Criminal Cases Review Commission
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CCRC appeals for more Post Office applicants to come forward

As the independent public inquiry begins into the failings of the Post Office Horizon IT system, the CCRC is urging any former subpostmasters and submistresses who believe they were wrongfully convicted to come forward.

On the first day of the human impact hearings of the public inquiry, former subpostmaster Noel Thomas and subpostmistress Jo Hamilton were two of the first people to tell their stories of how they were personally affected and give evidence to the inquiry panel.

Since 2015 the CCRC has conducted extensive and detailed review work on a large number of Post Office cases. Much of the work has been complex, and every case has been given individual consideration.  The CCRC has referred 57 Post Office Horizon applicants to the appeal so far.

Of those, 53 have subsequently seen their convictions for theft, false accounting or fraud overturned by the appeal courts.

The CCRC is also currently considering 32 more applications and believes there are still more potential applicants who could come forward.

CCRC Chair Helen Pitcher OBE said: “The CCRC’s referrals have helped to uncover what is now regarded as one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in British legal history – but the CCRC’s work goes on.  We are aware there may be more potential Post Office applicants out there and are urging those would-be applicants to come forward.

“Applying to have a conviction reviewed is free, and the CCRC is the only body with the power to refer a case back to the appeal courts if the person has already had an unsuccessful appeal or pleaded guilty in a Magistrates’ Court”, she added.

The statutory public inquiry – which is expected to run for the rest of this year – will scrutinise the Post Office implementation of its ‘Horizon IT system’ and also examine what business management failings may have led to these multiple miscarriages of justice.

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.

However, if you have already tried to appeal and failed, or pleaded guilty in a Magistrates’ Court, then you will need to apply to the CCRC in order to challenge your conviction.

Find out how to apply for CCRC help here.

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