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Biggest unfair mess-up in UK history

In January of this year, there was a series on the BBC (UK TV)…

MR Bates vs The Post Office.

If you live in the UK, you know you may have watched it or seen it on the news.

It was a four-part drama that ran over four consecutive nights.

A semi-fictionalize (according to the BBC) account of the Post Office Horizon Scandal…

And a proper mess that bosses at post offices all over the UK were wrongly accused of stealing and tampering with the book accounts…

For nearly 20 years starting in 1999 over 700 postmasters got into serious trouble, some even facing prosecution.

But get this: it wasn’t anything to do with the managers… nope it was a computer program glitch in the Horizon system screwing things up.

The software made it look like money was disappearing from the post offices when it wasn’t.

And when the accused postmaster tried to explain that the fault was down to their software and not them, they got fired.

With some even having to pay the post office back out of their life’s savings or ending up in prison…

One lady was pregnant when she got thrown behind bars…

And according to the BBC the “most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history”.

The devastating effects were felt by thousands of innocent people involved and their families, going bankrupt, losing their homes, marriage split-ups mental health and even suicide.

And for the past 25 years, a group of workers have fought to clear their names led by Alan Bates (formerly a postmaster) and by 2020 a few slowly began to get their charges dropped with an inquiry launched in 2021.

Within days of the last series, more than a million people signed a petition demanding that the CEO at the time Paula Venells give back her CBE given to her by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.

On January 9th she did, and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would bring in a new law to “Swiftly exonerate and compensate the victims”.

If you haven’t watched this yet and like true-life dramas, you probably enjoy it.

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