Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred the convictions of a further four former sub-postmasters for appeal.
This brings the numbers of cases the CCRC referred on grounds related to the Horizon IT system used by the Post Office to 51.
The latest four cases involve:
- Roger Allen, who pleaded guilty to theft at Norwich Crown Court on 7 April 2004. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
- Pamela Lock, who pleaded guilty to false accounting at Swansea Crown Court on 1 November 2001. She was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £26,071.53 compensation and £500 costs.
- Oyeteju (Teju) Adedayo, who pleaded guilty to false accounting at Medway Magistrates’ Court on 19 January 2006. She was sentenced to 50 weeks imprisonment suspended for 24 months with 12 months of supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work.
- Parmod Kalia, who pleaded guilty to theft at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 17 December 2001. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court on 8 March 2002.
Kalia served three months in jail and three months at home on license, and never told his mother about his jail sentence, having borrowed £22,000 from her to pay back the amount alleged to have gone missing.
“The only reason I ever said I had taken the money is because I was told that was my only option to avoid jail, as £22,000 was missing from the accounts and I was told I was the only one running a Post Office across the country that it had happened to,” he recalled in a statement issued by his solicitors.
“I was told I needed to repay the money and make up a story as to where the £22,000 had gone.”
Hudgell Solicitors, who represented Kalia and Adedayo to challenge their initial rejection by the CCRC, said this is another significant day in the bid to ensure ‘nobody is left behind’ in what has become known as one of the country’s biggest ever miscarriages of justice.
“We’re delighted with this positive news for more our clients today as it demonstrates that the Criminal Cases Review Commission has recognised the many stories of significant duress placed on sub-postmasters to plead guilty to crimes they simply hadn’t committed,” Neil Hudgell, cxecutive chairman of the law firm that also represents 30 other sub-postmasters, commented.
“This is another barrier to justice removed and another step closer for these two clients to potentially clearing their names, so it is a significant day for them.”
Roger Allen, who was prosecuted by Department for Work and Pensions, and Pamela Lock are not represented at this stage.
Of the 47 cases the commission referred last year, Post Office has said that it would not be opposing all but three of them. The first six former postmasters among them were formally acquitted in December.
Separately, Post Office has identified several hundred prosecutions brought since the Horizon system was installed and that the network is looking at those cases to see whether the CCRC referrals, along with the High Court judgment in the dispute, have any implications for post-trial prosecution disclosure.