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22nd Feb 2024

Victims of Post Office scandal that inspired TV show set to be cleared thanks to new law

Ryan Price

Hundreds of people wrongly convicted will finally get some form of justice.

The government has announced that a new law will come into effect later this year that will result in the majority of victims being cleared of any wrongdoing in the scandal that shocked the nation.

When revealing the change in legislation, a representative of the government added that the possible exoneration of some genuinely guilty of crimes was “a price worth paying”.

Calls for action have intensified in recent months following the release of the TV drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office which sparked a wave of public outrage.

Almost a thousand sub-postmasters across the UK were wrongly prosecuted of stealing large sums of money between the years 1999 and 2015, several of whom served prison time and ended up financially ruined as a result.

Some sub-postmasters caught up in the scandal have died or taken their own lives in the intervening years. 

When Horizon, the software provided by Japanese tech-giants Fujitsu, was revealed to be faulty and directly led to the appearance of money having gone missing, families of the victims as well as the victims themselves appealed to the government to take action to correct the unjustified convictions.

So far, 102 convictions have been overturned but many have complained that the process of rectifying these mistakes is moving along far too slowly.

This announcement will mean that all victims across England and Wales can expect their names to be cleared by the end of this year.

The government has pledged to work with the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to ensure their schemes to quash convictions were “compatible with the UK compensation scheme”. 

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