Robert Ambrose

Year of crime:
Year conviction was overturned:

Robert Ambrose 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 a branch audit, a shortfall of just under £40,000 was identified was identified in Mr Ambrose’s accounts. Mr Ambrose admitted that there was a shortfall of around £32,000 but had not accepted that there was a non-cash shortage that made up the balance. He made false entries on the Horizon system to cover up the shortfall and took £20,000 of Post Office Limited money to cover losses through gambling. Mr Ambrose attributed the losses to inadequate training on the Horizon system, as well as personal problems he was experiencing at the time.

On the 24th September 2012 in the Crown Court at St Albans, Mr Ambrose pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years with a requirement to complete 250 hours of unpaid work. Mr Ambrose also received a confiscation order in the sum of £113 to be paid as compensation.

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

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  • Offence: Theft / fraud
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Hertfordshire 
  • Gender: M
  • Offence convicted of: Fraud
  • Year of crime: 2012
  • Year of initial conviction: 2012
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2021
  • CCRC Referral: Yes
  • Post Office Case: Y
  • Link to full case:
  • Retrial: No