Assistance for appealing convictions

We have contacted the majority of people with relevant convictions in cases prosecuted by Post Office between 1999 and 2015, although there remain a very small number of people that we are still unable to trace despite continuing strenuous efforts to do so.

Note: On 10 January 2024, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made a statement to the House of Commons: Government to quash wrongful Post Office convictions. Post Office continues to work with the Government to support its efforts to speed up the exoneration of people with wrongful convictions.

Many people have already successfully appealed their convictions or are taking forward appeals – you can see the detail here. We urge anybody who believes they may have been affected and who has not been contacted to let us know and we will do our utmost to assist. We can be contacted at disclosure@postoffice.co.uk.

We understand that there may be people who would prefer to leave the past behind them, that revisiting a painful part of their life is incredibly difficult and they may not want to respond to Post Office. But no unsafe conviction should be missed. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the independent body that investigates potential miscarriages of justice, agreed to our proposal that they would additionally contact people who had not yet responded to Post Office and they have been doing so. More details about this can be found on the CCRC website here.

Appeals process for criminal convictions in Post Office Horizon cases

We understand that people may find it very painful to be reminded of the past when considering an appeal. There may be a lot of questions or concerns, and the legal process may seem daunting. We want to assure anyone that has been affected that support and help is available.

If you have previously tried to appeal and failed, or pleaded guilty in a Magistrates’ Court, or if the person who was convicted has died and a close relative wishes to appeal on their behalf, you can apply to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). The CCRC is an independent body and their service is free. They are familiar with Post Office cases, conduct individual investigations and reviews and decide whether cases should be referred to the appeal Courts. Cases referred by the CCRC must be heard by the appeal Courts who then determine the safety of convictions. Information about the CCRC and application forms can be found on their website.

People who have not previously appealed and were convicted in a Crown Court or convicted in a Magistrates’ Court after pleading not guilty, can appeal directly to the appropriate Appeal Court. This may mean seeking permission in the first instance. To date, Post Office cases have been heard by Southwark Crown Court if the convictions were in Magistrates Courts. For convictions in Crown Courts, Post Office cases have been heard by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

If you have been contacted by Post Office about your conviction and you get in touch with us, we will send you further information. This will include how you can obtain help and legal advice, including the names of law firms who are already dealing with Post Office cases. You can request disclosure from Post Office which means we will provide any information we hold that may undermine the safety of your conviction. By contacting Post Office and obtaining information, you are not committing to making any decision about whether or not you may wish to appeal. That decision is entirely up to you. We respect your privacy and information is not disclosed to anyone else except you or your legal representative if you provide permission for this.

Citizens Advice Support

Post Office has engaged Citizens Advice to provide a service offering confidential support and information for people who may want to consider appeals.

Citizens Advice is a network of independent charities, offering free, confidential and impartial advice to help you find a way forward. They provide advice on things like money and debt, work, benefits and more, either online or over the phone. 

Their web address/link for more information is here

Or they can be contacted by phone on 01670 339777.

This service is open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

There is also an online form here where clients can request a call back at a more convenient time if they prefer.

Anyone who was wrongly convicted and has had their conviction overturned as it was reliant on Horizon evidence, will be given the option of settling their claim for compensation for an up-front sum of £600,000, without the need to bring a formal claim to Post Office. This is an entirely voluntary choice and anyone who does not want to accept this offer can continue with the existing process where each claim is assessed on its specific facts and individual circumstances.

Post Office offers interim and partial payments to eligible people, ahead of final settlements, to ensure that money reaches them as soon as possible.

You can read more details here.