Mr Bates vs The Post Office: Former Inverness sub-postmaster praises ITV for creating “true to life” drama

An Inverness pensioner has praised the creators of new ITV drama series ‘Mr Bates vs The Post Office’ for shedding light on the suffering sub-postmasters have faced for more than two decades.

Peter Worsfold is among scores of people fighting for justice to bring an end to the Post Office scandal.

He was sacked by auditors in 2002 following claims up to £3,000 was unaccounted for at his Post Office branch in Muirtown.

It turned out the loss was caused by the firm’s flawed accounting software, called Horizon, leaving sub-postmasters out of pocket.

Peter Worsfold pictured alongside the Muirtown Costcutter where his Post Office was based

The miscarriage of justice is now being played out on screen in a new ITV mini-series called Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

The four-part drama tells the story of how hundreds of innocent sub-postmasters and postmistresses were wrongly accused of fraud and theft because of the faulty IT system.

Leading the star-studded cast is Toby Jones, who plays Alan Bates. He’s joined by Coronation Street stars Julie Hesmondhalgh – known for her role as Hayley – and Katherine Kelly, who played Becky McDonald.

‘It is not a part of my life I would like to live through again’

Mr Worsfold was among the viewers who tuned in to watch episode one on New Year’s Day.

He praised the cast and crew for depicting the “truth” but says it was a hard watch for his family.

He said: “It is very true (to life). My daughter was watching it and she couldn’t watch it to the end, she forwarded it. It is devastating what they are doing to the postmasters.

“The characters that they have got playing the parts are true to life. They have really put an effort into getting the right people and situations.

“There are things in the programme that people didn’t understand, for instance, that the Post Office could prosecute you and they didn’t have to go to the police. I think that would have opened a lot of people’s eyes.

“It is reassuring that they have got the story right. It is not some fictitious thing that’s been put together.

“It is true to life and exactly what happened.”

The former sub-postmaster giving evidence at the inquiry into the Post Office scandal

In September, the former sub-postmaster called on the government to deliver on their promises and help them rebuild their lives.

His words came just six months after he gave evidence at the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry claiming he had paid around £37,000 of his own hard-earned cash to plug the gap.

Former Inverness sub-postmaster calls for end to Post Office scandal

The Inverness pensioner is hoping the drama series will help raise awareness and bring an end to the proceedings which have consumed the last 20 years of his life.

However, as they continue to battle for compensation, Mr Worsfold fears the end is nowhere in sight.

He added: “24 years of my life – that’s how long it has taken and it is still going on. It is not settled yet. The way things look, it will not be settled soon.

“My house is more or less falling down because I can’t afford to repair it. If my son didn’t live with me, I wouldn’t be able to live here.

“It is not a part of my life I would like to live through again.

“I heard yesterday that one of the claimants put in a claim for GLO compensation, and they offered him 15% of what he was asking for. It is supposed to be a fair and substantial settlement so that doesn’t bode well for 2024.

“I was feeling quite down after that.”

Courtesy of Latest News and Sport Headlines from Inverness | Press and Journal