Christopher Trousdale

Year conviction was overturned:

Christopher Trousdale was one of a group of former sub-postmasters and post-mistresses who were convicted of offences including theft, false accounting, and fraud, based on information from a computer system called Horizon which suggested that money had gone missing from post-office branch accounts. The basis of each of the prosecutions in these cases was that money missing from the branch account had been a result of theft by the sub-postmaster or mistress, or had been covered up by fraud or false accounting by the sub-postmaster or mistress.

During investigative issues relating to identified shortfalls, Mr Trousdale said that he had experienced unexplained shortage of cash and made changes to the branch account to cover up the shortages. He also told the interviewers that he had received a large number of error notices, which he found confusing as he thought he had been following proper procedures. He did not directly link the shortages and error notices to the Horizon system.

Mr Trousdale was prosecuted, and pleaded guilty to three counts of false accounting on the advice of his lawyers, in order to avoid facing jail. He received a sentence if community punishment order with attached condition of probation and a fine, at the age of just 22.

His conviction was quashed when errors in the Horizon system were identified as the cause of the shortfall.

He has said of his experience, “This has been a long and tortuous 16-year journey and finally the quashing of these wrongful convictions today feels like the heavy lead box we have been trapped in has had the lid ripped off. We can take our first breath and look forward to being able to start to heal and rebuild.”

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  • Offence: False accounting
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Gender: M
  • Offence convicted of: 3 counts of false accounting
  • Year of initial conviction: 2004
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2021
  • CCRC Referral: Yes
  • Post Office Case: Y
  • Retrial: N