Pauline Stonehouse

Year conviction was overturned:

Pauline Stonehouse was a sub-postmistress who was investigated by the Post Office after shortfalls in her accounts (of £15.699.16) were identified by the Horizon computer system. She was sentenced to a six month community order after pleading guilty to false accounting. She had contacted the Post Office for assistance with Horizon flagged shortfalls and a field officer had attended her branch to try to help her understand the source of the shortfalls. She had also told her business manager that she was suffering losses which she could not afford to make good and so was covering up. Despite her requests for help, the Post Office forced her to make good the discrepancy and then prosecuted her. Her conviction was quashed when it became clear that the Horizon system had been incorrectly identifying shortfalls.

She has said that her conviction ruined every aspect of her life, left her homeless and bankrupt and nearly cost her marriage.

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  • Offence: False accounting
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Tyne and Wear 
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Gender: F
  • Offence convicted of: False Accounting
  • Year of initial conviction: 2008
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2021
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Post Office Case: Y
  • Link to full case:
  • Crown argued case at CofA: N
  • Retrial: N