Wednesday 5th May, 2021
The Court of Appeal has quashed the convictions in 39 Post Office cases in April after they were referred for appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). The ruling to overturn the 39 convictions follows years of extensive investigation and analysis by the CCRC.
The Post Office has identified several hundred prosecutions brought since the Horizon system was installed and that the Post Office is looking at those cases to see whether these appeal proceedings have any implications for them.
CCRC Chairman, Helen Pitcher, said: “This has been a serious miscarriage of justice which has had a devastating impact on these victims and their families. Every single one of these convictions has clearly had a profound and life-changing impact for those involved. Six convictions had already been quashed which had been referred to Southwark Crown Court.”
In blasting the Post Office’s behaviour when wrongfully prosecuting subpostmasters for financial crimes, Pitcher told Computer Weekly: “If you were the CEO or director, you should have known – and if you didn’t, you were asleep at the wheel.”
The Court of Appeal judgement in April 2021 said: “We conclude that the Post Office knew there were serious issues about the reliability of Horizon. It had a clear duty to investigate all reasonable lines of enquiry, to consider disclosure and to make disclosure to the appellants of anything which might reasonably be considered to undermine its case.