Legal Futures Associate, Bath Publishing, are to publish the definitive account of the story of the Post Office prosecutions that led the Court of Appeal to overturn the convictions of 39 SubPostmasters last week.
The Great Post Office Scandal will be written by Nick Wallis, the journalist and broadcaster who has done so much to bring the story to national attention since he first got wind of it in 2010. That was 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, he 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, an award-winning 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 culture of 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.
Such has been the impact of the scandal that there have been searching questions asked about the ethics of the legal professions whilst the Law Commission has been prompted to think about how the evidence from computer records should be assessed in court proceedings. Nick’s book will provide the background against which any reforms will be viewed.