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Post Office Horizon Appeals (Ambrose & Others [2021] EWCA Crim 1443)

Cases 20 Oct 21

Simon Baker QC & Jacqueline Carey, instructed by Nick Vamos and Hannah Laming of Peters & Peters, appeared on behalf of Post Office Ltd (‘POL’) in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, in Robert Ambrose & Others v Post Office [2021] EWCA Crim 1443 (you can read the judgment at https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2021/1443.html).

This case was the second tranche of Post Office Horizon appeals, following on from the decision in Hamilton & Others [2021] EWCA Crim 577 earlier this year (you can read the judgment at https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/hamilton-others-v-post-office-limited/).

This appeal related to 12 individuals who had been prosecuted between 2000 and 2013 relying on evidence from the Horizon accounting system which has since been found to suffer from bugs, errors and defects.  Following detailed review by the counsel team, all 12 appeals were conceded by POL.

The Court of Appeal praised the solicitors and counsel acting for POL, for its “sensible and realistic approach” and particularly commended “the diligence with which those acting for POL in these, and the earlier, appeals have conducted a most extensive disclosure exercise. POL has rightly acknowledged the serious failings in the original prosecutions and has fairly made important concessions. An important consequence of that approach was that the court was able to determine these twelve appeals, and to quash the convictions, at an earlier stage of the appeal proceedings than would otherwise have been possible. That saving of time was to the benefit of those who have lived for many years with the burden of having been wrongfully convicted.

Simon and Jacqueline, together with Brian Altman QC, Charlotte Brewer, Helen Jones and a substantial team of review counsel (including many from 2 Bedford Row), are continuing to advise POL on the reviews of hundreds of further convictions in cases prosecuted since 2000.

Cases | 20 Oct 21

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Simon Baker KC

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