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The Great Post Office Scandal: The fight to expose a multimillion IT disaster which put innocent people in jail [9781916302389]

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On 23rd April 2021, the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of 39 former Subpostmasters and ruled their prosecutions were an affront to the public conscience. It is a scandal that has been described as one of the most widespread and significant miscarriages of justice in UK legal history.

The 39 were just a few of the 738 people who, between 2000 and 2015, had been prosecuted by the Post Office for theft, false accounting and fraud. The prosecutions were based largely on evidence drawn from Horizon, the Post Office's deeply flawed software system that threw up duplicate entries, lost transactions and made erroneous calculations.

If these errors resulted in apparent losses, Subpostmasters were forced to settle the discrepancies from their own pockets, sometimes for tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. Those who could not pay were sacked and taken to court. Proud pillars of their communities were stripped of their jobs and livelihoods.

Many were forced into bankruptcy and or borrowed from friends and family to give the Post Office thousands they did not owe. The really unlucky ones were sent to prison. This is the story of how these innocent people fought back to clear their names against a background of institutional arrogance and obfuscation, a fight dragged out by the Post Office's refusal to accept responsibility for its failings.

Nick Wallis, an award-winning freelance journalist and broadcaster, has been pursuing this story since 2010 when he met a taxi driver who told him his pregnant wife had been sent to prison for a crime she did not commit. Since then, he has recorded interviews with dozens of victims, insiders and experts, uncovering hundreds of documents to build up an unparalleled understanding of the story. Using these sources, Nick has been instrumental in bringing the scandal into the public eye. He broadcast his first investigation for the BBC in 2011. In the same year that he took the story to Private Eye. He has subsequently made two Panoramas, a Radio 4 series, and raised thousands of pounds to crowdfund his own court reporting for the Post Office Trial website. Nick has now written the first definitive account of the scandal.

He takes us from the ill-fated deal that brought Horizon into existence, through years of half-truths and obstruction, to the tearful scenes at the Court of Appeal this year. He exposes the secrecy and mistrust at the heart of the story, and the impact that had on the victims. He also chronicles how this story's hero, Alan Bates, started as a lone public voice of dissent but went on to beat the Post Office - against overwhelming odds - at two of the highest courts in the land and win some redress for the victims.

An extraordinary journalistic expose of a huge miscarriage of justice. - Ian Hislop, Editor, Private Eye. The definitive account of the scandal - from the journalist who pursued every twist and turn. - Mishal Husain, Broadcaster. Beautifully written. Full of heart rending detail, clarity and insight. - Patrick Spence, Creative Director, ITV Studios. Nick has come to understand the ultimately destructive management culture which pervaded the Post Office from the top down. - Tom Hedges, former Subpostmaster.

A tale brilliantly told by Nick Wallis, who has dedicated years of work to establishing what happened, why it happened and calling those responsible to account. I urge you to read it. - Rev Richard Coles, Presenter. Nick's narrative has the power of a great thriller as he lays bare the lies and deceit that has ruined so many lives. Dame Joan Bakewell, Journalist.

 

AUTHOR: Nick Wallis is a renowned freelance journalist and broadcaster. He has worked with the BBC, Private Eye and ITN. His Radio 4 series on the Post Office scandal has been nominated for national awards.

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SKU:
9781916302389
ISBN13:
9781916302389
Availability:
Delivery usually in 2-6 working days.
Author:
Nick Wallis
Publisher:
Bath Publishing Ltd
Publication:
18-Nov-2021
Format:
Hardback
Pages:
500
Stock Status:
In stock
Weight:
836 Grams
  • 5
    The Great Post Office Scandal

    Posted by Brian on 14th Mar 2022

    Well written and researched dissection of this awful scandal. Full marks to Nick Wallis for sticking with this heartbreaking story over the years and for all the help he has given to the wrongly accused (and jailed) subpostmasters. It throroughly confirms the general view of anyone who has read about this disgraceful episode that Paula Vennells and her cohorts in the Post Office and at Fujitsu should be brought before the courts rapidly and hopefully jailed for what they did.

  • 5
    Post Office Scandal

    Posted by Graham. on 8th Mar 2022

    Great Read, well written and presented.
    Appalling and disgraceful way the Post Office has treated these people, I was amazed at the ineptitude and persecution of the subpostmasters while the Post Office stuck their head in the sand and ruined peoples lives.
    I hope justice comes their way for all of them quickly, and senior managent are bought to book and held resposible, including those very senior managers who have retired to escape any resposibility.

    All credit to Nick Wallis for an extremely well researched and written account.

  • 5
    The Great Post Office Scandal:

    Posted by Brian G on 9th Jan 2022

    Whilst I was aware that this "Scandal" was BIG Nick Wallis' book makes it very clear that it is in fact HUGE!
    The his revelations about the appalling treatment of sub-postmasters by the Post Office will literally take your breath away. What I was reading prompted me to literally "shout out in outrage" at the injustice these innocent people have suffered. Actually I have "toned down" my review so I urge you to buy this book and read for yourself what I am talking about

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