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November 22nd 2021

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Successful Post Office Horizon conviction appeals reaches 72 after more cases approved at Court of Appeal

Dr Neil Hudgell

Dr Neil Hudgell

Executive Chairman

Successful Post Office Horizon conviction appeals reaches 72 after more cases approved at Court of Appeal

The number of former subpostmasters to have their convictions relating to the Post Office Horizon scandal today reached 72 following further acquittals at the Court of Appeal in London.

The number of former subpostmasters to have their convictions relating to the Post Office Horizon scandal today reached 72 following further acquittals at the Court of Appeal in London.

Hudgell Solicitors were again in court to see a further five clients have their long-standing convictions quashed at The Royal Courts of Justice.

Our legal team, led by Neil Hudgell and Tim Moloney QC of Doughty Street Chambers, have now supported 58 people to clear their names.

Those to have convictions quashed today included Anne Nield and Angela Sefton, who were branch manager and clerk of Fazakerley Post Office in Liverpool when prosecuted over an alleged £4,000 shortfall in the accounts.

They were each handed a suspended six-month prison sentence, a 12 month supervision order and 20 sessions at Women’s Turn Around programme back in 2013.

Gregory Harding, who ran the Hipperholme Post Office in Halifax and was handed a suspended 20 weeks prison sentence and 200 hours community service when convicted at Bradford Crown Court was also exonerated today. He had faced charges of stealing more than £20,000 in 2010.

Gregory Harding and wife Gill outside the Royal Courts of Justice today

 

Also cleared of any wrongdoing was Pauline Stonehouse, a former subpostmaster at Seaburn Post Office in Sunderland who was given a six month community order with a supervision requirement when convicted at Newcastle Crown Court in 2008.

Janine Powell, the former manager of Cowleymoor Post Office in Tiverton, Devon, also had her conviction overturned. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison for theft at Truro Crown Court in 2008 having denied any wrongdoing over a missing £71,000.

Pauline Stonehouse and husband Chris at the Court of Appeal

 

“The Court of Appeal has today cleared the names of yet more people who each have personal stories of devastating loss, hurt, worry and tragedy relating to them being wrongfully and unfairly prosecuted for crimes they didn’t commit. Those convictions have hung over each of them for many years,” said Mr Hudgell.

“These cases today are every bit as significant and as important as the first successful appeals against conviction back in April. The rising number of acquittals make these cases no less important or significant. Indeed, each new acquittal adds extra importance to the continued push for answers and accountability from the Post Office, and they are further, real life evidence of the immense harm caused to so many.

“We will continue to support our clients in terms of pursuing civil claims to try and compensate them for some of their losses, although of course they can never be put back in the position where they were before they became victims a scandal which turned so many lives upside down.

“We also continue to work towards representing our clients who are core participants of the Public Inquiry next year. It is vital they play a full role in ensuring the inquiry asks the key questions and delivers complete transparency and accountability.”

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Subpostmasters speak of ‘immense relief’, ‘happiness’ and ‘anger’ as longstanding convictions finally quashed

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