The widower of a subpostmaster has said it would mean “the world” to his late wife to clear her name as a date was set for an appeal against her conviction for embezzling money from the Post Office.

Caren Lorimer pleaded guilty at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court in 2009 to one charge of embezzlement from a Post Office.

She was handed a community service order requiring 300 hours of unpaid work and a compensation order for £15,000.

In 2022, another woman applied to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) on Lorimer’s behalf seeking a review of the conviction.

More than 700 Post Office branch managers around the UK were prosecuted between 1999 and 2015 after faulty Horizon accounting software made it look as though money was missing from their shops.

During a brief hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Wednesday, Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian fixed an appeal date for June 14 “unless matters are resolved prior to that”.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Lorimer’s widower David, 62, said it would mean “the world” for her name to be cleared.

He said: “It’s been so difficult living with it, still trying to do your own thing, face your friends. It’s always in the background.

“I wish Caren had known how many people were involved, because she thought she was the only one.”

Lorimer’s niece Joanne Hughes, 47, said her aunt would be proud of what is now being done to clear her name, but added: “It should all have been dealt with a lot sooner.”

The SCCRC referred Lorimer’s conviction to the High Court for determination as it concluded she pled guilty in circumstances that were, or could be said to be, clearly prejudicial to her.

It also concluded Horizon evidence was essential to the proof of the accounting shortfall that led to the charge being brought against Lorimer, and that the prosecution was oppressive because the process was an affront to justice.

David Lorimer with his niece Joanne Hughes
David Lorimer with his niece Joanne Hughes outside the Court of Session (Jane Barlow/PA)

Michael Walker, the commission’s chief executive, said: “Subpostmasters are still coming forward to tell us that they have suffered a miscarriage of justice.

“We encourage anyone who hasn’t yet done so to get in touch. If the person affected has died, we will accept applications from next of kin. Our service is free and easy to use. You don’t need a solicitor.

“If you believe that you or a close family member might have suffered a miscarriage of justice as a result of Horizon, our staff would be pleased to talk you through the application process.”

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.

Many around the UK have had their convictions overturned in recent years.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said legislation will be introduced to exonerate subpostmasters convicted in England and Wales, and he has vowed to get “justice and compensation” for victims.

The Scottish Government is working on its own legislation to exonerate those wrongly convicted.