Category: Criminal Defence
Susan Sinclair, now 58, was previously a sub-postmaster in north east Scotland. She was accused of embezzling a sum of money on the basis of a report from the Horizon computer system. She denied the charge, but was convicted after trial in 2004. A community order was imposed. Following an investigation by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, her conviction was referred to the High Court in Edinburgh. The appeal proceeded on the ground that she had suffered a miscarriage of justice. At a hearing today in Parliament House, Edinburgh, the court agreed, and quashed her conviction. Ms Sinclair is delighted that the court has granted her appeal and quashed her conviction. This is the first such successful appeal in Scotland. She should never have been accused of any wrongdoing, far less convicted. Lessons must be learnt from this national scandal to ensure that these events never happen again. But the question remains as to why it has taken so long to get to this point, four years after the High Court in England issued a damning verdict on the Horizon computer system. Ms Sinclair was represented by Stuart Munro, head of specialist litigation at Livingstone Brown, Glasgow. Counsel were Dr Claire Mitchell KC and David Welsh, advocate.