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    Post Office scandal: Bates rejects government’s ‘derisory’ compensation

    (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Post Office Horizon scandal victim Alan Bates will reject the government’s compensation offer, a figure that he says is only about a sixth of what he requested.

    More than two decades later, Bates finally received an offer of compensation from the government on Wednesday (31). The former post office operator, whose story was the inspiration for the ITV drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office, reportedly described the package as “cruel” and “derisory”.

    “‘Full and fair’ might be his majesty’s government’s interpretation, but in reality the offer is derisory, offensive and after all this time, yes, cruel,” he told the Telegraph. “I will absolutely be turning this offer for financial redress down.

    “It is just a terrible way to treat human beings – and I have heard from several sub-postmasters who have received similarly derisory offers, while others are still waiting.

    “Bearing in mind my solicitors engaged forensic accountants to prepare my claim in accordance with established legal principles, it now seems we have to spend hours and hours over weeks and months with government-appointed lawyers at who knows what cost, just to point out these legal principles to them. But to them it might just be a good earner.”

    Bates added, “I have been in the queue along with all the others in the scheme, but if my case is an example of the way they are going to treat all the cases, we may as well start looking at a legal action again and let the judiciary decide.”

    More than 900 post office operators were prosecuted after they were blamed for the shortfalls, with some being sent to prison. Operators who had lost out were invited to submit a claim to the government compensation scheme after winning a high court case against the Post Office.

    Earlier this month, executives at Fujitsu told MPs it would contribute to compensation payments to operators who were wrongfully convicted after failures in the Horizon IT software made by the Japanese tech firm.

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