The final episode of Mr Bates vs The Post Office has enraged viewers over the devastating true story (Picture: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)
Mr Bates Vs The Post Office has captured viewers’ rage and disgust over the past week.
It tells the true story of a massive scandal where more than 700 Post Office branch managers were given criminal convictions when faulty accounting software made it look as though cash was missing from their sites.
Innocent people were convicted of theft, lost their homes and went into debt; 236 went to prison and others even lost their lives; hundreds are still waiting for their appeals to be heard, and just 93 convictions have been overturned so far.
The final episode of the series revealed how a massive fight for justice left those victimised by the faulty tech awarded just £20,000 after legal fees – in many cases far less than they had lost.
And in a poignant message at the end of the episode, the show paid tribute to the three subpostmasters who ‘died before their appeals could be heard.’
‘And four subpostmasters [who] have taken their own lives.’
Toby Jones played the real-life Alan Bates, who dedicated his life to getting justice for subpostmasters wrongly accused of stealing from their employers (Picture: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)
Hundreds of innocent people were affected by faulty Horizon technology (Picture: ITV)
The reality of the situation put to viewers in the celebrated dramatisation has left fans of the series ‘in shock’ and ‘crying’ as for many people it was the first time they had learned the intricacies of the case.
As the final episode aired and the credits rolled, people shared their ‘outrage’ at what had happened, with may saying those involved had ‘blood on their hands.’
X user Caroline said ‘the whole country is behind these postmasters, everyone I’ve spoken to disgusted by this story.’
Susan Tomes said: ‘Not a dry eye in this house at the end of #MrBatesVsThePostOffice,’ while Teresa McKinnan was in awe over ‘the pain and suffering inflicted on these working people.’
The subpostmasters took the Post Office to court and were awarded money- but it wasn’t the happy ending everyone was hoping for (Picture: ITV)
Becky Miller called it ‘shocking,’ writing: ‘How awful for all those people falsely accused. The Post Office should be begging for forgiveness and giving them all compensation and their good names back.’
‘Never ever has a TV series made me as mad as this has,’ Bevbex wrote, while Brenda Irwin said she ‘cried for everyone involved.’
By 2020, the government had initiated an independent inquiry, which was then converted to a public one the following year, looking into whether the Post Office and software supplier Fujitsu knew about the faults in the IT system.
It was intended to be completed a few months ago but is still ongoing.
The real-life Alan Bates says in documentary Mr Bates vs the Post Office: The Real Story that he is not finished with his fight against the Post Office.
Hundreds of thousands of people have now signed a petition calling for the former CE|O of the Post Office to be stripped of her CBE (Picture: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)
He had been offered an OBE for his campaigning work, but turned it down as then-CEO of the Post Office, Paula Vennels, has a CBE.
Three years ago, a petition calling for her to be stripped of her CBE; in three years it gained 1,000 signatures.
In the two days since ITV’s drama began airing, it shot up to over 30,000 signatures.
As the series comes to an end, over 280,000 people have signed the petition.
In 2021 Vennells said she was ‘truly sorry’ for the ‘suffering’ caused to subpostmasters who were wrongly convicted of offences.
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