Robert Boyle 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. However, the accounts of a branch post office did not in fact reflect missing cash or stock but was a result of a bug within the Horizon system which caused errors or defects.
Mr Boyle was accused of taking nearly £12,000 in cash from his post office. When interviewed about the shortfall, Mr Boyle raised concerns over Horizon. He also put his house up for sale, intending to use the money from the sale to fix the shortfall. When prosecuted, Mr Boyle pleaded guilty to theft and was given a 12 month suspended sentence with 100 hours of unpaid work and an electronically monitored curfew.
Mrs Boyle’s conviction was quashed based on evidence indicating that the Horizon computer system was faulty, and responsible for incorrectly flagging shortfalls in accounts.
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- Offence: Theft / fraud
- Jurisdiction: England & Wales
- County: Nottinghamshire
- Gender: M
- Offence convicted of: Theft
- Year of initial conviction: 2012
- Year conviction was overturned: 2022
- Post Office Case: Y
- Link to full case: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2022/1197.html
- Crown argued case at CofA: N
- Retrial: N