Dear Editor

Kibworth Post Office 1989 – 2012

I’m sure many of you will have followed ITV series ‘Mr Bates vs The Post Office’ and have witnessed how many lives have been destroyed by Post Office Ltd (the organisation who employed my then husband, Richard Green) and Fujitsu (the creators of the Post Office Horizon system).

In 1989, we were a family with two young daughters who, with the equity from the sale of our home, purchased Kibworth Post Office as a family business and quickly became part of the community.

At that time, Post Office accounting was done manually. Richard is a Qualified Accountant and I had managed a Building Society office in Leicester so we were very used to dealing with figures and cash. Consequently, all was well until the year 2000, when Kibworth Post Office was one of the first offices to join the Horizon scheme.

I now quote Richard from a Facebook posting  

At first, it seemed fine, but then the occasional loss, nothing major – £400 here, £500 there, started to occur. Being an honest man, I did what my Post Office Contract said and made good the loss. Of course, I investigated each loss but could never find the reason. 

I suspected the system was faulty and brought it to the attention of my Regional Manager but was told, as was any Postmaster who complained, that I was the only one!!!  

I calculate that, over the next 12 years (I retired in 2012) the HORIZON mess cost me around £20,000 and with no documentation (which was destroyed on retirement), I have no evidence to fight a claim. (Though compared to many of the poor souls featured, I feel I was lucky).”

During this time, Richard took out a personal bank loan to cover the cost of the shortfalls (well, even in 2024, how many young families have the odd £20,000 sitting in a savings account – we certainly didn’t – and with inflation who knows how much that equates to today?)

Back to Richard “If you’ve watched the series, you’ll have seen just what a lying, evil, rotten lot the Post Office Management were and still, some 20+ years later, not one has been brought to justice.

The system was totally flawed and was defended and protected by a bunch of corrupt charlatans. The clincher for me came when it was disclosed that a team at Fujitsu could, and did, alter office accounts, without our knowledge, whilst we were serving customers. 


I wonder how many more Postmasters did exactly the same as Richard and coughed-up the money when the alternative was to lose your job, your home, your reputation, damage your family and risk your sanity. I expect many, many others did too.

Lives too have been lost because of these lies, false accusations and prosecutions.

Despicable and unforgivable.

Mary Orton (formerly Green)

(Written with Richard’s knowledge and consent)