Criminal conspiracy: slowly joining the dots

A throwaway line in a piece of oral evidence at the Horizon IT inquiry yesterday may have revealed more about the cover-up which some are now openly calling a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice at the Post Office.

The evidence came from Dave Pardoe, a former Senior Security Manager, invested with the power to sign off on Subpostmaster prosecutions.

Pardoe’s evidence followed a familiar line – that Post Office investigators were told they shouldn’t consider Horizon as the source of a discrepancy at a branch. Then he said:

“There was a persistent sentiment that the system was fit for purpose. I was never in a meeting when it was discussed with me the concept of putting the brakes on prosecution activity. 
It’s clear that there was a fear that, to do that, would immediately cast doubt on prosecutions that had been completed, that had gone before.

Pardoe is the first Inquiry witness I can recall to suggest there was a “clear” awareness within the Post Office that looking too closely at the Horizon IT system might uncover miscarriages of justice.

This goes to the heart of the Post Office scandal. In my view it should be both the main purpose of the Inquiry and the ongoing Metropolitan police investigation. It’s one thing to erroneously prosecute innocent people on the basis of false information. It’s another thing to keep on prosecuting more innocent people because the reputational cost of stopping has become too great.

Spelling it out

Flora Page and Ed Henry KC

In their closing statement to phase three of the Inquiry, Ed Henry KC and Flora Page, instructed by Hodge, Jones and Allen, set out the threshold for a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, which, they say, is committed “when two or more people agree to embark on a course of conduct which has a tendency to, and is intended to, pervert the course of public justice.

Henry et al note that “a person may be attributed with knowledge if the evidence suggests that they “deliberately shut their eyes to the obvious, or refrained from inquiry because they suspected the truth but did not wish to have their suspicion confirmed“.”

It could be argued that Pardoe’s description of a corporate “fear” that “putting the brakes on prosecution activity” could “immediately cast doubt on prosecutions that had been completed”, falls squarely into the above definition.

The Ismay-Wilson axis

Pardoe’s recollection is backed up by internal Post Office documentation. On 3 March 2010, the Head of Criminal Law at the Post Office, Rob Wilson, issued an internal email complaining about not being invited onto a conference call about problems with Horizon. A memo of the meeting concluded a thorough investigation of the Horizon system should be commissioned. Wilson had a problem with this, though he starts well, stating:

“If it is thought that there is a difficulty with Horizon then clearly the action set out in your memo [an independent investigation of Horizon] is not only needed but is imperative.”

But then he goes on to write:

“Such an investigation will be disclosable as undermining evidence on the defence in the cases proceeding through the criminal courts. Inevitably the defence will argue that if we are carrying out an investigation we clearly do not have confidence in Horizon and therefore to continue to prosecute will be an abuse of the criminal process. Alternatively we could be asked to stay the proceedings pending the outcome of the investigation, if this were to be adopted the resultant adverse publicity could lead to massive difficulties for POL [Post Office Ltd] as it would be seen by the press and media to vindicate the current challenges. The potential impact however is much wider for POL in that every office in the country will be seen to be operating a compromised system with untold damage to the Business… To continue prosecuting alleged offenders knowing that there is an ongoing investigation to determine the veracity of Horizon could also be detrimental to the reputation of my team.”

Note Wilson’s concern – “adverse publicity” and “reputation”. Not justice. After Wilson’s intervention, no independent investigation was carried out for another two years. Wilson’s sentiments were echoed on 2 August 2010 by the Post Office’s Head of Product and Branch Accounting, Rod Ismay, who was tasked by the incoming managing director David Smith to write a report rebutting the challenges to Horizon. Ismay falsely starts his report by claiming it is “objective” report. He concludes:

“It is… important to be crystal clear about any [independent Horizon] review if one were commissioned – any investigation would need to be disclosed in court. Although we would be doing the review to comfort others, any perception that POL 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.”

On giving evidence to the Inquiry, Rod Ismay tried to suggest that although his name was on the report, he was barely the author at all, more of a cipher for other peoples’ assertions. When asked where he got the above paragraph from, he replied:

“That narrative would have come from speaking to somebody in the Criminal Law team… I imagine it probably came from a conversation with Rob [Wilson].”

When Rob Wilson came to give evidence, he tried to suggest his 3 March 2010 email should essentially be disregarded as an “overstatement” of the situation, and that he had “overreacted to being excluded from what I saw as [a matter] being critical to me as the Head of the Criminal Law Team.”

Yet two years later, on 28 March 2012, Wilson’s colleague in Post Office’s legal services, Chris Darvill, wrote to the Post Office General Counsel Susan Crichton, reporting that Wilson was still holding out against an investigation of the Horizon system. Darvill told Crichton her Head of Criminal Law:

“has concerns regarding the PR implications over an audit being conducted… Rob also has concerns regarding the costs that would be incurred… Rob remains firmly of the view that an audit should not be carried out. In his words: “POL has to grit its teeth and get on with prosecuting and defending civil actions”.”

When this extraordinary take on the situation was raised at the Inquiry by Jason Beer KC, it led to the following exchange:

Jason Beer: Was it your view that POL should just grit its teeth and get on with prosecuting people?
Rob Wilson: I think so, yes.
Jason Beer: Just carry on regardless?
Rob Wilson: Well…
Jason Beer: More important than whether or not there was a problem with the system was public relations and cost?
Rob Wilson: Well, I didn’t believe that we had a problem with the system because of the Rod Ismay report.

In 2012, Wilson’s essentially mad position was overruled by Crichton, who brought in the independent investigators Second Sight who, under great pressure, eventually blew the whole scandal open.

Yesterday, when Pardoe was asked whether the “persistent sentiment” he described came from his boss John Scott, (the former Post Office Head of Security), Wilson agreed it did, but then said:

“The one I remember probably with greater clarity is the Paula Vennells communication… I’m sure that that preceded known media interest that was imminently about to go public, and I’m sure that there was some form of written communication to say, you know, “Look, folks, this is likely to be out within the public domain and the approach we’re taking is this, this, this and this”, to paraphrase.”

Counsel to the Inquiry picked this up. “So the whole organisation was told “There’s going to be something in the media about Horizon and it is to be disregarded because everything is robust” and…”

Pardoe replied: “I certainly recall a… reading a written rebuttal and position that the business were adopting, yes.

Pardoe was asked if this communication from Vennells had come before Rebecca Thomson’s seminal Computer Weekly article in 2009, which put the Horizon scandal into the public domain. Pardoe agreed it might, but in 2009 Vennells was the Post Office’s Network Director. She didn’t become Managing Director until very late in 2010, so Pardoe’s memory might be faulty, or Vennells might have been the author of the communication, but I think his recollection of the fact of the company-wide communication from on high is significant, because it makes a connection between:

a) the “clear… fear” within the Post Office that looking too closely at Horizon might reveal miscarriages of justice,
b) the determination to defend Horizon at all costs,
c) the fact it was coming from the very top.

Paula Vennells has yet to give evidence to the Inquiry. Her last substantial public utterings on the matter can be read in her dismal submission to the Business Select Committee in 2020.

Despair and deceit

David Pardoe talking to Ed Henry

In his witness statement to the Inquiry, David Pardoe states:

“The more I see and hear from the Inquiry, then the further I despair. It strikes me that no one, at a suitable level of seniority, had the conviction and gumption to say enough is enough and to drive a timely, truly independent review whilst ceasing all prosecution activity and having the courage to be prepared to support the application and lessons of a truly independent Horizon review to both historic prosecutions and non-prosecuted repayment of accounting shortfalls. As someone that held several investigatory roles in the Post Office, I feel utterly deceived.”

Pardoe was less keen to admit to much in the way of self-deception. During his evidence he was taken to several documents dated between 2010 and 2014 which made explicit some serious technical problems with Horizon. Pardoe accepted he would have seen these document and was undoubtedly senior enough to do something about them. Sadly he didn’t.

Pardoe was also shown a 2013 report which, again, he would have seen at the time. It stated that a Procurator Fiscal in Scotland had declined to let the Post Office proceed with a prosecution of a Subpostmaster on the basis of “issues with Horizon”.

Pardoe slipped into “don’t recall” mode.

Janet Skinner

Janet Skinner

Finally, Ed Henry KC brought up Janet Skinner’s case. Janet had huge problems with the Horizon system at her North Bransholme branch in Hull. She had been reporting them to the Horizon helpline, making 116 calls in total, but was nevertheless suspended over an alleged £60,000 discrepancy and was prosecuted for theft.

Mr Henry pointed out that Janet’s successor at the same branch, Wendy Lyell, survived a few weeks before she too was arrested on suspicion of theft when the same Horizon system generated more discrepancies.

It transpires that one of Pardoe’s subordinates, Mick Matthews, was investigating Janet Skinner for the purposes of issuing a Proceeds of Crime Act Order against her when he clocked that Wendy Lyell had suffered discrepancies immediately after taking over from Janet. Matthews wrote in a financial investigation policy log that he sought to find out what had happened with regard to investigating Wendy Lyell’s case. He reported that on doing so he:

“received an email from Dave Pardoe, my new line manager, to the effect that no further resources were to be expended on the case in respect of Wendy Lyell.”

Matthews was concerned. “It occurred to me that in the interests of justice we could be rightly criticised for not carrying out a comprehensive investigation into Wendy Lyell. I spoke with and asked [Pardoe] to reconsider allocating resources in order for the matter to be further investigated.

Pardoe reportedly replied that he would not reconsider, allegedly adding: “… if we are criticised, so be it.”

No further investigation resource was allocated.

Yesterday, Pardoe told Henry that he didn’t recall this episode, nor was it consistent “within my leadership style.”

Janet Skinner was persuaded to plead guilty to theft to avoid a custodial sentence, but the judge sent her to prison for nine months anyway. Janet lost her house and moved into rented accommodation with her young children. The Post Office pursued her for the money she had allegedly stolen, and issued a warrant for her arrest when the Proceeds of Crime Act Order demands (presumably put together by Mick Matthews) went unanswered, having been sent to her repossessed home.

Eighteen months after being sent to prison, and suffering the stress of nearly going back, Janet suffered a complete neurological collapse by transverse myelitis. She was temporarily paralysed and told she might never walk again. Thankfully Janet has partially overcome her illness and has lived to see her conviction quashed.

During his evidence to the Inquiry, David Pardoe admitted he was part of a “groupthink“. He was asked: “Looking back, do you think you bore any responsibility for what happened to the individuals who were affected?”

Pardoe replied “I think, in the absence of a more complete ability to conduct investigations into those conditions, then yes.


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45 responses to “Criminal conspiracy: slowly joining the dots”

  1. I am minded to make the following comment which I believe could and should have been applied by all those involved in the investigation/prosecution of sub postmasters/mistresses.
    It is a simple phrase that was said to Dr Watson by Sherlock Holmes and it was a fundamental part of his(Sherlock Holmes) investigative methodology. It is devastatingly simple in its’ concept and advice.

    ” You see Watson, but you do not observe”

  2. Robert.A.Deluce MSc ese. avatar
    Robert.A.Deluce MSc ese.

    Regarding the Post Office enquiry:
    What seems to be clear is that nobody yet appears to have discovered conclusively where the “lost” money has gone though many surmise that it became part of POL’s bottom line.
    I can’t help but think that, whilst the Post Office were concerned with the preservation of the brand regardless of damage to the sub-postmasters and their families. Recovery of losses would be a face saving exercise. There had to be a self interest motivation somewhere.
    The only people that I can identify has having extensive knowledge of both the Post Office systems and the technicalities of the Horizon system are the “techies” employed by Fujitsu to run the Post Office network. The Fujitsu technical staff I assume would be “clever” enough to identify the failings, incompetency and lack of technical “know how” demonstrated by the Post Office management. It came to light early in the saga that the back room boys at Fujitsu were able to access the individual office terminals to upgrade software, change software and alter cash and stock accounts.
    It must be assumed that in order to investigate reported faults, test performance of software changes, upgrades, office simulations (sand boxes as they are sometimes known) were available at Fujitsu for such testing. These office simulations would appear in all respects as normal sub post offices offering, by definition, all services, stock holding, banking, foreign exchange, the ability to transfer cash into normal commercial banks etc in order to test all types of transaction. The one difference would be that these simulated Post Offices would be unknown to the Post Office and thus not be subject to Post Office audit.
    Now: Just suppose one or more of the Fujitsu “techies” went rogue, how difficult would it be for them to transfer substantial cash amounts from sub offices into private bank accounts through any one of a number of nefarious methods? These illegal transactions would show up in sub office balances as shortfalls which the Post Office auditors and investigators, admitted by themselves in the enquiry, never attempted to trace. Post Office management did not have the wit to detect such wilfulness in what, initially at least, they understood to be a fool proof and robust system. They believed that Fujitsu was beyond reproach and in any case Post Office representatives would have neither the knowledge to investigate nor the necessary access to the inner sanctum of Fujitsu in order to prove differently.

  3. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 62572 more Infos: postofficescandal.uk/post/criminal-conspiracy-slowly-joining-the-dots/ […]

  4. The evidence of Duncan Atkinson KC, commencing 18/12/2023, appearing as an expert witness, was, in my opinion, absolutely compelling. Questioned by lead counsel Jason Beer, he(they) meticulously unravelled the apparent “conspiracy” that appeared to exist during the prosecutions of the sub postmasters/postmistresses. Whether this “conspiracy” was real or apparent, this unravelling demonstrates that what existed amongst Post Office management, arguably referred to as the “culture of the organisation” is/was despicable. The nature of the culture appeared to have little regard for the legal process absolutes, particularly in terms of investigation(gathering evidence), evidence testing(for prosecution), and particularly disclosure.
    Fortunately for the sub postmasters/postmistresses who were wronged, and perhaps(hopefully) unfortunately for the perpetrators of the injustices that occurred,, any prosecutions that arise following the results of the enquiry will be safe and thus irrefutable.
    My perception is that the sub postmasters/postmistresses have behaved impeccably since their search for justice was recognised and realised and thus are deserving of our greatest respect and admiration.

  5. ‘Yes minister’ – Sir Ed.

    Alan Bates DID try to hand it to you – on a plate!

    Do you really care about the little man??

    Evidence ?????

  6. “I dont recall”
    Was it something they put in the tea or is everyone from POL and Fujitsu suffering from severe amnesia? 🤔
    Although, in a mass of straight-faced liars, thanks to Mrs Helen Rose for going to the trouble of adding in some acting. She does “thinking hard” and “puzzled” ok but needs some extra coaching with “upset”.

    1. It has been referred to as “institutional amnesia” by one of the solicitors acting for some of the “victims”, which in my opinion, is a superb way of describing what your post includes.

  7. Could someone compitent please advise me how to get a deed poll name change without any trackback to my birth name, and how much it would cost, payment in used, non-sequential banknotes?

    Only handwritten notes will be taken at our planning meeting.

  8. The attitude by the Post Pffice to me has to be seen as lies. To know you have a problem and to say in court that no problems exist, must be a cover up and anyone that has been dishonest should be held to account. otherwise the Law is seen to be used just against the ” small people “

  9. How sad that these people, David Pardoe etc ‘can’t recall’ anything that will incriminate them.
    They are shown evidence by way of e mails that bugs errors and defects were present in the horizon system yet they say they have no knowledge of problems with the system. How can that be?
    Senior and middle management should face justice in this scandal. I hope there are group actions following this inquiry.
    My heart goes out to the victims, there are no words.

    1. Kathy. I worked opposite the ICL/Fujitsu building in Bracknell 1994-2001. This was when Horizon was being developed and launched. I have been mesmerised by the public inquiry. Horizon software was regarded as a joke within Fujitsu in 1999 according to the witnesses. Fujitsu people and Post office people kept silent – sustaining a toxic myth which lived for ten years – 2000-2010. Initially I believed the fraud was perpetrated mainly by Fujitsu but on reflection I believe they are equally guilty of corporate fraud. No different to an aircraft manufacturer and an airline knowingly flying planes which are sub-standard. The fraud possibly involves about 50 people from Fujitsu and 50 from Post office. The betrayal of the public trust in the civil law and the damage to the justice system means – they should go to jail for the rest of their lives. They have shattered public faith in civil law. Many of the PO investigators still work for the PO today! – as if nothing happened. I still can’t believe this and I still can’t believe the PO has not been shut down – it is a criminal enterprise.

  10. Since I’m now persona non Down Under, I’m considering signing up for the Prison Service. No one there with my skill set and experience, and I’m growing more confident by the day that a busload of these sheilas and blokes who committed the CPCOJ may become my clients. Wowzer.

  11. A pack of lies.A suitable lupine image to focus on lives torn apart.But I wonder how and who schooled the team who resourced the help-line.Given that those who man these work from scripts and use packaged phrases, the retort ” You’re the only one having problems” is part of a national strategy of psychological isolation.Im sure there would be instructions to the effect and it would be helpful to try to find a call handler to give testimony to the enquiry.I hope one does read this post.

  12. While the perjurers and head-in-the-sand brigade at the Post Office and Fujitsu bear the primary responsibility for the scandal, I can’t help wondering why the defence in these cases was so inadequate. Our legal system puts the onus on the defence to point out the flaws in the prosecution’s case. Surely, defence lawyers faced with a respectable person claiming that they had done nothing wrong should having been asking many awkward questions of the prosecution? Such as: How does Horizon work, in detail? What does it do if the connection between sub-post office and the central computer gets interrupted? How was Horizon validated? Does Horizon keep a transaction log, and if not why not?
    We used to have a decent Legal Aid system in this country, but it has been wound down over the years. Did the sub-post masters have adequate legal aid or has the problem been made worse because they have been denied the necessary quantity and quality of legal assistance? I trust that the current inquiry will consider this point.

    1. “Perjurers”?

      Insignificant.

      Much more seriously, this was a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, in return for monetary gain.

      Technical maximum sentence for that being – LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE

      Expensive for the taxpayer. But…………….

  13. James Ingleballix avatar
    James Ingleballix

    Just been reading some of the Inquiry transcripts. It is clear from the submission of the very first ‘Horizon’ programme director – David Miller that as early as 1995-7, certainly 1998, they knew that the system was significantly flawed……..but to them, it was ‘OK’, because it was not ‘fatally flawed’.

    They were encountering four types of, ‘lost transactions’ – many of them – so they just re-termed them ‘incomplete transactions’. This was 1998. Later that year, ‘Red Light Issues’ were noted:

    “There are major concerns about the test results emanating from Model Office and End to End. The results indicate that cash accounts and transaction data delivered to POCL’s downstream systems lack accounting integrity, all of which raises serious doubt about Pathway’s ability to enter into the next phase of Model Office and End to End testing without some form of remedial action.”

    They knew from the get-go.

    Later, they also knew full-well, that if it became known that Horizon had significant flaws, then ‘reasonable doubt’ would exist for every single man and woman charged by the Post Office, and that they could not possibly be convicted……….yet, investigated, interrogated, charged, prosecuted and convicted they were.

    What a pleasant bunch of people worked at the Post Office.

    Let’s be clear about one thing. Paula Vennells – does not share the lion’s share of blame – Horizon’s problems were covered-up and prosecutions were underway for 10yrs before she came along.

    1. Anyone knows where this Sadam Crozier, a rum whacka, hangs out when he’s not fukkin’ over BeeTee?

    2. David McDonnell, Fujitsu, horizon insider. Appeared in inquiry 16/11/22 – drops the bombshell – the MSM were asleep but computer weekly picked it up. His witness statement to the inquiry would be the foundation for any fraud charge. You can watch it on youtube – given what we now know – it is quite surreal. Gareth Jenkins has written to the attorney general asking for immunity from prosecution – he was Fujitsu’s fake ‘expert witness’ – the spiritual leader of the horizon movement.

  14. Ashamed to be British. Post Office and government should hang their heads in shame

    1. Just wait till we see the results of mass vaccination! What with the wars, it’s a heavy and vexing time.

      1. Stephen Phillips avatar
        Stephen Phillips

        You mean not allowing people to die needlessly?

      2. “Just wait till we see the results of mass vaccination! What with the wars, it’s a heavy and vexing time.”

        You are an idiot.

    2. “Ashamed to be British.”

      And so you should be. Like in two world wars, you rely on us Aussies to come to sort you out. Here, to remind you about the deterrent effects of Bush Justice on these dirty POO dingoes.

  15. Why in gods name did no one say.Hang on a minute,these losses were not occurring before the installation of Horizon? So is it possible that there is a fault with Horizon. It’s called common sense but it seems not rocking the boat was the preferred option of many. Hope they get tried and jailed,and not just the gofers.

    1. Why in gods name…. Vennells was a priest!

      1. But for the grace of Beelzebub, Paula Venal would have become Archbishop of London – she was shortlisted for the post.

        Then that rum sheila could exercise the traditional rights that go with that High and Venerable Church Orifice, the third-highest in the land, namely to have disrespectful, ungodly, common oafs like Beer Belly and Wyn Dodderer publicly flogged for daring to cheek her and her hatchet-faced accessory Wicked Witch of the East, van den dribbly Bogeys.

        How dare the lying cowardly weasely ex-plod John “Mutton” Scott be called upon to betray Sue Crichton and get one step closer to Venal and Saddam Crozier?

        Can’t get the staff nowadays…………………………..

  16. Why in heavens name did no one say.Hang on a minute these losses had not occured before the installation of Horizon?????????????.Someone in a high position should be tried for the misery they brought to so many.

    1. I feel there is a reasonable explanation for this. prior to horizon, sub postmaster accounts were fully based on the trust system and the accounts they signed. they’d occasionally audit the post offices but mostly relied on the sub postmasters. I think they thought the shiny horizon was discovering all this fraud that previously the post office couldn’t see.

      1. ” I think they thought the shiny horizon was discovering all this fraud that previously the post office couldn’t see.”

        Hi there, nice to see someone from the P.O. spin department is still in attendance. Good effort, but.

        Or if you really do believe that guff, I’ve a folding bascule bridge in the capital to sell you, bargain price for cash. I have all the documents, hand-written and no Minutes, checked over by Jar Jar Nail Binks overseen by Sue Me Crichton.

        Great stuff.

        1. But pre Horizon they did know if a sub-postmaster was stealing and very easily without visiting a branch first. Basically each post office had a known regular cash delivery pattern to replace the cash given out each week on benefits or pension payments etc. Remember that at the time of the Horizon roll out most benefits were still being paid in cash at that point.
          So if a postmaster was taking cash out of the safe after a time he/she would have to request additional cash to make this up or risk not being able to pay out to customers.
          Over time (a few weeks/months) the cash centre would pick up on these extra requests and inform the POID, who would visit the office. In fact most of these dawn raids were triggered in this way. meaning there were very few major thefts going unnoticed pre Horizon.
          Post Horizon install, this simple cross check with the Cash Centre was all that was needed to confirm that cash was missing including the approx amount of additional cash being requested.
          But the PO management clearly decided to not use this comparison as it had the potential to discredit the Horizon figures and highlight an uncomfortable level of error in their new system.

          1. PCOJ Investigator avatar
            PCOJ Investigator

            Follow.
            The.
            Money.

  17. Viewing the ITV drama the other evening it struck me as a triumph when a “smoking gun” was uncovered.

    The inquiry into the scandal now holds a whole arsenal of “smoking guns”.

    Pretending that no postmasters were reporting issues with Horizon when these oafs had seen it in documents many times.
    Suspend and prosecute someone only to find her successor is reporting the same type of errors and take no action other than prosecutions and confiscation orders. Wow.

    People from the top downwards turning their backs to the blindingly obvious and ploughing on to ruin the lives of more innocent people. All done in the misguided belief that they were acting to protect the profit and reputation of Fujitsu and the Post Office.

    How ironic that this criminal conspiracy is now damaging not only the integrity of the individuals concerned AND Fujitsu AND the Post Office AND also our justice system that used to be highly regarded.

    1. Yes, except you misspelt “justice-perverting criminal conspirators” as “oafs”.

      Please be more careful.

      Our “justice system” is more our “injustice system”, with low-intelligence arrogant incompetent senile nincompoops like Richard Havery still at large, blathering utter bilge about computer software while sycophants refer to them as polymaths. Filth.

  18. All I want is to see some of the ‘I am untouchable’s’ get their come-upance. Time & time again we see such blatant disasters and the ‘clever dicks’ walk away, usually with a large back-hander. The British justice system works very well if you have a very large wallet.
    Total joke !!!

  19. It beggars belief that such a clear and blatant mis-use of authority , callous and completely heartless, is being allowed to prevail and leave those completely innocent victims – begging for justice, when it should only have had to be asked for once. This is an outrage, a slur on the entire legal system, which holds ‘innocent until proven guilty’ – how on earth can the innocent have been proven guilty?? In less enlightened days, these people would have been hanged!!

  20. “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

    I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the (RED) Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!”

    Carroll’s Red Queen has been identified, in a summary I read, as the personification of “Power and Authority”. Seems about right, doesn’t it? “I’m the boss, you must believe me!” Carroll’s Red Queen wasn’t always bad, she suffered a head injury, brain damage, thus… Alice, of course, wasn’t prepared to play along.
    As I read Alice over half a century ago, as a child, it seemed like amusing nonsense, but I’ve met a lot of people with “Red Queen” syndrome since…

  21. I am appalled at how Janet Skinner was treated and how her life was blighted by PO. She told the truth, but it was a truth no-one wanted to hear. I don’t know how she has managed to look after her children and herself all this time. By reading her ‘story’, I have some notion of what she has gone through and how she has suffered and I hope the end of her suffering will be very soon. The problem is that you don’t recover ‘overnight’ when you have been treated so badly and the effect on her children would have made her suffering all the worse. I have some idea of how a miscarriage of justice can alter a person’s life as I worked in an FE College in NI and watched ‘fraud from the public purse’ take place on a daily basis. I told the Director about the fraud – he looked surprised, but his nano-second response was that he was ‘not going to do anything about it’. He actually had the temerity to preface this with, “I probably shouldn’t say this, but …..”. I ended up taking the College to an Industrial Tribunal after I was unfairly dismissed. The IT lasted 26 days during which time the Director and the two fraudsters committed perjury and the Chairman of the IT allowed the Institute’s Barrister to interrupt me within a minute of my starting to deliver my evidence-in-chief. The two fraudsters were promoted, with one of them becoming an Assistant Director. She told the Tribunal that she was ‘a Christian and didn’t tell lies’!!!!!! The Director had attended the same school as I had and was in the same form as my sister. We have an unusual surname, so the Director would have been aware of me, but he didn’t allow that fact to stop him in his tracks. He had missed out earlier in his desire to become a Director and he was not going to let it happen again!!!

    1. Probably Freemasons…

  22. […] was line-managed by two Heads of Criminal Law. First was Mike Heath, then the hapless Rob Wilson until the Royal Mail split from the Post Office in 2012. Thereafter Singh somehow found himself […]

  23. I’ve just watched Jarnail Singh’s session from yesterday. A load of sanctimonious handwringing twaddle “no one is more upset than me about what happened” followed by an absolute refusal to accept any responsibility for what he wrote in a series of damning emails.

    One classic exchange…
    Beer – did you write this email

    Singh – no

    Beer – it’s signed by you

    Singh – I didn’t write it, I dictated it to my secretary

    Beer – these are your words then.

    Singh – yes, so I suppose in that sense I did write it.

    Like so many of his colleagues his memory is chronically poor, I fear for the outbreak of collective amnesia.

  24. william burrows avatar

    Jason Beer, Flora Page et al are to be wholeheartedly supported and congratulated on their professionalism in the face of such obvious obfuscation and lying by the witnesses. It is clear that unlawful acts were rife in the conspiracy to protect the Post Office’s reputation at all costs. It follows that prosecutions must happen.

  25. Edward John Draper avatar
    Edward John Draper

    Nick
    Great resume
    I believe that middle and senior management of the PO have been tutored in the obtuseness of answering some questions by Mr J Beer KC

    1. Shakespeare captures their
      logic in Macbeth:

      I am in blood
      stepped in so far that should I wade no more
      Returning were as tedious as go o’er

      I couldn’t sleep for puzzling why a sudden apparent rise in dishonesty was not thought remarkable, especially in view of the resources needed to investigate all the cases. Now I know why.

      1. But there WAS a steady bluddy rise in dishonesty, since 2003.

        Cheating by the bosses of this criminal enterprise, the Poop Orifice.

        Shame they don’t now use my bonzer spring-cleaning services, exposing to the fresh air what was concealed deepest. No repeat offenders.

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