THE story of a former sub-postmaster in Ellesmere Port who took his own life after being accused of fraud by the Post Office has been told in a new series.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office is a four-part ITV drama highlighting the Horizon IT scandal, which has been described as the UK's most widespread miscarriage of justice.

Over the course of 14 years, more than 700 Post Office sub-postmasters were wrongly accused of – and some convicted of and even imprisoned for – theft, fraud and false accounting in their branches.

Wirral Globe: Mr Bates vs The Post OfficeMr Bates vs The Post Office (Image: PA)

In episode three of the ITV drama, which aired on Wednesday (January 3), the story of Martin Griffiths, played by Colin Tierney, who had successfully run the Hope Farm Post Office in Great Sutton for around 14 years was told.

Viewers see Martin brutally attacked by two armed robbers, who stole thousands of pounds from the safe in the Post Office and broke his wrist. 

Later in the episode, he was accused of a £60,000 shortfall at the Post Office, which he was required to pay back so that he could continue trading.

The Post Office then informed him that his position as sub-postmaster was to be terminated within three months.

Wirral Globe: Martin, played by Colin Tierney, in the ITV dramaMartin, played by Colin Tierney, in the ITV drama (Image: ITV)

Viewers watched Martin become depressed trying to prove his innocence and in September 2013, aged 59, Martin stepped out in front of a bus, taking his own life.

Reacting to the episode, one viewer tweeted: "The section with Martin Griffiths was particularly difficult.

"It was heart breaking and all the harder to watch knowing how it would end. I closed my eyes as the bus came down the road."

Another said: "I know all Sub-Postmasters suffered, and I support them all, but the story that broke me is Martin Griffiths.

"To hound someone to their death like that was simply evil. No other word for it."

Over 700 convictions were made between 1999 and 2015 and postmasters and their families continue to struggle with the effects of these miscarriages of justice.

If you're struggling with your mental health or are in crisis, you can call Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 - they're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.