A former Post Office subpostmaster caught up in the Horizon scandal has had his wrongful conviction quashed.
Robert Thomson was convicted of one charge of embezzlement in 2006 and sentenced to 180 hours of community service.
His case was one of six referred to the High Court by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) in November 2022 over potential miscarriages of justice.
Mr Thomson’s appeal was due to be heard on February 1, however court officials confirmed the case was dealt with administratively on Wednesday and the conviction quashed.
He took over Cambus Post Office in Clackmannanshire from his mum in the early 2000s, around the time the Post Office was rolling out its new Horizon system.
He said he reported shortfalls of around £60,000 to the Post Office in 2004 before his branch was eventually audited and an alleged shortfall of around £5,700 was discovered.
The Post Office then pursued criminal proceedings.
Mr Thomson said he pleaded not guilty because he was innocent but changed his plea to guilty at the last minute on the advice of his lawyer in the hope of avoiding prison.
He was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and given a compensation order of £5,000.
Around 100 subpostmasters in Scotland were convicted after they were wrongly accused of embezzling money in the Horizon scandal, and First Minister Humza Yousaf has pledged to get “justice” for those involved.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said legislation will be introduced to exonerate subpostmasters convicted in England and Wales and vowed to get “justice and compensation” for victims.
More than 700 Post Office managers across the UK were convicted after the faulty Horizon accounting software, made by Fujitsu, made it look like money was missing from branches.
The Scottish Government is working on its own legislation to exonerate those wrongly convicted in the Post Office Horizon scandal
When referring the cases to the High Court in 2022, the SCCRC concluded those who had pleaded guilty did so in circumstances that were, or could be said to be, clearly prejudicial to them.
At an Appeal Court hearing in Edinburgh on January 12 ahead of the expected full appeal hearing, Mr Thomson’s lawyer Wendy Culross told the court the ordeal has been a “nightmare” for him.
She said he was “not interested in compensation” and just wanted to clear his name.
A Post Office spokeswoman said it does not comment on individual cases, but added: “We are deeply sorry for past wrongs and are doing all we can to put these right, including extensive work to support overturning wrongful convictions.
“This work includes assisting the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as we continue to work with the Government to support its efforts to speed up the exoneration of people with wrongful convictions.”
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