Six further ‘Post Office’ cases have been referred by the CCRC. The cases of Mohammed Aslam, Amanda Barber, Norman Barber, Anthony Gant, Balbir Grewal and David Hughes, will be heard at Southwark Crown Court at a date yet to be confirmed.
These cases have been referred on the basis of an abuse of process argument concerning issues with the Post Office’s Horizon computer system which may have had an impact on the safety of the convictions.
All six applicants had pleaded guilty to offences in the magistrates’ court and as a result were prevented, by Statute, from appealing to the Crown Court in the usual way. The CCRC has decided that this amounts to “exceptional circumstances” that allow it to refer the cases despite the lack of earlier appeals.
This takes the total number of Post Office referrals made by the CCRC to 57, with the number of convictions quashed so far being 47. One further referral to the Court of Appeal has yet to be heard and the CCRC currently has around 30 further Post Office cases under review. Recent indications are that many people have lodged appeals directly with the Court of Appeal. The Post Office has also written to over 500 people whose convictions may be affected. For details of the CCRC’s previous work on Post Office cases and the Court of Appeal’s judgment in April this year, see our press release of 23/04/2021: 39 Convictions Quashed in Post Office Cases – Criminal Cases Review Commission (ccrc.gov.uk)
If you feel you were wrongly convicted because of issues with the Post Office Horizon computer system, you should consider challenging your conviction. If you have not already appealed, and were convicted in a Crown Court, or convicted in a magistrates’ court after pleading not guilty, you can still appeal in the normal way (seeking leave from the court where necessary).
If you have already tried to appeal and failed, or pleaded guilty in a Magistrates’ Court, you can apply to the CCRC. Please contact us about making an application: https://ccrc.gov.uk/how-to-apply/ or Tel: 0121 233 1473.
Anyone who needs guidance on appealing direct to the courts can find the necessary forms at: www.gov.uk/appeal-against-sentence-conviction
Notes to editors
The convictions referred to the Court of Appeal for these six cases were as follows:
- Mohammed Aslam pleaded guilty to false accounting at Newport Magistrates’ Court on 23rd January 2007 and was sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work and a £300 fine.
- Amanda Barber pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on 6th June 2012 and was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work.
- Norman Barber also pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on 6th June 2012 and was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work.
- Anthony Gant pleaded guilty to false accounting at Shrewsbury and North Shropshire Magistrates’ Court on 29th October 2007 and was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
- Balbir Grewal pleaded guilty to false accounting at Luton Magistrates’ Court on 13th August 2001 and was sentenced to a suspended sentence and a community order.
- David Hughes pleaded guilty to making a false instrument at Workington Magistrates’ Court and was sentence to a community order of 12 months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
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.
- 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