FORMER subpostmistress Pauline Stonehouse has become the latest to have her conviction for dishonesty overturned because it was the Post Office’s Horizon computer system that was at fault rather than her bad accounting.

It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice of our time. The Post Office prosecuted 736 of its employees between 2000 and 2014, accusing them all of being guilty of racking up huge shortfalls – more than £15,000 in Mrs Stonehouse’s case – when really the books were out because of glitches and bugs in the Horizon system.

These wrongful prosecutions, where computer evidence was continually and unquestioningly believed despite the human denials, has had a profound impact on those involved. As Mrs Stonehouse said, she and her husband lost their home and their business and were declared bankrupt.

Others wrongfully convicted have spoken of how they were shunned by their communities; of how families were torn apart. There has been one suicide.

There is talk of compensation, but no money can bring back those lost years – Mrs Stonehouse was convicted in Durham in 2008 and is only now, 14 years later, being cleared.

No one at the Post Office – which in those days was under the complete ownership of the British government, unlike now – has been held accountable.

It is a true scandal. We hope that Mrs Stonehouse can rebuild her life and that she gets the personal apology that she wants. She is most certainly due one.