• Fujitsu to host techUK reception on Justice

    I was contacted yesterday by a lawyer who thinks Fujitsu has got off very lightly in the Post Office Horizon IT scandal, partly by doing as little as possible to acknowledge any culpability.

    Of course you can only get away with something if people let you, and my correspondent was particularly exercised by the actions of techUK in allowing Fujitsu to sponsor its “Justice and Emergency Services Reception 2023”.

    techUK is a trade organisation which “brings together people, companies and organisations to realise the positive outcomes that digital technology can achieve”.

    It says it collaborates “across business, government and stakeholders to fulfil the potential of technology to deliver a stronger society and more sustainable future.”

    My correspondent believes allowing Fujitsu to be associated with the word Justice, particularly when its role in the Post Office Horizon IT scandal is under scrutiny by the Metropolitan Police and a statutory inquiry, is tone deaf. Her thinking is that “this says a lot about people in charge not having the foggiest or simply not giving a sh*t – either way its not a good look for anyone in the room”.

    I’ve asked techUK to let me know if they have any qualms about taking Fujitsu’s money and whether Fujitsu’s role in the Horizon IT scandal will be discussed or addressed at the reception.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • Why hasn’t Fujitsu sacked Andy Dunks?

    The man in the photograph, Andy Dunks, gave evidence at the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry this week. He works for Fujitsu. In the days when the Post Office wanted to prosecute Horizon users for crimes of dishonesty, it would go to Andy at Fujitsu for ARQ (Horizon’s audit record query) data or a log of helpdesk calls.

    Andy was the cryptographic key manager for the Horizon system, working in Fujitsu’s Customer Service Post Office Account Security Team. Starting in 2002, Andy would extract data for Postmaster prosecutions, “analyse” or “summarise” it and attach it to a signed witness statement saying there were no problems with Horizon.

    His statement (and this is taken from a standard Fujitsu witness statement) would say something like:

    There is no reason to believe that the information in this statement is inaccurate because of the improper use of the computer. To the best of my knowledge and belief at all material times the computer was operating properly, or if not, any respect in which it was not operating properly, or was out of operation was not such as to effect the information held on it. I hold a responsible position in relation to the working of the computer.

    This was usually enough to satisfy both the Post Office’s criminal prosecutors and the individual Subpostmasters’ defence teams, none of whom, you can bet, had the training or knowledge to challenge it.

    Liar, Liar

    When Andy Dunks gave evidence on behalf of the Post Office during the Bates v Post Office High Court litigation in 2019, he told the court Fujitsu had no “party line” when giving evidence on behalf of the Post Office. This was not true. In his judgment to the Horizon Issues trial, Mr Justice Fraser wrote:

    There plainly is [a party line] it was used in the Fujitsu statements in 2010 and it was used by [Andy Dunks] in his statement for the Horizon Issues trial.

    par 294, Judgment (No.6) “Horizon Issues”, Bates and others v Post Office

    Mr Justice Fraser ruled that Fujitsu Andy had “expressly sought to mislead” him. Naughty Andy.

    Six months later, in a letter to the BEIS [Business Department] Select Committee, Rob Putland, Fujitsu UK’s Senior Vice President told the chair of the committee, Darren Jones MP:

    If it emerges that any current employee intentionally misled the court or otherwise failed to meet the standards expected from Fujitsu, then they will be dismissed.

    In doing so, Rob Putland misled Parliament, because three years later, look who trotted along to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry on Wednesday: Andy Dunks – still very much employed by Fujitsu.

    This time Andy was very keen to tell the Inquiry (read the full transcript here) there was a standard template when it came to providing witness statements to the Post Office about the integrity of Horizon data.

    This caused a potential problem, spotted by Jason Beer KC, lead counsel to the Inquiry. If the standard template dealing with calls to the helpdesk said:

    None of these calls to the helpdesk relate to faults that would have had an effect on the integrity of the information held on the system…

    – which it did – how did Andy know what the standard template said was true?

    The answer turned on Andy’s concept of the words “analyse” and “summarise”. In his witness statement, Andy said he summarised the call logs. In his oral evidence, he said he would analyse them. When Jason Beer asked which it was, Dunks said:

    Well, that — to summarise — my understanding is to summarise the calls and — but part of the witness statement is the wording of the witness statement. The summarisation is of the calls, not the wording of the witness statement.

    Which is just word soup. Over a torturous half hour of cross-examination, Beer tried to drill down into what it was which qualified Dunks to give witness statements. It turns out Dunks didn’t know the difference between Horizon’s ARQ data, Credence data, raw data and enhanced ARQ data. He also (despite turning up to court to give evidence in the prosecutions of Subpostmasters) didn’t know the difference between civil and criminal courts. It also transpired that even though he had been cc’d in documents detailing accounting errors in Horizon caused by software bugs, Dunks believed that this could not happen, explaining the apparent contradiction by telling the Inquiry he didn’t read every document he was sent.

    You know this is serious, right?

    Dunks’ lack of curiosity and knowledge about potential and real errors with the Horizon system is, and I say this with perhaps some understatement, troubling. Dunks became aware of the campaign by the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance whilst Postmasters were being prosecuted, but told Jason Beer he did not seek any internal clarification about it. It led to the following exchange:

    JB: You just carried on providing the witness statements?

    AD: In my – our area of the team, no, I don’t think we did discuss [the Postmasters’ campaign] at all.
    JB: Looking back, do you think it ought to have been the topic of some discussion?

    AD: At a higher level, possibly. Whether that went on, I don’t know. It wasn’t for us to discuss or make judgement.

    JB: You were the one that was going along to court or providing witness statements?

    AD: Yeah.

    JB: It was your name at the bottom of the piece of paper that was signed?

    AD: Mm-hm.

    JB: Saying, “This is true”?

    AD: Mm-hm.

    JB: “I know I can be prosecuted”, I think it would have said.

    AD: Mm-hm.

    JB: “… if I have stated in it anything which I know to be false.”

    AD: Yes.

    JB: Did you not think that was quite a serious undertaking you were engaged in?

    AD: Yes, I did.

    JB: You heard, through the media and the like, that the Subpostmasters were saying, “There were faults in the system, the Horizon System, that are causing discrepancies for which I am not responsible.” You were providing witness statements at the same time, saying, “There is nothing that I’ve seen in the documents I’ve examined that could explain
    a system-generated discrepancy”?

    AD: Well, as you just stated, I would have probably taken it as it’s their opinion that there’s something wrong. I’m not – wasn’t aware there was something wrong, so I still believed my statement, on the witness statements I gave, were true at the time.

    Rickrolling along

    Richard Roll

    Dunks’ lack of knowledge about the Horizon IT system and its propensity for causing errors was highlighted the day after he gave evidence to the Inquiry. Testimony on Thursday 9 March was provided by Richard Roll, a third line Service Support Centre (SSC) engineer at Fujitsu from 2001 to 2004. Richard has told Panorama (twice) and the High Court about the constant battles required to keep Horizon from falling over when he worked there.

    On Thursday Roll described the Horizon coding he inherited as a “mess” and detailed the ease with which he and his colleagues were able to go into Postmasters accounts and change the the software in them in order to fix bugs.

    Roll was asked by Jason Beer if he had heard of Andy Dunks, cryptographic key manager of the Horizon IT system within Fujitsu’s Customer Service Post Office Account Security Team.

    Roll said: “No.”

    Beer asked him if he knew what Dunks did:
    JB: Can you recall a job title or role being undertaken of the cryptographic key manager?
    RR: There was a key, which was a crypto key, if you like, which was generated by a secure PC in a locked room within the SSC, bearing in mind that the SSC itself was on the sixth floor of a very secure building behind double doors that were extremely secure. It was a very, very secure area. But that’s about all I can remember.
    JB: Mr Dunks was the manager of the cryptographic key. We’ve heard from him recently. I think it follows from what you’ve said that you didn’t have any or you don’t recall any liaison with him or the security team?
    RR: No.

    JB: We know that he, the cryptographic key manager, was selected to give evidence by provision of witness statements and giving oral evidence in court, about what you and your team in the SSC had done in response to calls to the SSC and the work that your team had undertaken as recorded on call logs. Do you understand?

    RR: Right.
    JB: Do you know why one of that team, the customer service team, and, in particular, the person that managed the cryptographic key, was selected to give evidence about what you and your team were doing in the SSC?
    RR: No.

    JB: Did you ever hear any discussion or were you ever party to any discussion about why Mr Dunks, the crypto
    key manager, was giving evidence about what was or wasn’t shown on helpdesk call logs that were completed
    by you and members of your team, rather than a member of you and your team giving evidence?
    RR: No.

    What conclusions can we draw from all this, then?

    Well – on the face of it, Fujitsu Andy appears to have been in the business of giving incorrect or misleading witness statements to the Post Office in order to better assist it in the false prosecution of innocent Subpostmasters.

    In each case Mr Dunks clearly believed he had done the minimum required to satisfy his limited worldview that what he was doing had validity, and what he was saying was true. Otherwise he was potentially committing a criminal offence.

    This raises questions as to Fujitsu’s organisational integrity.

    What did Fujitsu do to make Mr Dunks aware of the seriousness of his evidence and the need to ensure it was completed to exacting standards?

    Who at Fujitsu knew it was allowing Mr Dunks to feed witness statements about information he didn’t understand into a judicial process he had no real knowledge of, with catastrophic consequences for the individuals at the wrong end of it?

    What did Fujitsu say to Andy Dunks before he expressly attempted to mislead a High Court judge?

    Why is it that when Rob Putland told the BEIS Select Committee Fujitsu would dismiss anyone found to have knowingly misled a court, they didn’t sack Andy Dunks?

    Dunks has already been told he is likely to be recalled to the Inquiry. I also hope we hear from Mr Putland before the year is out, too.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • Trotter is back at the Post Office – why?

    Brian Trotter

    Brian Trotter is a Post Office lifer (1980 – 2020) and former contract manager who has been either directly or indirectly involved in the auditing, suspending and sacking of several Subpostmasters. He gave evidence in the first Bates v Post Office trial, where he was cross-examined on the case of former Subpostmaster Louise Dar.

    In his 2019 judgment, Mr Justice Fraser said Trotter’s written evidence to the trial was “inaccurate” and that he:

    “seemed extremely nervous about giving evidence before me that he thought might be unhelpful to the Post Office”.

    On Thursday last week, Mr Trotter gave evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry. Trotter was asked if he ever thought there were bugs, errors or defects with the Horizon IT system, which threw up discrepancies in Subpostmaster accounts. He replied:

    “I’d always thought it was fit for purpose and operated as intended.”

    He was taken to a series of emails which had been sent, forwarded or cc’d to him whilst he was in post, describing a serious Horizon error, known as the Callendar Square bug. It affected a number of branches. In one email, Fujitsu engineer Anne Chambers wrote:

    “This problem has been around for years and affects a number of sites most weeks.”

    Trotter admitted that this should have caused him to be alarmed.

    Ruth Kennedy, a barrister to the inquiry pressed him on it, asking:

    “What would it have taken for you to go to your line manager and say ‘This is a real issue, I’m worried about the system’? Would it have been someone saying to you there’s a problem with the system we need to take action? What would it have taken?”

    Trotter said he would have left it to “somebody more qualified than me”.

    Bugs notwithstanding, Trotter was pretty sure he knew what was causing discrepancies in Postmaster branches. In his witness statement to the Inquiry, he wrote:

    In the cases we investigated, the issues were resolved by training, if there was a suspension by appointing
    a temporary/replacement postmasters or explained by admissions from postmasters. As a result, there was
    a context which pointed towards human error being the cause of issues and not system errors.

    Trotter was challenged on this by Kennedy. She asked him why the Callendar Square bug, which Anne Chambers said had been around for “years” was not a “huge wake up call”. Trotter replied that he was:

    “trying to do the best that I could do with the information that I had in speaking to people within my sphere.”

    When Kennedy had finished, Chris Jacobs, a barrister representing Louise Dar, reminded Trotter of Dar’s witness statement to the Inquiry, in which she wrote:

    “I was treated like a criminal by the Post Office. The Post Office audit team were extremely callous and made no attempt to find the root cause of the alleged shortfalls. Specifically, Brian Trotter my contacts manager, was particularly keen to get me to admit to falsifying the books. He asked me to admit to this several times.”

    Trotter said he was “shocked” by this, adding:

    “I can’t prove this discussion didn’t take place but it’s not the sort of thing that I would have been saying to anybody.”

    To summarise, Mr Trotter made assumptions that all problems in the branches he looked after were down to poor training, incompetence or theft. He gave inaccurate evidence to the High Court, and was observed by the judge to be very reluctant to be unhelpful to his employer of (at that stage) 39 years. A Subpostmaster, in a sworn witness statement, gave evidence that Trotter tried to bully her into making a false confession of a criminal offence.

    Just the person to be re-hired by the Post Office to help them work in the historical matters unit dealing with Postmasters’ claims, specifically their Suspension Pay scheme – compensating Subpostmasters for being unfairly suspended without pay.

    Within hours of Trotter telling the Inquiry he was back at the Post Office, I received an email from the wife of a former Subpostmaster who was suspended without pay. She told me “This man [Trotter] suspended my husband, who ultimately had his employment withdrawn. How can we or others get a fair hearing under this scheme?”

    I asked if they had applied to the scheme. She told me:

    “We don’t know what to do yet… it’s like entering a nest of vipers.”

    I asked the Post Office if Mr Trotter’s ignorance of Horizon issues (and tech in general) and his apparent bias towards his employer made him suitable to help the Post Office make decisions about compensation. And I asked specifically about the obvious potential conflict of interest which could arise if he is adjudicating on cases he had an active role in.

    The Post Office said:

    It’s for the Inquiry to independently reach conclusions in due course on all the matters it is examining. We are participating fully in the Inquiry. It would not be fair or appropriate to comment about individual witnesses.

    As this didn’t make any sense, I had another go. The Post Office said:

    We are committed to fair compensation for Postmasters affected by the scandal. We are continuing to make offers and payments every week, whilst also providing independent ways in which Postmasters can raise disputes or concerns.

    Mark Baker, a former CWU Postmaster rep said on twitter:

    I only had dealings with [Trotter] once. I took an instant dislike to him. He treated Scotland like his personal mafia territory he didn’t like it when the CWU rocked up to defend a Postmaster. He is also a serial witness for the Post Office. He has produced witness statements in the Horizon litigation, the Group Employment Tribunal claim and now the Horizon Inquiry. Each time seeking to show his employer in the best possible light.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • The Ismay Report

    Rod Ismay

    This is Rod Ismay. In 2010 he wrote what has become known as the Ismay Report. It was written as an internal Post Office response to the formation of the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance, the questions raised by MPs about the Horizon IT system and the first journalistic investigation into the Post Office’s wild, decade-long prosecution spree.

    The Ismay Report only became public in 2021, during the Court of Appeal proceedings, which eventually saw 39 Subpostmasters have their convictions quashed. I cannot understand why it was not disclosed during Bates v Post Office at the High Court in 2018 or 2019.

    In the report, Mr Ismay asserts the Horizon IT system is “robust”. He concludes any independent investigation into Horizon would be “to comfort others” and warns:

    It is also important to be crystal clear about any review if one were commissioned – any investigation would need to be disclosed in court… any perception that POL [Post Office Ltd] doubts its own systems would mean that all criminal prosecutions would have to be stayed. It would also beg a question for the Court of Appeal over past prosecutions and imprisonments.

    This, I believe, is one of the most egregious sentences written by anyone in authority in the entire Post Office scandal. Ismay is essentially warning the Post Office that setting off on a path of action may lead to the discovery that innocent people might have been given criminal convictions.

    The Post Office heeded Ismay’s warning. When I contacted the former managing director of the Post Office, Dave Smith, who received the Ismay report in 2010, he told me:

    I do not remember the [report] nor do i have access to my response to it or more widely relevant material such as the Main Board papers and minutes from that time.

    As such i am unable to comment directly on what actually happened but do note from the extract sent by you that the conclusion at the time was that the system was robust.

    It is of course a matter of personal regret that in the subsequent ten years the veracity of the system has been questioned and that this appears from news reports to have resulted in a number of potentially unsafe convictions.

    Please find below the Ismay Report to the Post Office senior management team, dated 2 August 2010.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • Andrew Winn: the Over-promoted Postie

    Andrew Winn

    I first became fascinated by the Post Office’s willingness to place loyalty and length of service over ability in 2018 at the Bates v Post Office litigation at the High Court.

    During the litigation’s first trial, a succession of Post Office witnesses took the stand. Some were sharp, some were the dimmest of dim bulbs, but all had one thing in common – the extraordinarily long amount of time they had been working for the Post Office. The smallest period of unbroken service was ten years. The longest nearly forty. Almost all had worked their way up after joining the Post Office either as a counter clerk or postman.

    Andrew Winn, who gave evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry on Friday 3 March 2023 started at Royal Mail in 1996 as a part-time postman, briefly moving to Parcelforce (part of the Royal Mail Group), before switching to the Post Office in 2001.

    By 2008, Winn somehow found himself a senior middle manager within a department called Product and Branch Accounting (P&BA). He reported to Rod Ismay, author of 2010’s infamous Ismay Report.

    Before P&BA, Winn worked in the Post Office’s problem management team, which he described as:

    a response to basically the Post Office moving onto an IT-type platform… the concept was that anybody within the Post Office who got a problem [including Subpostmasters] reported it to the problem management team… the problem management team managed the problem in terms of making sure the relevant people were involved in correcting the problem, rather than actually resolving the problem themselves, which I found a difficult concept to deal with.

    During his evidence on Friday, Winn was asked if his P&BA role required knowledge of and understanding of the operation of the Horizon System. He replied: “Yes, but I didn’t have knowledge of the Horizon System. So I would have said I was a bad placement into that role.”

    Asked how he got the job, Winn told the Inquiry:

    that’s probably one for the people that were interviewing, rather than – in fact, I don’t think there was an interview for that.  I think I was placed in there.  So that was more probably a case of Alison Bolsover, or whoever within P&BA, talking to my manager in the reporting team at the time and seeing how the fit went, after I said I’d expressed an interest in the role.

    When counsel to the Inquiry, Jason Beer KC, wondered what gave him the edge over other potential candidates, Winn replied that it was probably due to “a lack of competition”, telling Beer: “there was very few people within the Post Office who’d got much IT knowledge, to be frank.”

    Seema Misra

    The Prosecution of Seema Misra

    Andrew Winn is a man of interest for many reasons (and I would recommend watching or reading his evidence in full), not least because he was present at a joint meeting between the Post Office and Fujitsu likely held in late September or early October 2010, to discuss a bug in Horizon.

    The bug was known as the Receipts and Payments mismatch bug, which had caused discrepancies in Postmaster accounts. The meeting was held shortly before the trial of Seema Misra, a Postmaster from West Byfleet in Surrey. Mrs Misra claimed the £74,000 hole in her accounts was due to the Horizon computer system.

    The minutes of this meeting noted the discussions around fixing the discrepancies and how sensitive the whole issue was, given the “ongoing legal cases where branches are disputing the integrity of Horizon data”.

    Mr Winn was taken to a request which reached him via the Post Office legal team in July 2010. Seema Misra’s representatives had asked the Post Office for access to the Horizon system:

    in the Midlands where it appears there are live, reproducible errors, access to the operations at Chesterfield to understand how reconciliation and transaction corrections are dealt with, access to the system change requests, Known Error Log and new release documentation to understand what problems have had to be fixed.

    At the time, Winn replied to his colleagues:

    Rod Ismay the head of P&BA is not happy at the prospect of an open-ended invite. He has asked the question of what are the legal parameters we are working within. Simplistically if we refuse or impose conditions do we lose the case? I think we need more guidance on how something like this might reasonably operate.

    An update to the disclosure request came in September 2010, either just before or just after the Receipts and Payments mismatch meeting. In an internal email, a Post Office member of staff wrote:

    Rod Ismay

    This was discussed by Andy Winn/Rod Ismay. I have today spoken with Andy Winn and he has informed me that Rod had made a decision to not allow this. Therefore could you please update me with the latest progress on the case.

    Painfully slowly, Jason Beer sought and received confirmation that the “open” and “honest” thing to do would have been to say:

    Look, there’s someone on trial for a very serious crime here based on data produced by Horizon. She’s alleging that the data’s not accurate. We know that the data produced by Horizon may not be accurate. We need to find out a way of ensuring that she knows what we know.

    Winn struggled to explain why this did not happen, telling Beer:

    I’ve got to say that I didn’t put up any impassioned disagreement with Rod. I accepted that he took a considered view of things and he was my boss and, yes, I didn’t put up a fight.

    Winn was asked if the disclosure request was on his mind when he attended the Receipts and Payments mismatch meeting with Fujitsu. “No”, he answered. Beer reminded him that the specific issue of court cases was raised during the meeting. He asked if there was any reference to Seema Misra during the meeting.

    “I don’t recall,” said Winn. “I don’t recall that case being raised.”

    Mr Beer suggested the general tone of the Post Office’s communications around this period appeared to be: “we can’t disclose material that might undermine our system, even if the system is, in fact, faulty.”

    Winn called this a “fair summation”.

    Twitter’s “Malcolm V Tucker” (not, I suspect, their real name) posted on Friday that they had been watching Winn’s evidence in the office, and wrote:

    My co-worker who only knows the outline of the PO story kept giving me looks that varied from incredulity to mirth, to outright anger at his performance. For any time you’ve wondered how institutional evil has occurred, this is your explainer.

    In October 2010, after repeated failed attempts by her legal team to get the disclosure they were asking for, Seema Misra was found guilty of theft by a jury at Guildford Crown Court. In November 2010, on her son’s tenth birthday, Seema was sent to prison. It took eleven years for her conviction to be overturned by the Court of Appeal.

    Rod Ismay currently works as Director of Finance and Estates at Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield. He appears to be a religious man, and well known in the York Diocese, where he served as Interim Finance Manager in 2018.

    Ismay has not given evidence to the inquiry yet, nor do we know if he is under police investigation.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • Post Office v Castleton – a second category Abuse of Process?

    Lee Castleton

    An extraordinary piece of evidence has been raised at the Post Office Horizon Inquiry. It came during the day long car crash which was Andrew Winn’s testimony.

    Winn was a hopelessly over-promoted former postie who eventually fetched up reporting to the Post Office’s Head of Product and Branch Accounting, Rod Ismay (author of the infamous Ismay report).

    Winn admitted he was completely unsuitable for the role he found himself in, which required a detailed knowledge of the Horizon IT system (he had almost none).

    More on Mr Winn here. I want to draw your attention to a document mentioned by Flora Page, barrister for several Postmasters, towards the end of Mr Winn’s evidence. It concerns Lee Castleton, who in 2007 was taken to the High Court by the Post Office and bankrupted.

    In 2003, Lee was the Subpostmaster at East Bridlington Post Office in Yorkshire. He had served in the RAF and worked briefly in the City of London as a stockbroker. He was comfortable with numbers. 

    Lee had invested his savings in the Post Office business and, with his wife and young family, was making a go of it. Over a twelve week period starting in January 2004, the Horizon system at East Bridlington went haywire, randomly chalking up negative discrepancies in the thousands. Whilst this was happening, Lee repeatedly asked the Post Office for help, complaining that his Horizon system was malfunctioning. None was forthcoming. On 23 March 2004, there was an audit. A discrepancy of £22,963.34 was found. The branch was closed, Lee was suspended, and he was told to repay the discrepancy under the terms of his contract.

    Going to Court

    Lee refused. He did not see why he should hand over £22,963.34 of his own money to fill a computer-generated hole in his branch accounts. The Post Office sacked Lee and sued him in the civil courts. On the appointed day at Scarborough County Court, Lee arrived, prepped and ready, with his legal advisor. The Post Office didn’t show. The judge dismissed the case and awarded Lee damages on his counter-claim.

    After months of silence, the Post Office re-raised their case at the High Court. We have not, until yesterday, had any unequivocal understanding as to why. Lee had no income, and no assets, save the now closed Post Office and his mortgaged home above it.

    Bringing a case at the High Court is astronomically expensive. There was no way the Post Office would recover their costs from a penniless former Subpostmaster.

    By this stage, Lee had run out of legal insurance. He defended himself, and lost on the basis he had signed for his accounts and therefore legally accepted responsibility for them, even whilst challenging the alleged debt. 

    The judge also took evidence from Anne Chambers, a Fujitsu engineer (currently under police investigation). The judge accepted her evidence and ruled:

    the logic of the system is correct, the conclusion is inescapable that the Horizon system was working properly in all material respects, and that the shortfall of £22,963.34 is real, not illusory.

    par 11, Post Office Ltd v Castleton [2007] EWHC 5 (QB) (22 January 2007)

    Lee Castleton’s name forms the opening two words to Rebecca Thomson’s groundbreaking investigation into the Post Office Horizon IT system for Computer Weekly. He is a heroic campaigner, and was one of the 555 Subpostmasters who took the Post Office to court in Bates v Post Office. Due to his experience of being bankrupted, Lee has not received anything like the compensation he is due. It is only this month he will be able to apply for compensation under the government’s new GLO scheme for Postmasters.

    Sending a Clear Message

    It has long being suspected that the Post Office took Lee to the High Court to make an example of him. On Friday we got the first hint that documentary evidence exists to support this suspicion.

    Mr Winn had spent much of the day being questioned by the lead barrister to the Inquiry, Jason Beer KC. At the end of his evidence, Flora Page had the opportunity to ask him a few questions.

    During this, Page said:

    What we now know from documents in this Inquiry… is that there was a clear intent on the part of the Post Office, with legal advice, to pursue the claim: “not to make a net financial recovery but to defend the Horizon System and hopefully send a clear message to other SPMs that the PO will take a firm line and to deter others from raising similar allegations.”

    The document Ms Page was referring to was not placed (at her request) on the inquiry screens, but it appears to suggest that the widely-held suspicion is correct. The Post Office ruined Lee Castleton pour encourager les autres. Not to recover the £22,963.34 they said he owed them.

    Of course, the judgment could have gone against the Post Office. Lee, representing himself, could have persuaded the judge that Horizon was not working properly and that he did not owe the Post Office any money, but His Honour Judge Richard Havery QC was having none of it.

    The testimony of witnesses Lee found who gave examples of Horizon going wrong were dismissed. Anne Chambers, the Fujitsu expert witness who told the judge there was nothing wrong with Horizon at Lee’s branch, was believed. This, as we now know, was incorrect. The inquiry is bringing to light a significant amount of evidence to suggest that even in 2007, the Post Office knew it was incorrect too. More on that to come, no doubt.

    If you’d like to read more about Mr Castleton’s case, do have a look at Paul Marshall’s careful evisceration of HHJ Havery’s judgment in his lengthy, but excellent essay The Harm That Judges Do.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • Pushing the Neidle: “Don’t pay the tax now. Don’t take any step now, because I think there will be an exemption”

    Dan Neidle

    Nadhim Zahawi’s nemesis Dan Neidle, founder of Tax Policy Associates very kindly gave his time to appear on the latest episode of Investigating the Post Office Scandal.

    Dan got involved in this story after reading Tom Witherow’s 16 Feb article about Francis Duff in the Daily Mail. Mr Duff, a former Postmaster, was awarded £330,000 by the Post Office’s Historical Shortfall Scheme. No sooner had he received the offer, he was told that £251,359 would be taken from him to resolve his bankruptcy and a further £71,533 would be recouped by HMRC in tax, leaving the 80 year old Mr Duff around £8,000. Mr Duff, who lost his business, his marriage and his reputation as a result of the Post Office’s action, told the Daily Mail that he had been “shafted twice”.

    Traction Dan

    Tom’s article sparked outrage. When Dan saw the tax sum being claimed by HMRC he decided to get involved. He posted an article on 19 Feb on his website detailing all the instances where the Post Office’s Historical Shortfall Scheme was “misleading” and “unjust” and could lead to “unconscionable” outcomes. He proposed an obvious solution – make all the Postmaster compensation schemes exempt of tax.

    Dan’s piece got traction. The minister for Postal Affairs, Kevin Hollinrake, tweeted that he was “working on a solution”. As if by magic, on 21 Feb, a new law appeared on the government website stating that compensation for two groups of Subpostmasters would not be taxed. But what about the Historical Shortfall Scheme? Dan ramped up the pressure with an op-ed in The Times, published on Saturday 25 Feb. And then yesterday (Mon 27 Feb) on the same morning the Post Office wrote a letter of response to Dan’s column in the Times, we recorded Episode 28 of the ItPOS podcast.

    Not holding back

    In our interview Dan wants to know why HSS compensation for Subpostmasters was not assessed according to the Gourley principle, which ensures that when compensation is being assessed, enough is calculated to cover the liabilities which occur when a large lump sum payout catapults you into a higher tax bracket. Dan had no idea why this was not part of the Post Office’s original thinking. He also said the Post Office “actively misled” recipients of large amounts of compensation with their “boilerplate” terms and conditions.

    The Post Office has said, as of Monday, that:

    Together with the government we are looking at the tax implications so that we can identify whether any unfairness exists and if so what action could be taken.

    Dan describes this as:

    “not good enough… it took me and my volunteer team one or two days to spot the problem. They’ve now had almost two weeks, and these aren’t ‘passive tense’ unfairnesses. They’re the results of actions by the Post Office.”

    Dan believes the government is going to “do the right thing”, and sort this out, partly because, as he says, “this is not a subtle point.” He adds:

    “There is an urgency here. The urgency is we need to stop people receiving settlements that are misleading and wrong. And we need to stop people making potentially irrevocable decisions with their money because they don’t realise they are taxed.”

    Don’t pay any tax until this is resolved

    Dan is recommending that HSS and Suspension Pay scheme* compensation recipients should not pay any tax they are told is due on their settlements immediately and wait to see what happens. He is confident the situation will be resolved, probably by statutory instrument.

    “This isn’t advice but it kind of is,” he said. “Don’t pay the tax now. Don’t take any step now, because I think there will be an exemption.”

    I admire Dan’s faith in the system to correct itself. Nothing I have seen suggests the Post Office or the government are planning to remove the tax liabilities from the HSS or the Suspension Pay scheme.

    I might be wrong. To get to the bottom of it I asked if the Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake might be available for an interview (at his convenience) at some point over the next two or three weeks. His office declined.

    The final insult

    Looked at in the round, the HSS is so evidently problematic I suspect it is only a matter of time before the statutory inquiry into the Post Office deems it unfair. If that happens I suspect the government will be forced to intervene, whether they are currently minded to or not.

    From what the Postmasters and their legal representatives have been saying for months now, the HSS either has been designed to be unfair, or was so badly designed and executed it is delivering patently unfair results (and doing so very, very slowly). The HSS is, in effect, the Post Office’s final insult to many of its victims, and Dan’s work has highlighted another facet of that.

    If you have a moment, do listen to the podcast. We spend the first half talking about more general stuff, including the Nadhim Zahawi story before we switch to covering the Post Office situation about half way through.

    * For postmasters who were historically, and unfairly, suspended without pay.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • Inquiry re-start preview

    Davinder and Seema Misra with Richard Roll

    Part 2 of Phase 3 of the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry gets underway today. There will be three more weeks of evidence before another break until May, punctuated by another compensation hearing on 27 April.

    There are going to be some intriguing witnesses over the next three weeks. I have picked out a few.

    Richard Roll – Thu 9 March

    Richard Roll is something of a hero of this story and gets chapter to himself in my book. He is the Fujitsu whistleblower who appeared on our first Panorama programme and subsequently became a star witness in the Horizon Issues trial during Bates v Post Office. During the trial, Roll was subjected to a lengthy cross-examination by the Post Office. Everything from his experience, level of seniority and quality of recollection was rigorously challenged. In his judgment, Mr Justice Fraser, said:

    “Mr Roll’s evidence was supportive of the claimants’ case and it was necessary for the Post Office to render his evidence unreliable, insofar as they could, in order to damage the claimants’ case and bolster their own. In my judgment, this the Post Office failed to do.”

    par 184, Judgment (No.6) “Horizon Issues”, Bates and others v Post Office

    The judge described Roll as a “reliable and helpful witness” whose evidence was “very important”, particularly when it came to laying bare the scale of remote access Fujitsu had when it came to delving into Subpostmaster accounts. Although I have interviewed Richard a number of times and was in court to watch him on the stand in the Horizon trial, it’s going to be very interesting to hear what evidence the inquiry will seek now it has the opportunity.

    Andrew Winn – Fri 3 March

    Andrew Winn also appears in the Horizon Issues judgment and my book. He was a senior Post Office exec who was tangentially involved in Pam Stubbs’ case and was also present at the infamous joint Fujitsu/Post Office meeting to discuss a serious bug in Horizon a month before Seema Misra’s trial (see Paul Marshall’s submission to the inquiry on that matter here). Winn was criticised by Mr Justice Fraser for his lack of interest in Subpostmaster concerns, closing an internal query over one problem with the dismissive:

    “My instinct is that we have enough on with people asking us to look at things.”

    par 218, Judgment (No.6) “Horizon Issues”, Bates and others v Post Office

    Winn was in post when the Post Office knew it had problems with Horizon, a campaign group had been set up to raise awareness of problems and whilst the Post Office prosecuting frenzy was at its height. His evidence could be newsworthy.

    Andy Dunks – Wed 8 March

    Andy Dunks used to be an Information Technology Security Analyst at Fujitsu. He was a witness in the Horizon Issues trial and provided a witness statement in the prosecution of former Subpostmaster Sarah Burgess-Boyde in 2010. Mr Justice Fraser found that Dunks “expressly sought to mislead” him in court, which is serious.

    The context was specifically to do with the boilerplate witness statements produced by Fujitsu to aid Post Office prosecutions. Fraser said:

    Mr Dunks expressly sought to mislead me by stating that there was no “Fujitsu party line” when it came to the contents of drafting witness statements about audit records for legal proceedings. There plainly is; it was used in the Fujitsu statements in 2010 and it was used by him in his statement for the Horizon Issues trial.

    par 294, Judgment (No.6) “Horizon Issues”, Bates and others v Post Office

    I wonder what he’ll come up with when it comes to giving evidence, again under oath, to the Inquiry.

    Brian Trotter – Thu 2 March

    Brian Trotter was a Post Office witness in the first Bates v Post Office trial – held at the latter end of 2018. Under cross-examination Trotter accepted a key part of his witness statement was wrong and that he knew it was wrong. When asked if he wanted to correct the wrong impression it gave, he replied “No”. The Post Office’s written closing at the end of the trial did not mention him once, which is telling. As a former contracts manager, Trotter was responsible for suspending and ultimately ruining at least one Subpostmaster. In his Common Issues trial judgment, Mr Justice Fraser wrote that Trotter:

    “was accused of being evasive in some of his answers. I do not accept that he was being evasive, but he certainly seemed extremely nervous about giving evidence before me that he thought might be unhelpful to the Post Office.”

    par 534, Judgment (No.3) “Common Issues”, Bates and others v Post Office

    I hope that by 2 March, that nervousness has gone.

    You can read the full list of confirmed witnesses on the Inquiry website here.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.

  • Isabella Wall

    Isabella Wall

    I was contacted by Gavin Wall in September last year in my role as a trustee of the Horizon Scandal Fund. Gavin’s mum Isabella had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Isabella was one of the 555 litigants who took the Post Office to court and won in 2019. The fund provided some financial help to Isabella, but shortly before Christmas Gavin wrote to let us know his mum had sadly died. I asked Gavin if he would consider posting a tribute on this website. It follows below:

    Isabella Wall passed away peacefully on 19 December 2022 after a short but brave battle with Motor Neurone Disease.  

    Isabella was the former Subpostmistress of Bowness Road Post Office, Barrow-in-Furness from 1995 to 2012.  It was a role she loved dearly for 22 years, acting as the focal point for her local community, despite things ending not the way she wanted. 

    Isabella was dismissed from her position after several interrogations without legal representation, losing her role and livelihood as a result. 

    No charges were brought, but as the Post Office’s Horizon IT system showed inaccuracies in her accounts she was deemed unfit to run the branch. Her career destroyed, Isabella was plunged into debt, permanently damaging her mental health. Unfortunately Isabella did not live to receive an official apology from the UK Government nor receive long overdue compensation from the Post Office.

    Her family would like to thank Computer Weekly, Alan Bates, Kay and all at the JFSA campaign, Imogen at Freeths solicitors for going above and beyond to support, Dominic Curran at Howe and Co, Simon Fell MP, the Horizon Scandal Fund charity and all subpostmasters and their families affected by this travesty of justice. 

    Donations to the Motor Neurone Disease Association (https://isabellawall.muchloved.com/) to fund much needed research into this underfunded and devasting disease would be greatly appreciated by the family.  

  • Altman General Review finally published

    Brian Altman KC

    On Friday, a key document in understanding the Post Office scandal was brought to the surface. It is the 15 October 2013 General Review into the Post Office’s past prosecutions and future prosecution policy, written by Brian Altman KC.

    The Review came up almost in passing during former Post Office auditor Chris Gilding’s evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry*.

    As soon as it had been mentioned, I asked the inquiry to publish the Review, which they kindly did. I have published a searchable version of the Review below this blog post.

    What’s the Review about?

    Brian Altman KC represented the Post Office in Hamilton v Post Office at the Court of Appeal in 2020/2021, after which 39 Postmasters had their convictions quashed. He also advised the Post Office on multiple occasions during 2013 about their prosecutions of Subpostmasters. 

    This Review and his other Advices are crucial to this story, given Altman’s expertise and seniority. He was First Senior Treasury Counsel – the country’s top prosecutor – from 2010 to May 2013. The Post Office has repeatedly refused to give me the Altman advices on the grounds of privilege. This is the first time this document has been put in the public domain, though it has been quoted from in published submissions to the Inquiry by Subpostmasters representatives.

    In his General Review, Altman writes: ‘The Post Office Ltd (“POL”) has commissioned me to review past practice and make recommendations as to the future approach to the conduct of prosecutions.’

    Altman’s terms of reference came from Bond Dickinson LLP, later Womble Bond Dickinson, the firm of solicitors who represented the Post Office so disastrously during the Bates v Post Office civil litigation. Part of those instructions to Altman include ‘Meeting/Reporting to the Post Office Audit Committee/Board.’

    Context: the Second Sight interim report and the first Clarke Advice

    The reason for the Review can be traced back to Second Sight’s Interim Report dated 8 July 2013. Second Sight are a company run by Ron Warmington and Ian Henderson. They were invited to investigate the complaints of former Subpostmasters about the Post Office Horizon IT system. Their investigation was paid for by the Post Office, but instigated by senior MPs and the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance. The interim report was signed off by both the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance and the Post Office and published on the Post Office website. Here is what I had to say about it at the time. I have published the Interim Report below this blog post as I can no longer find it on the Post Office website.

    The most important thing in the Second Sight report was the revelation that two IT bugs in the Horizon system had caused problems with account balances. Although the report didn’t say it, this information had come from Gareth Jenkins, the Horizon system architect who worked at Fujitsu, which designed, maintained and operated the Horizon system as part of an outsourcing deal with the Post Office.

    On reading Second Sight’s interim report, the barrister Simon Clarke, who was prosecuting Subpostmasters for the Post Office at his firm Cartwright King, raised the alarm. He halted several prosecutions and instigated an immediate review. He discovered Jenkins was the source for Second Sight’s information. The Post Office had been prosecuting Subpostmasters for theft, false accounting and fraud on the basis of Horizon data. Now a formal report had been produced which suggested the data might not be sound. Clarke was concerned there was the slightest possibility that Postmasters might have been given criminal records on the basis of potentially flawed data.

    Clarke was asked by the Post Office for advice. On 15 July, after a brief investigation, he delivered his advice. All prosecutions by the Post Office needed to be reviewed, and Gareth Jenkins, who had been used as an expert witness by the Post Office, should never be allowed near a witness box again.

    The Post Office asked Cartwright King to start reviewing prosecutions dating back to 1 Jan 2010 (the date at which a new version of Horizon (Horizon Online or HOL or HNG-X) began rollout. This became known as the Cartwright King Sift Review. The parameters for the review have not yet been made public (though they are discussed in the Altman Review). They were essentially to decide if any of the people whose cases had been reviewed should be alerted to problems with Horizon. This would be done by giving them Second Sight’s Interim Report and a document called the Helen Rose report, both of which describe accounting error bugs within Horizon, which may not be obvious to the user. The Helen Rose report eventually surfaced during Bates v Post Office. I published it here.

    What’s in Altman’s Review?

    Brian Altman was brought in by the Post Office to oversee the Sift Review and basically check Cartwright King was doing the right thing in the right way. Shortly after being instructed, Altman handed the Post Office an Interim Review on 2 August 2013. This has not yet been made public.

    The General Review of October 2013 essentially reviews the Cartwright King Sift Review. Altman notes he has met with the Post Office’s in-house legal team, led by Susan Crichton with Rodric Williams and Jarnail Singh in tow (again, all familiar names to those following this disaster). Altman also met with Simon Clarke, Harry Bowyer and their team at Cartwright King. He also saw Andy Parsons at Bond Dickinson (Parsons is a familiar name to those who followed Bates v Post Office – he submitted more than a dozen witness statements to the litigation).

    Altman’s initial conclusion was that reviewing prosecutions from 1 Jan 2010 was ‘logical, proportionate and practicable’. That in itself is a contentious point. Altman’s Review notes the date was settled on by Simon Clarke (despite his initial advice demanding all Post Office prosecutions be reviewed) for reasons of ‘proportionality, resourcing, transparency and POL’s reputation’. Hmm. Not sure any thought should be given to reputation if you’re considering whether or not you might have sent innocent people to prison. As it turns out, pre-2010 cases very much should have been reviewed.

    Conflicts of Interest

    Altman also wonders about the wisdom of Cartwright King reviewing their own prosecutions. He spends several paragraphs setting out his recommendations to ensure that no CK lawyer involved in deciding a case for prosecution should be involved in reviewing it for post-prosecution disclosure. Altman also addresses the potential for Cartwright King’s commercial conflict of interest ‘given CK’s professional relationship with POL and the fact that the very counsel and solicitors making decisions about POL cases are those who rely on CK and POL for this work.’

    Altman decides there is no case to answer having ‘seen no evidence other than a professional and independent approach to this review.’

    Given how alive Altman was to potential conflicts of interest in 2013 it would be interesting to know what consideration he gave to his own potential conflicts of interest in representing the Post Office at the Court of Appeal in Hamilton, where he was essentially defending actions made on his advice in 2013 (and again, as it transpired, in 2016).

    Richard Moorhead, Professor of Legal Ethics at Exeter University has addressed this point before. In his post ‘Independence, a particular professional blindspot‘, Moorhead wonders whether Altman ‘was sufficiently independent to advise and represent in the Hamilton appeals. It adds weight to concerns about the extent to which Altman’s prior involvement in the Post Office case was understood and candidly disclosed before the Court of Appeal in the Hamilton case.’

    I have asked Mr Altman if he considered a potential conflict of interest and whether he took advice on the matter. He hasn’t responded.

    The case reviews themselves

    Altman tots up the reviews already completed and notes a) the numbers don’t add up and b) disclosure has been advised in nine cases already. The former is obviously a concern to Altman, who says ‘the statistical picture is confusing and I have been unable to reconcile the number of cases reviewed by CK with those seen by me. This needs rectification, if CK’s audit trail is to be robust.’

    The latter – a minimum of nine post-2010 cases passing the disclosure test – should be a red flag, but it passes without comment.

    Altman has plenty more to say about about the forthcoming (and ultimately doomed) Subpostmaster Complaint and Mediation scheme, not least the ‘real dangers’ of letting those with convictions onto the scheme. He notes that Sir Anthony Hooper, the retired Court of Appeal judge hired to oversee the scheme’s working group had ‘suggested (quite firmly) that it might be more appropriate for cases that have been through the courts to be referred to the CCRC [Criminal Cases Review Commission] rather than go through the mediation scheme.’

    It turns out that, despite advice, the Post Office had made a policy decision to allow convicted Subpostmasters onto the scheme in order to try to stay in control of the process. If the CCRC took over, the Post Office would have no say in the outcome of any CCRC’s decisions. They would be unable to keep the lid on a brewing scandal. As Altman says ‘If a policy decision has been taken to permit those convicted of crime against POL to participate in the mediation process, then there is no case to refer convicted cases wishing to engage in mediation to the CCRC.’

    I wonder whose fingerprints at the Post Office were on that?

    Simon Clarke

    The Shredding Advice

    On 2 August 2013, less than a month after Simon Clarke issued his initial advice, he was forced to issue another, now known as the Shredding Advice.

    Clarke described a weekly conference call which had been set up (in the light of his first advice) between Fujitsu, the Post Office and lawyers involved in prosecuting Subpostmasters to discuss issues with Horizon and how they might impact on future prosecutions.

    Clarke reported: ‘The minutes of a previous conference call had been typed and emailed to a number of persons. An instruction was then given that those emails and minutes should be, and have been, destroyed: the word “shredded” was conveyed to me.’ (You can read the full Shredding Advice here).

    Altman addresses this in his Review, though is never so vulgar as to use the word shredded. Instead he chooses to say:

    ‘early teething and “cultural” problems arose as highlighted in Simon Clarke’s 2 August 2013 Advice, and indeed to me in Harry Bowyer’s response to my interim review’

    If the shredding of documents was recognised a ‘cultural’ problem within the Post Office (or those dealing with it) in 2013, it suggests the Post Office was already a rogue outfit with some genuine rot at its core. Should it be investigated?

    Funny you should ask. This month marks the third anniversary of the criminal inquiry by the Met Police into Post Office and Fujitsu staff (hi Operation Olympos!) As yet no arrests have been made.

    How many more bugs?

    In his Review, Altman doesn’t seem to express any curiosity about any other potential bugs in Horizon beyond those brought to light by the Second Sight and Rose reports. The obvious questions for any Post Office board/Audit and Risk Committee member reading the Review is how many bugs are there or have there been within the system since its inception and what implications do they have for all Post Office prosecutions? It is a question it seems both Altman and the Post Office deliberately chose not to ask.

    It is my understanding that Brian Altman is one of the barristers who has been referred to the Bar Standards Board for investigation over the Post Office Horizon scandal. The BSB was recently found to have improperly paused its investigation into Altman et al by the Legal Services Board.

    My work on the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry is crowdfunded. If you’d like to contribute, please click on the widget you should be seeing to the right of this text (or below if you’re reading it on a mobile). To find out more before donating, please go to my tip jar web page. All contributors will be added to the ‘secret’ email newsletter, which offers irregular, and at times, irreverent insight into the machinations of the inquiry and the wider scandal.



Amanda Burton Andrew Winn Bates v Post Office Bonusgate Clarke Advice Detica Disclosure Double-entry accounting Edward Henry KC Eleanor Shaikh False Accounts Fraser Fujitsu Government Grabiner HCAB High Court Horizon Inquiry Janet Skinner Jarnail Singh Kevin Hollinrake Lee Castleton Lord Arbuthnot Nicki Arch Nick Read Noel Thomas Outcasts Creative Paula Vennells Paul Marshall Post Office Racist document Rebecca Thomson Receipts and Payments mismatch bug Richard Moorhead Richard Roll Rob Wilson Rod Ismay Seema Misra Sian Thomas Suspense accounts Swift Review Tracy Felstead Wendy Buffrey Womble Bond Dickinson

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