Guilty plea in Magistrates' Court case is latest Horizon referral.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (“CCRC”) has referred another Post Office case to the Crown Court due to concerns about the Horizon computer system.
Nalini Joshi, a former sub-postmistress, appeared at Fenland Magistrates’ Court on 13 November 2001 and pleaded guilty to four counts of false accounting.
She was sentenced to a community punishment order consisting of 120 hours unpaid work, costs of £1163.25; and compensation to the Post Office of £6191.88.
Ms Joshi applied to the CCRC in June 2021 after the Court of Appeal quashed 39 Post Office convictions in April 2021. Ms Joshi could not appeal to the Crown Court in the usual way because she pleaded guilty in the magistrates’ court. The only way she could challenge her conviction was via the CCRC.
The CCRC has decided that the reliability of data from the Horizon computer system was essential to the case against Ms Joshi. In light of what is now known about Horizon, the CCRC has concluded that there is a real possibility that the Crown Court will set aside Ms Joshi’s guilty plea and stay proceedings as an abuse of process.
Anybody who thinks that their conviction might be affected by the issues with the Horizon system can contact the CCRC directly on 0121 233 1473 or find out more at www.ccrc.gov.uk/postofficecases/.
Ms Joshi was represented by Hudgell Solicitors in her application to the CCRC.
This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. They can be contacted by phone on: 0121 232 0900 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
- The CCRC is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- There are currently 11 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
- The CCRC usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
- The CCRC considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
- More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk. The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc