Parmod Kalia

Years in prison:
.5
Year of crime:
2001
Year conviction was overturned:
2021

Parmod Kalia 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.

Mr Kalia found inexplicable discrepancies on his Post Office Horizon computer system. After handing over £22,000 to the Post Office to account for the discrepancy, the Post Office Prosecuted him. He confessed and pled guilty. He was sentenced to six months in prison. He said he pled guilty because faced with computer evidence, his lawyer and his union representative said that his case was unwinnable and he was frightened.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal accepted findings that bugs, errors, and defects in the Horizon computer system could, and did, cause discrepancies and shortfalls in branch accounts. The court concluded that if the Horizon data was not reliable then there was no basis for the prosecution, and the convictions were quashed. The court noted that failures of investigation and disclosure in the cases prevented the appellants from challenging, or challenging effectively, the reliability of the Horizon data.

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  • Offence: Other
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: London 
  • Ethnicity: Asian
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: .5
  • Offence convicted of: False Accounting
  • Year of crime: 2001
  • Year of initial conviction: 2001
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2021
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: N