Secret email about the Post Office Scandal. Shh!

Professor Moorhead calls for Bar Standards Board investigation into barrister evidence, plus…

Shaikh-ing things up!

Eleanor Shaikh


I’m delighted to tell you that Eleanor Shaikh, who will be well known to many of you, has agreed to join the board of trustees at the Horizon Scandal Fund.

If you don’t know who Eleanor is or what the Horizon Scandal Fund does, please click here for the full press release. It’s great to have El on board. I am sure we will be able to help more people as a result of her dynamism and general brilliance.

As the press release states the Fund has so far disbursed £36,487 to people with varying degrees and types of need. I very much hope I will be able to tell you a little bit more about how we have helped by the end of this week.

Tatford in trouble

Professor Moorhead has done another rather elegant demolition job on barrister Warwick Tatford’s evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry. Tatford prosecuted Seema Misra on behalf of the Post Office. I sadly only got round to watching a small chunk of his evidence to the Inquiry on 15 November. I am glad Prof Moorhead has had the chance to look at it closely.

The responses drawn out of Tatford by Jason Beer KC were valuable, and, as Prof Moorhead explains, damning. It shows how valuable oral evidence can be – whether in court or at an inquiry. At the end of his piece Moorhead writes that Tatford: “does not appear to have appreciated until during his oral evidence the full the extent to which is behaviour showed an apparent lack of proper care, competence, and prosecutorial fairness. It will be very interesting to see how the Bar Standards Board reacts. I would say, an investigation is a must and disciplinary proceedings likely.”

I found myself feeling vaguely sorry for Tatford. Whereas a lot of the Post Office witnesses have been guarded and defensive to the point of being obtuse, Tatford clearly wanted to help and wanted to learn. In doing so he learned that he may well have made several career-limiting admissions.

You might say – so what, he should have been thinking more about his actions when helping send an innocent woman to prison – but I feel he deserves credit for his candour, when compared to the “I can’t recall” merchants at the Post Office like Mandy Talbot and John Scott. In a system which does not reward honesty, bad actors can get away with murder.

Oglesby’s Magic Signature

Cath Ogelsby dialled in remotely to the Inquiry

I feel a little embarrassed plugging my latest blog post after reading Richard Moorhead’s as it is not in the same league, but I would like to humbly draw your attention to a post I put up earlier this week.

It concerns the evidence of Cath Oglesby, the Post Office Area Manager who took the decision to sack Lee Castleton because the Post Office either didn’t know, or couldn’t be bothered to find out what was happening to the Horizon system at Lee’s branch.

I became a little distracted by her various attempts to impute meaning into a signature which didn’t quite connect with reality. Given Lee lost his case on the fact he had signed for (and therefore taken legal ownerhsip of) his accounts, it struck me as quite important.

If you want to get my blog posts as soon they are published, please do put your email address in the sign-up box which appears on most pages of the Post Office Scandal website (eg this one).

I didn’t want to send you yet another newsletter alerting you to it at the time as I don’t want to overload you with emails, even though there’s a lot going on at the moment. By being signed up to email alerts about the blog posts you’ll get them whilst they are still warm.

The Law Gazette go gets ’em

The Law Society Gazette has revealed the Post Office has spent more than £24m on its disclosure obligations to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

It does not appear to be money well spent, given Eleanor Shaikh was working for free when she dug out the infamous racist ID codes document which the Post Office should have given to the Inquiry, but didn’t.

Eleanor’s efforts ended up revealing significant shortcomings in the Post Office’s disclosure process and the subsequent discovery of thousands more documents which the Inquiry should have seen. Well done to John Hyde at the Law Society Gazette for putting a figure on the costs so far.

Incidentally, the money the Post Office is spending on lawyers working on the Inquiry, disclosure and various compensation schemes comes from the same pot as the actual compensation itself – the billion-plus quid set aside by the Treasury at the end of 2021.

Two new theatre dates confirmed

I have added two new dates to the 2024 “tour” I’m doing called “Post Office Scandal – the Inside Story“. If you live near Theatre Severn in Shropshire or the Hailsham Pavilion in East Sussex, please do come along and say hello. Tim Brentnall has kindly agreed to be the guest speaker at the Theatre Severn, and I have asked a very good speaker to join me in Hailsham, who I hope will confirm shortly. Do have a look at the Live Events page on the Post Office Scandal website for more details.

I think we have just one more date to confirm and then the tour will be complete. I’ll be doing some press about it in the New Year, so if you want to ensure you’ve got good tickets, please buy them now. They might also make a, er, thoughtful Christmas present for someone who is interested in this story!


Thanks very much to everyone who has signed up to the secret email over the past few days. I hope you’re finding it useful. Hopefully I’ll have another for you by the weekend at the latest.

Very best


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