Gurdeep Singh Dhale
Gurdeep Singh Dhale 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 an audit, Mr Dhale informed the auditors that they should expect and shortage of £60,000. However, a total shortfall of around £168,600 was identified. Mr Dhale had made false entries into the system in order to cover up shortfalls.
Mr Dhale indicated that he had been suffering with problems with Horizon since 2007. He had made 80 telephone calls to received help with Horizon, and engineers had attended the branch to check, repair or replace hardware.
In Mr Dhales’ defence statement, he claimed that the Horizon system was fundamentally flawed and was to blame for the shortfalls. The statement referred to questioning the integrity and reliability of the Horizon system.
On the 27th January 2011, in the Crown Court at Bradford, Mr Dhale pleaded guilty to one count of false accounting. On the 18th March 2011, he received a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years with a requirement of 250 hours’ unpaid work.
His conviction was quashed when errors in the Horizon system were identified as the cause of the shortfall.
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- Offence: False accounting
- Jurisdiction: England & Wales
- County: West Yorkshire
- Gender: M
- Offence convicted of: False accounting
- Year of crime: 2007-2008
- Year of initial conviction: 2011
- Year conviction was overturned: 2021
- CCRC Referral: Yes
- Post Office Case: Y
- Link to full case: https://www.casemine.com/judgement/uk/615fd8362c94e0256f3759e0
- Retrial: No