Mr Bates vs The Post Office star Julie Hesmondhalgh hails 'wind beneath campaigner's wings'

An actress has hailed the wife of campaigner and former sub-postmaster as ‘the wind beneath his wings’.

Julie Hesmondhalgh, from Accrington, took on the role of Suzanne Sercombe in the ground-breaking ITV drama, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which exposed the miscarriage of justice related to the British Post Office scandal. The former Coronation Street star appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain last week just a day after an inquiry heard Suzanne’s husband, Alan Bates, was sacked by the Post Office because it considered him ‘unmanageable’.

Julie told Good Morning Britain: “She is such an interesting and fascinating and artistic person in her own right and she really is the wind beneath his wings. I mean, you get that impression completely when you go to their house and meet them.

“And I had a wonderful afternoon before we started filming, where I was just able to ask her just about her and her amazing life – none of which is on screen, of course.


“But I got the impression that it was lovely for her to be able to talk about herself in that way for once, because their lives have been completely taken over by this campaign for so many years. And I hope that soon they get some peace and happiness and some time to enjoy together.”

Mr Bates has spent 23 years campaigning for justice after his contract was terminated by the Post Office in 2003 following his
refusal to accept liability for shortfalls in the accounts at his branch in Llandudno, North Wales.

More than 700 sub-postmasters were prosecuted by the Post Office and handed criminal convictions between 1999 and 2015 as Fujitsu’s faulty Horizon system made it appear as though money was missing from their branches.

Mr Bates, who attended the inquiry with his wife last Tuesday, said the Government needs to be held ‘responsible’ for its part in the Horizon scandal after ‘pumping huge amounts of money’ into the Post Office.

Julie told Good Morning Britain learning about what had happened to the sub-postmasters was ‘shock upon shock’ due to how long the issue continued as well as ‘the level of lies and corruption that was going on behind the scenes.’