Manchester true crime podcast is back exploring more miscarriages of justice including Post Office scandal

The Manchester Innocence Project podcast is back for a second series exploring miscarriages of justice, including the infamous Post Office scandal.
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A podcast exploring miscarriages of justice which is created in Manchester is back for a second series looking at what happens when the courts get it wrong.

The Manchester Innocence Project at The University of Manchester has once again teamed up with broadcaster Kelly Pentelow for another series of stories raising awareness of incorrect verdicts in the criminal justice system in the UK.

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The inaugural group of podcasts included an interview with Amanda Knox, who was infamously accused of murdering student Meredith Kercher in Italy in a very high-profile case.

This time around the subjects having a light shone on them include the Post Office scandal, when hundreds of people were falsely accused of criminal activity and wrongdoing due to a faulty computer system.

What is the Manchester Innocence Project exploring in the new series of its podcast?

The new series of the podcast made with the Manchester Innocence Project features Kylie interviewing people whose lives fell apart after they were convicted of crimes they did not actually commit and who had to fight to prove they were not guilty. The podcast talks about what life after prison is like for people who were wrongly put there and what it is like to be involved in the campaigning work to prove innocence.

The first episode of series two features Tom Hedges, one of many people who were caught up in the Post Office scandal. Tom was one of many branch managers who were put in the dock when faulty accounting software made it look like money was going missing. It was one of the most widespread miscarriages of justice in British history and was the subject of a major public inquiry, at which branch managers from Greater Manchester spoke about their ordeals of being wrongly accused.

Tom Hedges celebrates outside court after his battle to clear his name as part of the Post Office scandalTom Hedges celebrates outside court after his battle to clear his name as part of the Post Office scandal
Tom Hedges celebrates outside court after his battle to clear his name as part of the Post Office scandal
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Tom discusses how his quiet life was turned upside down and how he was one of hundreds of Post Office employees who were forced to battle to clear their names.

The other episodes in the series interview Kristine Bunch, who was wrongly sent to prison for 17 years for arson and the murder of her three-year-old son, and Luis Vargas, who was in prison for 16 years for crimes he didn’t commit including rape and kidnap before he was finally freed thanks to the California Innocence Project.

Kylie said: “Once again I’ve been staggered by the amazing stories that we’ve been told as part of this series - from a woman who was wrongly sent to prison when she was pregnant, to a postmaster who had to deliver newspapers that had his own picture on for a crime he didn’t commit.”

To listen to the episodes, visit the podcast’s website.

What is the Manchester Innocence Project?

The Manchester Innocence Project was founded in 2020 to fight for people who say they have been wrongly convicted. It was launched by Professor Claire McGourlay at The University of Manchester and is led by staff and students.

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It is intended to give students an insight into the criminal justice system as well as the issues which are thrown up when verdicts are doubted and contested.

Profesor McGourlay said: “This series continues to highlight the global plight and inequalities in criminal justice systems, and it has been an honour to work with everyone involved. Our students and staff at Manchester work so hard to fight for the innocent.”

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