood of these two paths crossing one person is very remote."

From the 1970s until 1991, up to 30,000 people in the UK were given blood transfusions - some of which came from US criminals on death row - which had not been screened and was infected with HIV and hepatitis.

Mr Farry gave evidence at the public inquiry in September 2020 and two years later the Government paid £100,000 to everyone currently registered on the UK Infected Blood Support Scheme.

He does not yet know if he will receive compensation for the loss of his father as the Government said the decision to compensate those affected will not be made until the full report is published in May this year.

The Northern Echo: Dave's dad John Farry Dave's dad John Farry (Image: Contributor)Get more from The Northern Echo and stay informed with a subscription now available on special offer. Click here to find out more.

The father-of-two, said: “It affected the whole family. We lived in a small community and there was a lot of ignorance about HIV and AIDS in those days.

“We were vilified through no fault of our own.

“The more ill my dad got the more time my mam had to spend at home looking after him.

“He had been very active and was always taking us out in the car but he dwindled away until he was hospitalised and it cost him his life.

“It was very harrowing at the time.”

Mr Farry, who ran several Post Offices in County Durham for over ten years, said he lost £1 million in earnings and from the value of his business and property after his contract was terminated.

He said: “Because Horizon was new you thought: ‘I must have done something wrong’.

“But it was impossible for a mistake for that amount would result from transactions.

“Of course, we had not done anything wrong. It was just glitches in the system.

“It was just crazy.”

The Northern Echo: Dave Farry outside the former Post Office he ran in Ferryhill Dave Farry outside the former Post Office he ran in Ferryhill (Image: Contributor)He was one of the initial group of 555 sub-postmasters who first took the Post Office to court after being wrongly accused of cooking the books.

A charge of £13,000 was put on his house after he was taken to the civil court by the Post Office but this was quashed when legal action led by Alan Bates was successful in 2019.

Mr Farry, who is a member of Ferryhill Town Council and has twice been mayor, now works as a kitchen and bathroom designer at Homebase.

He said both issues, uniquely shocking in their own way, are scandalous and it was up to the Government to take responsibility.

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt recently infuriated campaigners for failing to make provision in his budget to compensate victims of either scandal.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which provides independent analysis of public finances, said it had not been able to take into account plans to pay compensation.

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, accused the Government of ‘ducking their responsibility to the victims’ to both scandals, adding: “justice has been kicked beyond the general election”.The Northern Echo:

HM Treasury has been contacted for comment but has not responded. 

Mr Farry said: “We work and pay our taxes so we expect political parties and Governments to give us a certain level of service. It is only fair for what we pay into the system.

“I would hope that the Government will comply with all of the recommendations.

“People have lost their lives. This is not about money, it is about justice.”