The Post Office scandal on stage

IT has been impossible to ignore the story of the Post Office and the sub-postmasters, with the powerful ITV drama series and constant media reports of the hearings and the latest uncovering of lives ruined in one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in English legal history. But to hear the story first hand is even more powerful. Journalist Nick Wallis, with a local sub-postmistress, tells the story and outline the latest developments at the Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis on Saturday 23rd March.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office, the influential ITV drama starring Toby Jones, brought the scandal of the imprisoned, persecuted and ruined sub-postmasters into the national consciousness. Nick Wallis was one of the journalists who followed the story almost from the start, and in The Post Office Scandal, starting at 1.30pm, he will be talking to Tracey Merritt, former sub-postmistress of Yetminster.

Nick Wallis was the ITV series consultant, chronicling the latest twists and turns of the story, as hundreds of innocent people fought to clear their names after being pursued by the Post Office through the criminal courts.

Proud pillars of their communities were stripped of their jobs and livelihoods. Many were forced into bankruptcy or borrowed from friends and family to give the Post Office thousands they did not owe. The really unlucky ones were sent to prison.

Wallis, who has researched, followed and reported on this story for decades, including several series on the BBC, will take the audience through the shambolic commissioning of the disastrous Post Office Horizon IT system and examines the punitive methods employed by the Post Office – bypassing the police and the Crown Prosecution Service – to create the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK legal history.

He homes in on the subsequent heinous cover-up and the staggering legal battles fought and won by campaigning sub-postmasters, against all the odds. As the public inquiry into the scandal reveals yet more horrors, while the government fast-tracks new laws and implements new resources to resolve compensation, Nick will be able to explain the very latest developments and their significance.