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Post Office Cases – Challenging a Conviction

The Government announced on 10 January 2024 that legislation is to be introduced to exonerate people with Post Office/ Horizon-related convictions in England and Wales. These pages will be updated when details of this are available.

The Post Office Horizon scandal is the most widespread miscarriage of justice the CCRC has ever seen.

If you believe that you have been wrongly convicted because of problems with the Horizon computer system, you can consider challenging your conviction

  • The first step for many wanting to challenge their conviction or sentence will be applying directly to the Appeal Courts
  • The CCRC might be able to help if your appeal was unsuccessful, or if you pleaded guilty in a Magistrate’s court
  • As of February 2024, we have referred 71 Post Office Horizon cases to the appeal courts. Some examples can be found here
I have nothing but praise for the work the CCRC did for me and my ex-colleagues. If you are in a similar situation where you know you have been wrongly convicted, I urge you to contact them.
Mr H – successful Post Office applicant

The story to date

The ‘Post Office Horizon’ scandal is the most widespread miscarriage of justice the CCRC has ever seen. It relates to wrongful prosecutions of former sub-postmasters, managers of counter assistants that were reliant on the flawed computer accounting system ‘Horizon’.

This resulted in people being convicted of (or pleading guilty to) offences they did not commit including theft, fraud and false accounting. 

Since April 2021 the appeal courts have overturned convictions in more than 80 Post Office Horizon cases. In each of the cases the court decided that it had been unfair to prosecute the individual because there were serious defects in the Post Office’s Horizon computer system. 

However, if people pleaded guilty in a magistrates’ court or were unsuccessful in an appeal, applications can be made for the CCRC to review their case. As of February 2024, we have referred 71 such applications back to the courts on the basis that we believe there is a real possibility they will overturn the conviction.

How to start your application

  • Ring the CCRC helpline on 0300 456 2669 if you have any questions – our team is ready to help you

 Why don’t we just refer all Post Office Horizon cases at once?

The CCRC is committed to investigating potential miscarriages of justice, and referring cases where we think there is a real possibility the conviction will be overturned.

However, for us to review a case we need the consent of the person who was convicted of the crime (or, if they are deceased, a suitable representative) – and that review then needs to demonstrate the Horizon data was essential in the case.

For more information about this process, read CCRC Director of Casework Operations Amanda Pearce’s article on the subject.

Court of Appeal judgements

Two key Court of Appeal judgements have been handed down in the Post Office Horizon cases.

These are Robert Ambrose and Others v Post Office Ltd on October 7 2021 and Josephine Hamilton and Others v Post Office Ltd on 23 April 2021.