Another former Post Office worker convicted as a result of the Horizon scandal has been cleared by the Court of Appeal.

Margaret White, the former manager of the Banbury Road Post Office in Oxford, had admitted two counts of false accounting after an audit of the IT system showed a shortfall of more than £28,000.

In December 2007, Mrs White, then 46, was given a sentence of 51 weeks in prison suspended for two years at Oxford Crown Court, as well as two years' supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work.

At the time, Adrian Chaplin, prosecuting, told the court that missing funds were found in a surprise audit in 2006.

Mitigating, Colin McCarragher said the postmistress was inexperienced at running the post office's books, had only had two days of accounting training and could not explain where the money had gone.

Following a landmark High Court case against the Post Office, dozens of ex-workers have seen their convictions quashed as they were based on evidence from the flawed Horizon system used from 2000.

On Tuesday, Mrs White - formerly Miss Sowinska - had her convictions overturned at the Court of Appeal.

Simon Baker QC, for the Post Office, said: "The respondent accepts that Horizon reliability was essential to her prosecution and conviction."

He continued: "This was not a case where there was any evidence independent of Horizon to establish the fact of the shortfall.

"Indeed, the essence of Mrs White's account in her interview was that she could not explain the shortfall."

Quashing the convictions, Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with Mr Justice Picken and Mrs Justice Farbey, said: "As a matter of law, the fact that she pleaded guilty is not itself necessarily a bar to an appeal against conviction."

"We are satisfied that Mrs White's convictions are unsafe," he concluded.

Oxford Mail: Court of Appeal file image Picture: PA WIRECourt of Appeal file image Picture: PA WIRE

The Court of Appeal has previously heard that many subpostmasters' lives were 'irreparably ruined' as they lost their jobs, homes and marriages after they were prosecuted by the Post Office - which knew the Fujitsu-developed IT system had 'faults and bugs from the earliest days of its operation'.

Hundreds of people who ran Post Office branches were convicted of various offences - including theft and false accounting - during the period of time the system was being used.

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