All four episodes of Mr Bates vs The Post Office are now available to stream on ITVX, with the drama charting the true story of the Post Office scandal, which is considered to be one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.


The scandal saw hundreds of innocent subpostmasters and postmistresses being wrongly accused of theft and false accounting due to a defective IT system, with the series charting their efforts to get to the truth and seek justice.

The show stars Toby Jones, Monica Dolan, Alex Jennings and more, with the storyline following real-life former subpostmaster Alan Bates as he sought to expose the scandal.

But how does it all come to an end, and where do we leave Alan and the other subpostmasters and mistresses?

Read on for everything you need to know about the end of Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

More like this

What happens in the group litigation in Mr Bates vs The Post Office?

John Hollingworth as James Hartley and Toby Jones as Alan Bates sat in a courtroom
John Hollingworth as James Hartley and Toby Jones as Alan Bates. ITV Studios

At the start of the final episode, Alan rallies over 500 subpostmasters to enter a group litigation, hoping to get compensation and to force the Post Office to open their files and reveal the truth.

They are backed by a law firm working on a no-win, no-fee basis.

The Post Office chose not to call Paula Vennells as a witness, but instead put up Angela van den Bogerd. Meanwhile, Bates and the legal team manage to convince a whistleblower from Fujitsu, the company behind the computer system, Horizon, to testify that they had remote access to the subpostmasters' accounts, and used it to make amends.

The judge in the case rules that Van den Bogerd did not always give frank evidence and that she sought to mislead him, and that the Post Office acted in a way which was oppressive, unfair and with an excess of secrecy.

However, the Post Office then presents the judge with an application for him to recuse himself from the proceedings, suggesting that the judge is biased against the organisation.

Alan's lawyer then advises that, as the trial gets delayed by this, they have run out of money. They say it is time to negotiate a settlement, but he refuses.

The Post Office failed to remove the judge and the subpostmasters won on almost every count, getting a compensation package worth around £58 million.

Yet, after legal fees and court costs are paid, this total goes down to £12 million, meaning each of the subpostmasters and mistresses get an average of £20,000 each.

Where do we leave Alan, Jo and the rest of the postmasters in Mr Bates vs The Post Office?

Monica Dolan as Jo in Mr Bates vs the Post Office
Monica Dolan as Jo in Mr Bates vs The Post Office ITV Studios

Paula Vennells resigns from her position at the Post Office.

Later, 42 of the subpostmasters and mistresses have their criminal convictions overturned, including Jo Hamilton, Noel Thomas and Susan Rudkin. The scandal is called the widest miscarriage of justice in British legal history.

Alan keeps fighting to get the government to pay their legal costs. Text at the end of the episode notes that, in total, the Court of Appeal has so far overturned 93 wrongful convictions, but that three died before their appeals could be heard and four have taken their own lives.

It also notes that no current or former Post Office manager has faced a criminal charge.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office is available to stream in full on ITVX. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.