More Singh’d against than Singh-ing

There has been some rank incompetence on display from various Post Office witnesses over the course of this inquiry, but I think we’ll have to go some way to find a worse performance than this.

We know from the witnesses during Bates v Post Office and the Inquiry evidence we’ve heard over most of 2023 that the Post Office is stuffed to the gills with lifers, plodders and gormless apparatchiks inexplicably promoted into positions way beyond their ability. Unlike most of them, Jarnail Singh did not rise to middle-management after starting his career as a counter clerk or a postie. He is a lawyer, and was once the Post Office’s Head of Criminal Law, making life-changing decisions about Subpostmasters, based on his 16+ years of experience working in the Post Office’s prosecution department.

Giving evidence over two full days, Singh revealed himself to be an exceptionally dangerous man, inhabiting a fantasy world manufactured by a priceless combination of the Peter Principle and the Dunning-Kruger effect. He was also self-defeatingly slippery to such a degree that when he was asked if he was the Head of Criminal Law at the Post Office, his answer was:

“I wasn’t head of anything, to be honest with you. I just went in as a challenge, as an opportunity and I can reassure you I was not Head of Criminal Law. I think the outside world did, probably did [think I was], because I was the only criminal lawyer and I think originally they wanted Rob Wilson to go in, and at the last minute he dropped out, and I was put forward and I think in the last minute, in the last… I think this post was on 1 April 2012 and I think I was more or less told
the end of March, probably the middle of March, “Do you want it?” And I considered it, went to see Cartwright King, I liked it and I knew it would be tough, so I took that opportunity as a challenge and that’s what I did.”

In 2012, Mr Singh took over from Rob Wilson, the Post Office’s Head of Criminal Law when the Post Office split with Royal Mail in 2012. Wilson went to Royal Mail and Singh was left as the only senior lawyer in the department. He may not have had the title Head of Criminal Law, but he was, in all respects, its head of criminal law. Many of Singh’s answers were like this – forthright denial of something, followed by obfuscatory guff and then an oblique admission or, more usually, a change of subject.

A glittering career

Singh joined the Post Office as a legal executive in 1989 in the conveyancing department. He passed his Law Society finals whilst working at the Post Office and was admitted as a lawyer in December 1992. In September 1993 Singh transferred to the Post Office’s litigation department, working first on civil litigation. He became a Post Office senior criminal lawyer in 1995, when he transferred to the Prosecutions Department.

At the time the Post Office prosecutions department had eight senior lawyers, and, according to Singh, “three or four legal executives, three or four admin staff, and four or five secretaries.” This was all overseen by a Head of Criminal Law.

Jason Beer KC, the barrister asking questions on behalf of the Inquiry, took Singh to his witness statement. Singh had stated he was “the” senior lawyer on the criminal law team.

“No, well, maybe “the” needs to come out”, replied Singh, simultaneously admitting the inaccuracy and suggesting a correction which didn’t make sense. It set a standard for coherency which Singh maintained for the rest of the day.

Singh was intially 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 head of an empty department, the only lawyer in the Post Office’s criminal law team, working with Hugh Flemington, the Head of Legal and Susan Crichton, the General Counsel. Singh called Crichton “a lovely lady, and Hugh, we got on really well. As and when we needed it, needed them to discuss matters, I did.”

Singh says he complained to them about his workload, and this, he claims, is how most of the Post Office’s prosecution function came to be outsourced to a legal firm called Cartright King. But the Post Office still needed Singh to sign off on prosecutions at their end.

Whilst at the Post Office, Jarnail Singh presided over the prosecution of a number of innocent Subpostmasters. When Jason Beer pointed out that his witness statement failed to “accept any personal responsibility for any mistakes made”, Singh replied with what I am sure will become an apology for the ages, and is worth repeating in full:

Singh: Well, obviously, I… I’m very grieved…
Beer: That’s a different issue.
Singh: …and I’m embarrassed and sorry. I mean I think maybe we ought to start by me apologising directly to the Subpostmasters. Obviously, I do, you know, feel their pain and hurt and I can feel the same. And I don’t… I’ve never met any of them. My basically employment of job entailed, or my role entailed the paperwork I received, I assessed it in line with the law, the evidence, the public interest, and whether it was appropriate for charges to go before the courts. So, in that respect, you know… I didn’t [do] the complete job, I didn’t do the investigations, I didn’t know anything about Horizon in the sense about how it operated had a witness statement to actually explain and then we had the barristers in turn to approve it, and then it went before the judge to deal with the enforcement side of things, if it needed.
So, in that respect, of course I feel very upset and aggrieved that it had gone so far, because the whole idea of becoming a lawyer wasn’t to do any wrong, and I certainly… the… I didn’t want to be here today. I wanted to enjoy a long legal career within the Post Office and whoever, and now to carry on doing the next stage of my life.

The incoherence continued. Beer asked if Singh’s witness statement sought to create the impression of a diligent lawyer:

“acting with the utmost professionalism at all times, but of sorrow and being hurt after the event because, if only you had known about Horizon, everything would have been very different?”

Singh replied:

“Absolutely not. I am not that sort of person. It’s not the way… you made me come across wrong. I take full responsibility for the… you know, the hurt and the sorrow people [unclear] and I think… I was actually going to actually apologise to Julian Wilson’s family, seeing that he’s not here to see that his good name has been put intact and things have been put right.”

Julian Wilson

Julian Wilson was prosecuted and convicted on Singh’s watch. He died in 2016. His conviction was quashed in 2021. I very much doubt that means “things have been put right”, but hey, Jarnail, you go ahead and nearly apologise to his family.

During his evidence, Singh said it “hurt” to prosecute Subpostmasters because of the anguish he knew it caused them. Beer took him to an infamous email written by Singh on 21 October 2010, a day after the conviction of Seema Misra, whose husband first introduced me to this story. The email is called Attack on Horizon. In it, Singh writes:

“We were beset with unparallel degree of disclosure requests by the Defence. Through the hard work of everyone, Counsel Warwick Tatford, Investigation Officer, Jon Longman and through the considerable expertise of Gareth Jenkins of Fujitsu we were able to destroy to the criminal standard of proof (beyond all reasonable doubt) every single suggestion made by the Defence. It is to be hoped the case will set a marker to dissuade other Defendants from jumping on the Horizon bashing bandwagon.”

In his witness statement, Singh said he had input from a barrister on how to word the statement, and that he was instructed to write it. He couldn’t say how the barrister had helped him word the statement, and when asked who instructed him to write it, he named Phil Taylor, one of the legal execs in his department. The email is sent to senior lawyers and investigators within the Post Office, including General Counsel Susan Crichton. During his evidence, Singh claims he was given a distribution list, and didn’t choose the people it was sent to, suggesting “I don’t know any of them.” Beer seemed bemused by this, but let it pass. Then he asked:

Beer: So… if you didn’t pick the distribution list, you picked the subject title of the email?
Singh: I don’t know…
Beer: You…?
Singh: Well…
Beer: Or was that dictated to you?
Singh: If there is… it was dictated to me.

Singh was unable to say who dictated it to him. Beer suggested he viewed the Misra case as an attack on Horizon, so giving the email such a title “would come naturally” to him.

“Absolutely not,” replied Singh. Beer asked him if he didn’t who did view it as an attack on Horizon?

Singh swore blind he did not know.
“So you’re typing an email…”
“I didn’t type it.” Singh countered.

Beer took stock. Singh had been told to write an email, headed with a title he didn’t agree with dictated to him by someone he couldn’t remember, which he didn’t actually type and then sent to a distribution list of people he didn’t know.

“Is that where we’ve got to?” asked Beer, a little incredulously.
“I don’t know whether it’s an attack on Horizon. I’ve got no stake in Horizon, I don’t even know how it operated or anything of that nature.” replied Singh, before going off on a long ramble about the Misra case. Beer eventually interrupted him.
“So the man that dictated the email that says Attack on Horizon is the wrong person to ask why the case was viewed as an attack on Horizon? Is that where we’ve got to, Mr Singh?”
Singh replied “I think so”, before launching into another ramble.

By this stage Beer was under no illusion he had an idiot on his hands, but one who had a natural ability deflect and obfuscate everything which came his way. Beer gave Singh a few more bites of the cherry before trying to nail him down:

Beer: Did somebody else type an email which you cut and pasted into this one?
Singh: No, no, no.
Beer: No. Okay, hold on…
Singh: They dictated it.
Beer: Who dictated it?
Singh: I don’t know. I mean I don’t know, there was probably various people over…
Beer: So, a collection of people?
Singh: Probably, yes, and I think it was approved by…
Beer: Who are the possible candidates for dictating your email?
Singh: It was… this wording was approved by Robert Wilson, Rob Wilson, Head of the Criminal Law Team. […]
Beer: So you said it was approved by him?
Singh: Yes.
Beer: Was he one of the dictators?
Singh: I don’t know whether he did or not. To be honest with you… to be honest, I… I’m not here to name names. I mean …
Beer: I think you just did.
Singh: I did, because…
Beer: Because I asked you?
Singh: Yes. You asked me and I am here to assist and help.

Seema Misra

Unfortunately Jarnail Singh could only provide help in the same way a cat can help you write an email. Shortly after sending his dictated message, Seema Misra was sentenced to nine months in custody. Of this, Singh says:

“To hear that she was sentenced to prison sort of hurt me quite badly. I mean, for two or three days.”

Poor bloke. Two or three whole days. Then what? Beer wondered if the language in Singh’s email was “indicative… of a degraded and debased prosecutorial culture within your office?”

Singh replied: “No. No, I wouldn’t. Look, Mr Beer it’s your job to ask that but it’s not, no.”

Beer tried again: “The last paragraph where you say: “It is to be hoped that the case will set a marker to dissuade from jumping on the Horizon bashing bandwagon”, who within the Post Office held that hope?”

“Well, certainly not the Criminal Law Team. Certainly, I didn’t.” said Singh, looking at the words which had been dictated to him and which he had dictated and bore his name which he didn’t believe.

Who did hold that hope, wondered Beer?

“Well, whoever dealt with the case,” replied Singh, who dealt with the case.

Singh continued to go off on long perorations about how upsetting prosecuting people was, claiming at one point that he couldn’t have done it if he’d “had to go to court and actually physically see these people, then I wouldn’t be able to do the job.”

Luckily for him, the ruining of peoples’ lives “was a paper exercise” which made things much easier.

Beer asked a final question on the topic, suggesting the attitude and the language of the Attack on Horizon email was entirely at odds with his professional duties.

Singh: Well, I… well, look, in hindsight, you can say all sorts of things. The thing is…
Beer: Well, I’m saying that and I’m asking you the question.
Singh: Well, I don’t know what… are you asking me to… what are you asking me? Please ask me.

Beer tried again, eventually getting the admission that “of course” Singh’s email was at odds with Singh’s professional duties. “Of course it is,” said Singh, who then began to complain about Beer’s line of questioning, stating:

“I am just sort of feeling so aggrieved that you’re asking me this because that’s not the idea of… you know, it was a challenge to qualify as a lawyer and I don’t… the last thing I wanted to finish this off was something like that.”

Singh was taken to a December 2013 email. This was five months after the Clarke Advice had been issued by Simon Clarke of Cartwright King, calling into question all Post Office prosecutions on the basis of Horizon evidence. All Post Office prosecutions had been stopped. Singh wrote:

“Any case begun now will attract some type of Horizon issue because this is the passing bandwagon people are jumping on. When we have a few wins under our belt the Horizon challenges will melt away like midnight snow.”

Beer asked Singh why he formed that view – that Horizon was a “passing bandwagon”. Singh replied:

“I don’t know. I had… it’s a sort of… this isn’t just one person, this… we worked as a team, because there was so much going on, it was a team effort team view. It wasn’t a decision made by me. It was a decision by people working on it, and not only internally but externally. They were people with a lot of experience in this type of work. So this is not a personal view. It was the view, the general view, put in that… put in that answer.”

Beer pointed out that it was Singh’s email. Singh agreed, but responded that “we worked as a team.”

Beer wondered: “Did someone dictate this email to you?

“Possibly.” Singh replied.

It was what it was

And so it went on. Singh couldn’t explain why he’d written what he’d written, but absolutely denied it was because it was he didn’t have a justification for the crassness of the email. It was not that. It was just that he was “struggling in the sense that I can’t explain to what happened in the year 2013, and we’re in the year 2023, on to ’24. At that time, you know, the situation was what it was.”

Poor lad

Singh then came up with the suggestion that he might actually have been more wronged than the Subpostmasters he prosecuted, saying: “I feel aggrieved about it as much as they do, probably… even more, because I was in a position to do something and I didn’t.”

Which is, I think, a bold claim.

I am looking forward to seeing what action the Solicitors Regulation Authority decides to take in the light of Singh’s evidence.

One correspondent wrote:

“Mr Singh is clearly as mad as a three-cornered bat. The fact that he has held a senior position at the Post Office for most of his working life tells us something. If we didn’t know it already.”

Another said “Jaw dropping. Hard to tell where the stupidity ends and the malice begins.”

If you have ten hours to waste, I do suggest watching the two days Singh spent on the stand. And please do leave a comment below. I’d be interested to know how you reacted.

Thanks to secret emailer Nigel Derby for his help with this piece.

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226 responses to “More Singh’d against than Singh-ing”

  1. How strange that in later evidence, when Jarnail did something good – going against John Scott’s shredding advice- his memory is suddenly excellent! He can remember who told him, who he informed and even being so angry he went for a walk to clear his head. I’m sure Sir Wyn will have noted how this is in stark odds to the rest of his testimony

  2. James Nicholson avatar
    James Nicholson

    Well done to Nick Wallis for reporting on the absurd performance of Jarnail Singh at the enquiry. This grifting moron can be held up as a shining example of just how crass and ridiculous the Post Office hierarchy have been in attempting to dodge any personal responsibility for the wrongful conviction of UK Subpostmasters.

  3. Richard Powell avatar
    Richard Powell

    it isn’t often you see the “a big boy made me do it!” defence from a lawyer.

  4. Is knowingly lying to this enquiry covered by the 1911 perjury act? ( I’ ve just asked Google and that’s what came up). If so, it is about time all these evil despots are called out and punished for this, as a starter.
    If the above is a fine, it’s goodbye to the national debt. An earthworm could work out the truth from the lies in all these testimonies. Why aren’t the authorities acting now?

  5. Bethan Charles avatar
    Bethan Charles

    Since Jarnail Singh remembers nothing about most of what is written in his name, I think he let his secretary do his work for him. He was otherwise engaged with his outside conveyancing work.

    1. We needed his secretary to be the one giving evidence. If you sent him an email then he didn’t read it, if he sent an email then he didn’t write it, just cut and paste from what others had written. He could not print or save documents, could he use his pc at all? It seems his secretary would print his emails which he may have selectively read while undertaking , as you say, his outside work.

  6. It wasn't me. It was like this already. avatar
    It wasn’t me. It was like this already.

    Why hasn’t Lord Neuberger been called as a core participant? Google his name, together with recusal and PO, and you’ll get why I’m asking. Too establishment to be asked questions by the magnificent Beer KC?

  7. This whole saga reminds me of the 1960’s Yale University obedience study by psychologist Stanley Milgram which showed that man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds when influenced by an authority. 65% of the randomly selected participants were prepared, when instructed, to deliver (what they believed to be) dangerous electric shocks to another human.

  8. There is no doubt about it; Jarnail Singh is a proven lawyer.

  9. As someone who has been aware of this scandal since Face the Facts in 2009 I believe, I have watched a lot of the enquiry this month and I would describe it as like descending in a bathyscope, the deeper you get, the more contorted and misshapen the witnesses elisions and behavior becomes. Bent out of shape by their immersion in the toxic depths of the Post Office’s corruption and cover up, they are willing to turn themselves inside out to obscure the truth, or see their own consciences. Jarnail Singh was truly such a creature distorted beyond the limits of reality. Sadly, I admit, I can’t wait for the fables of Vennells.
    Whilst I think Mr Beer did a great job, I think letting Mr Singh ramble on in the hope of getting to the truth was eventually just embarrassing as a fellow human and tedious.

  10. May 3rd, second appearance of Jarnail Singh. Ten minutes before the hearing started I sent a message to a friend of mine who(similarly) has taken a keen interest in the oral hearings.
    The message read ” If you wish to see a witness implode, Jarnail Singh will be in the hot seat today”
    How right I was…………

  11. I watched this Jarnail Singh’s appearance today. I think it’s doing a disservice to suggest he’s simply an incompetent clown. He’s clearly lying through his teeth, obfuscating & worried to death that he’s going to end up sued losing everything he had & going to prison. Which is exactly what should happen to him & his cartel who are guilty of sheer criminality.

  12. Jarnail signed most of his POL emails (including the ones he probably didn’t write, or relayed, or had no recollection of, or dictated, or some other irrelevant distraction) with:
    “Jarnail Singh | Criminal Lawyer”

    Given that his grasp of the language is similar to his grasp of law, could it be that he inadvertently left out the word:
    ” and ”
    from that sig?

  13. I have watched with growing incredulity a number of PO witnesses giving evidence over the past 7-8 months. It’s clear that many had been in PO employ for many years. There is nothing wrong with this per se, if they have capacity for their roles (which the inquiry is clearly demonstrating many had not), but it it is indicative of an introspective culture unrefreshed by outside challengers, which when put under pressure must revert to old certainties (it’s what we do). Few if any seemed to question process, or sit back and reflect on the what the evidence actually was actually telling them.

    This inadequate situation has been exacerbated by inept and complacent management, which clearly never defined reporting lines and responsibilities clearly, and even if they had a vision (other than brand protection at all costs) it was never adequately communicated to many staff. It was direction evolved by osmosis and backseat management.

    The PO faced a massive challenge with its separation from RM. It’s clear that the team to lead PO had little experience or understanding of the requirements demanded by successful change management. The muddled thinking is apparent from what appears to be a constant changing and evolution of reporting lines and role responsibilities. This must lead to fluid groups with individuals finding work arriving on their desks and their default reaction being to pass it around and little bits falling to different individuals with no-one grasping delivery.

    There is evidence that the scope of this challenge was better understood at board level, but the flow of clear and accurate executive information to the board seems wanting in too many areas. This means that the board lacked much knowledge until late in the day, resulting in the insufficient effort being directing in executive areas as senior management lurched from pillar to post in muddled management mode.

    The fact that this situation was allowed to continue largely unchallenged is an indictment not only of the those employed by POL but also the major shareholder, which is the UK government.

    I will be interested to see if the remaining examinations in phases 5&6 lead me to any modifications of these conclusions.

  14. michael spenser avatar
    michael spenser

    Very sad, unfortunately far too many companies contain incompetents like Jarnail Singh. He is only the
    tip of the iceberg. We have all met these useless people especially in accountancy, banks and so called
    law firms. Am I correct? Please be careful and be very aware.

  15. Johanna Gilbertson avatar
    Johanna Gilbertson

    I want to know about Singh’s qualifications. He said he studied for his solicitor’s course while working full-time at the Post Office. I thought you would need a law degree to get on the course to qualify as a solicitor. When and where did he complete an LLB? He was working as a legal executive in the Post Office from 1989. Did he already have an LLB? If so, where from? He would have had to have come straight from a 3-year course, meaning he started in 1986. Curiously, this is the same year I went to university. It was long before all the polytechnics had been magically made into universities. I do not believe he had then or has now the intellectual capacity to have passed a law degree (I knew many students doing Law, and they were in a different league to Singh). I really feel that this should be investigated because gaining employment from false qualifications is Obtaining a Percuniary Advantage, S.16 Theft Act 1968, something Singh should be very familiar with!
    His best Malopropism to date was revealed in Susan Crichton’s evidence. He said that to admit to bugs in the system would lead to “copulation”, quickly corrected by the barrister “I think he means capitulation!”, to howls of laughter in the room.

  16. […] Office comedy lawyer Jarnail Singh‘s mangling of the language got a laugh in the Inquiry today as he put up a spirited defence […]

  17. Not the most brilliant of legal minds.

  18. Douglas Grozier avatar

    Only just seen this. it’s a comedic play in itself. Didn’t quite watch every minute so it may’ve been the case that Mr Beer did pick up Singh up on his (Singh’s) time problems to carry out his Post Office work due to his other consultative commitments, so I may have to re-watch it in its completeness. The screening should be shown to all students of law as part of the syllabus, with mandatory attendance! It did strike me that obtaining a law degree mustn’t be that difficult if Singh has one. A great performance by Mr Beer with forensic precision and superb self- control. A mention to Nick Wallis for his report….great!

  19. Life Imprisonment and Seizure of all Assets avatar
    Life Imprisonment and Seizure of all Assets


    Please put up a page for the incredible performance of lawyer RODRIC WILLIAMS at the Inquiry.

    Those who thought it would be impossible to find someone even more repugnant and even less deserving of mercy than the odious J-arn-AIL Singh have been refuted at the Inquiry on April 18-19.

    There’s a square on the Monopoly board with Rodric’s name on it, as well as the word “DIRECTLY”.

    Supremely ironic, isn’t it, that this gang of disgusting plotters and conspirators were snickering about how they’d deploy POCA to seize even the PENSIONS of the wholly innocent victims of their shameless extortion?

    While they physically or electronically shredded so much of the incriminating evidence, some survived. They’re incompetent even at being crooks!

    Now let’s see whose pensions survive our forensic examination, eh?

  20. Richard Murphy avatar

    Singh is off this planet! How can a person with such little ability have such a detrimental effect on the lives of good people. He needs to go to jail.

  21. Well done Nick, there should be calls to knight you as well as Mr Bates.

  22. Harpreet Singh Banthia avatar
    Harpreet Singh Banthia

    Some of you learned contributors here seem to be lawyers so may I borrow your knowledge a little in return for pious blessings?

    While I have no relationship with or direct knowledge of this untruthful abomination JARNAIL SINGH, I have a most profound misfortune of resembling him physically. I was even startled to first see his face on my youtube TV.

    Two-three times this already caused me some problems in public, I live in Southall not in big mansion like Jarnail, once outside main gurdwara some hooligans approached me referred me as Jarnail and threatened to give me beating. I had to take refuge back in gurdwara and even phoned 999.

    I even went and got myself some plain light undershirts, T-type, printed with message in Punjabi, Hindi, English and Urdu, saying –
    For asterisking are foulest of abuse in each respective language, involving sexual relations with mother, sisters and burdensome animal.
    So I plan when accosted again by goondas that I tear off my topshirt like Superman and reveal this message.

    But I think JARNAIL who is the direct causation of this unpleasantness should be legally liable by his disgracing misconductery for my harassment and distress. Do I have a good case?

    I do not want to wait for long because in one-two years he will be jarnailed and bankrupted and his family also.

    1001 blessings for the advice, be it favourable or other.

    1. crowd funding to pay for plastic surgery as a matter of some urgency might be an idea.

  23. Jarnail Singh is the primary representative of all that went wrong in POL. It was astonishing to watch. Jason Beer gave us an absolute masterclass in how to dissect and reveal the anatomy of this crime. It was beautiful to watch this master at work.

  24. Jeepers! I’m only 43 minutes in on Day 1 and already baffled and aghast that someone this stupid got to where he did. Absolutely disgusting.

  25. Stephen Chicconni avatar
    Stephen Chicconni

    I have never witnessed anyone put through the ringer so politely has I have Jarnail Singh……. And sing he did except for when it came to his own involvement.

  26. Well Jesus christ and guitar singy what have we here 😳 a man who put a hanky on his and swore an oath that he was telling the truth .
    I have to remind you all who watched this car crash of a performance that he would like to enjoy his retirement 😀 that he has spent years looking forward to so that he can enjoy his well earned takings and fade into obscurity with his stamp collection.and I don’t think we should disturb him an further

    1. PCOJ Investigator avatar
      PCOJ Investigator

      On display, Our Jarnail’s usual impeccable standards of integrity and morality……

    2. Thought he was from Crawley, taught one of his children. I wasn’t that surprised at this will biz. Must’ve been quite an experience for the judge!

  27. PCOJ Investigator avatar
    PCOJ Investigator

    That these boils on the surface of humanity invariably suffer blurred or vanished memories of everything that could damage them, but claim perfect recall re anything they think mitigates, or lessens their culpability, will not have escaped acute minds possessed by Beer, Blake, Williams – and me.

    1. Good to hear. I also look forward to hearing that he’ll be enjoying his retirement behind bars for many, many years! The number of word to describe his perverse views and behaviours are too many to mentions and I’m sure he’ll not have many that support him in the future. Does he really think anyone is going to believe he told the truth about anything – seems to me he wasn’t in the queue when they were handing out the moral compasses!

      1. PCOJ Investigator avatar
        PCOJ Investigator

        Following assistance rendered by google, companieshouse, the land registry and zoopla, I am led to question how did this reprobate manage to accumulate as much as £5 million?

        What POCA2002 yields much depends the skill of those deploying it. As an enraged taxpayer, I may be prepared to offer my forensic expertise gratis. Shake vigorously, squeeze hard, one may be surprised at what gets revealed.

  28. Stephen Chicconni avatar
    Stephen Chicconni

    Jarnail Singh. And sing he did… except when it came to his own involvement.

    1. PCOJ Investigator avatar

      Is there a medical term for such selectivity in amnesia?

      [/sarcasm, it’s just lying]

  29. It is difficult to know where to start with respect to my assessment of the performance of Jarnail Singh as a witness. It is currently unknown where our universe starts, let alone his, as he(Jarnail Singh) appears to inhabit a different one to the rest of humanity. I have witnessed much incompetence in my life, much of it preceded by events which perhaps would not be classified as important nor well documented, just mundane. I have to record, for the sake of posterity, that the performance of Jarnail Singh at the enquiry was both historic and hysterical in equal measure. I am of sufficient age to recall several of my favourite Monty Python sketches, and what springs to mind of this “event” is, to me, a combination of the absurd ” There’s another dead bishop on the landing”(opening line) and “And now it’s time for novel writing, which today come from the west country”(Ref Thomas Hardy’s Wessex novels)
    Incredible, incredulous, incompetent, inconceivable, inept and a few other “in” are appropriate descriptions.
    Throughout the process, Mr Singh was never lost for words, unfortunately, otherwise it would have been wrapped up in around 3 hours or so. To sum up his evidence? It wasn’t me guv’, and if it was, I can’t recall any of it………..

  30. I see Mr Singh has been called again to give evidence during the next phase of the inquiry beginning in April 2024. There’s no doubt his next appearance will draw more public attention, which is what he must certainly deserves!

    1. His comment “Mr Singh said he also did not know how to save or print documents during his employment at the organisation and had to ask others to do it for him.” was incredulous but was not followed up by who saved it & who printed it & why was it printed. Who saw it after it was printed as no point in printing it if non# one saw it. Who had access to his e mail account?

  31. I’ve now finished watching all his evidence. It’s utterly compelling in its transparent obfuscation and full on lying. The bit I’m intrigued about, but will never know the answer, is, when he got home did he feel that he’d ‘got away with Beer’s questioning and came out of it well’ or that he’d been mauled and exposed as a man devoid of any principles and any real understanding of the basic role of being a lawyer?

    1. yes, I wonder if the word “appalling” will feature when he reflects as it’s the only word I can think off

      .. but yet, having worked in very large corporations myself, for over 30 years, there were elements that I recognise. for example, effectively prostituting your signature for the “good” of the company and to impress the managers..

      1. PCOJ Investigator avatar
        PCOJ Investigator

        He should be afforded every chance to contemplate the wisdom of said/alleged prostitution as he whiles away the rest of his natural facing life imprisonment.

    2. Filleted like a kipper and he never knew it was happening. Two days of compelling viewing but had to watch some of it from behind a cushion.

      1. Watching Beer at work suggests a master surgeon eviscerating a patient under under epidural. It’s a masterclass which should be part of all Barrister training.

  32. I highly recommend watching elaine cottam on 7 november 2023.
    She manages to make all other POL witnesses seem competent and accountable by comparison,
    even the singulary unhelpful John Scott on 11 october 23

    1. Eileen Colebrook avatar
      Eileen Colebrook

      Totally agree re Elaine Cottam’s time in the witness stand. I can’t get it out of my head. I watched it days ago but it is still upsetting me that someone so incompetent and ignorant may have been responsible for wrecking innocent peoples’ lives and even now have no apparent awareness of that.

    2. Stephen Chicconni avatar
      Stephen Chicconni

      Jarnail Singh. And sing he did…… except when it came to his own involvement.

    3. I’m finding it difficult to decide whether she was more malicious than Steve Bradshaw, or he was more malicious than her. In terms of mind-numbing incompetence, I think they have equal billing.

    4. Thanks Bernie, I watched Mrs C. and she was quite stunningly stupid. Mr Beer did well not to laugh or tell her off. She reminded me of a few children I used to teach, except they had no power, nor were they so stupid.
      Who’d win a stupidity contest between her and Jarnail though? A terribly tough call that. Winner to play the ineffable Scouser!

    5. Before I watched Elaine’s participation I came across a suggestion that she was suffering from early onset dementia. When watching her responses through this lens, her nonsensical behaviour becomes more legible. The repetitive confused and tone deaf bluster of “Why are you asking me that for? It was so long ago.” reveals that there is more than just selective amnesia at work here and (unlike her co-conspirators) she is likely compensating for a genuine memory impairment.

  33. I listened to a lot of this evidence and much of the legal and “security team” testimony.
    The phrase “useful idiots” is the one that springs to mind.

  34. Barrie Humphries avatar
    Barrie Humphries

    I hope all post office executives and the board listen to this shambolic evidence . They should all be held to account and face justice

  35. I sincerely hope the SRA take this guy down for good.

  36. Not entirely sure why you think it acceptable to make fun of a name which holds much value to the Sikh community. You are trying to be clever but instead you are demonstrating your absolute ignorance. You should be ashamed.

    1. PCOJ Investigator avatar
      PCOJ Investigator

      What in blue blazes are you wittering on about??

      I thought the writings of ‘The Honorable Sikh’ on January 25, 2024 at 12:10 pm were the epitome of respect and decency, while Jarnail’s conduct and words following the “sacred” oath he took are beneath contempt.

      Don’t you agree?

      1. michael spenser avatar
        michael spenser

        I doubt if his oath would really seriously suffice in this country.
        But, it might work for Trump.

  37. BEADBI

    With reference to the “agnostic” commenter below, I too am agnostic but in a different sense.

    Quoting others, this “deceitful cockroach” Jarnail, a “repeat-offending unrepentant disgusting rapist of the reputations of the innocent and child-like”, represents the “vilest possible insult” to a proud and noble faith. All, allegedly.

    I would like to bring to the attention of all lawful authorities and also all practising Sikhs, that by him swearing on the Sundar Gutka, which is an authorised extract from our sacred text the Guru Granth Sahib, and then going on to lie, pretend and feign no memory of everything that indicts him but exhibit astoundingly perfect memory of all that he thinks mitigates his career of reputation-rape, an obligation to deal with him is placed on every single Sikh who dares to call himself such.

    What is that obligation to do, I prudently decline to specify, but ask any in doubt to consult their guides and their consciences and their knowledge that such failure will mean that those aware, capable but still inactive are thereby –themselves– spiritually defecating on the sacred GGS.

    No such obligation to act is placed on me, for I renounced all religions long ago.

    Nor am I advocating any course of action or commenting on its wisdom. There are conflicting minority views.

    This posting is merely informative of what I believe is the settled religious position to deal with those who have acted in a particular way.

  38. I am completely hooked by this parade of unbelievable characters. I can’t believe what I am hearing. I recently attended a tribunal as a witness & swore to tell the truth. The Chairperson praised all witnesses for their credibility. It does not take an ounce of legal training to see that these people don’t know the Truth from their arses.

    Mr Singh a so-called solicitor was the epitome of untruth, denial and no compassion whatsoever.. Mr Bradshaw and co, showed no ability to understand what they did to hundreds of people and the wider community.

    I just love Jason Beer and especially Julian Blake, whose calm but steadfast search for the truth is revealing all the rot that lies deep within the POL. Best line so far is Jason asking about whether having not achieved Gold standard, where they instead at ‘Pewter’. I don’t believe in the Honours List (Ms Vennells) but they deserve knighthoods for having to read through those disgusting witness statements and meet those ‘I knew nothing about this honest guv’ people.

    There is nothing they can do to provide suitable reparations except give back bonuses and go to jail for corporate fraud.

    1. Mr Singh was so fortunate to have been interviewed before the drama was aired. If his performance had received the degree of scrutiny enjoyed by the witnesses who came after the drama, the press coverage would have been mind-blowing.

      1. don’t forget he is coming back this year april I think In phase 4
        I can’t wait to see if their is any improvement in his alarming behaviour or is it a case 🤔 that he is too mentally unwell and cannot possibly return!!!! …

        1. I you thought his previous visit was insane he next appearance was even worse.
          He has an e mail on his hard drive he says he never got. That e mail was printed out which he says he did not print because he did not know how to do that. He also admitted he never saved a document all the time at the PO because again he did not know how to. What a piece of trash.

    2. “There is nothing they can do to provide suitable reparations except give back bonuses and go to jail for corporate fraud.”

      Oh yes there is.

    3. I’m just a little bit in love with Jason Beer.

    4. I actually think the next round of more senior personnel will be more revealing! Susan Creighton’s name keeps surfacing in testimonies!!

      1. In September 2013 Susan Crichton exited the Post Office with 1 day of notice to minions like the Head of Security. My first thought was that Susan was punished for choosing Second Sight as the Independent Auditors when it became clear that Ron Warmington and Ian Henderson would not adhere to the branded narrative. However a more positive consideration occurred to me when I stop and appreciate how morally just and reasonable Ron Warmington has portrayed himself (and been portrayed) through the years. It would not be surprising if Susan left on her own accord after having the institutionalized corporate blinkers ripped from her eyes by a former colleague and friend in a quiet sit down.

      2. Ms Crichton seemed to me a rather pitiable creature with fewer”I don’t remembers” etc. than most.
        Singh is back for his long-awaited encore late this week, am hoping that the exceptionally forgetful and charmless John Scott will follow him. A seeming amnesiac, he seems totally without shame like the awful Rodric; such people should be allowed no respite after their displays of carefully considered cruelty.
        Nail some sense into them!

  39. With a little luck, this evil little plonka’s name presages where he is headed.


    The sooner, the better.

    Some might argue a secure asylum might be even better suited.

    I’m agnostic.

  40. When I watched this evidence, the phrase “Flying Monkey” kept flashing in my mind.

    The solicitor clearly tries to align himself with whichever side is in the ascendancy at the moment and he struggles to reconcile his past actions with how he sees himself.

    Who dictated the email to him? No one, of course. He simply realised that it was the sort of thing that would go down well with those further up the hierarchy in POL at that time.

    A flying monkey needs a narcissist though and who was the narcissist? Can a whole organisation be the narcissist?

  41. Kristian Zacharias avatar
    Kristian Zacharias

    How is this man even able to continue practicing law – he doesn’t even know or understand the basics. He needs to be in prison!

  42. I think I found the right Gareth Jenkins of Fujitsu on Linkedin. He boasts about receiving his Executive MBA from Henley Business School. Curious to know if the course at HBS includes modules in ethics, I searched their website for a syllabus. I was taken on a journey through a seemingly endless succession of corporate-speak buzz phrases non of which had any discernible meaning. I did finally reach something that had a semblance of being a syllabus for the course, and it did include a small module on ethics, but it was optional although amid the buzz phrases it was difficult to be sure. I am left very doubtful that an institution that can produce such a thick fog of obfuscating gibberish can actually teach anyone anything, rather than stuff the idea into the heads of the stupid that they are clever.

  43. I tried to imagine him sitting with his barrister on one side and his manager on the other guiding him through everything he attempted to do. Poor chap had no experience in anything, couldn’t be left to do anything independently. His colleagues even left him out of email chains. He must have been the laughing stock of the company……, then again maybe not. Scary, really scary to think this bumbling idiot, sitting there throwing his hands in the air huffing and puffing had such a high opinion of himself. His solicitor must have head their head and their hands as they watched his pathetic performance. Can’t wait to see his next one!!

    1. Kristian Zacharias avatar
      Kristian Zacharias

      I am so excited for his next session. Loved watching him squirm, obfuscate, diminish his part in everything including emails with his signature on, and throw every man and his dog under the bus.

      Compelling watching – though not for poor Seema Misra (and others) who put her faith in the British justice system and the people operating it. Little did she know the corruption and lack of any ethics or morals of those looking to hide their incompetence and the systems flaws.

    2. Perfect scapegoat for the organisation!!! Used him for their purposes because he would always comply!

      1. Scapegoats are innocent thought, that’s the point.
        Singh is up to his fat neck in immorality and malpractice that he must, along with many others in the sorry matter, be jailed for quite a long time.
        I’d accept the bringing back of the pillory for these vile people though; and heavy fines.

  44. I thought the need for council to have to explain “how a calendar works” tells you all you need to know about this conveyance clerk employed by the post office for 18 years who ended up being head of a legal dept of 1!
    If he has any conscience he will spend the rest of his life walking bare foot around the uk stopping at every post office to do any menial task they require that is within his comprehension and allow anyone to ask him “ how long is a long time ago “?

    1. PCOJ Investigator avatar

      While undoubtedly he is extraordinary stupid, to think he has not carefully thought through – probably abetted by his own lawyer – how to make it less likely he is locked up for the rest of his natural life.

  45. What a car crash that performance was! But as anyone who has ever worked on the shop floor in most British companies will no doubt agree, typical middle/upper management……someone promoted well beyond their ability or intelligence who relies on other people to do the work and then takes credit for it passing it off as their own….until brought to book as in this case! If it was down to me every middle and senior person at the post office and its third party contractors, including lawyers and politicians through the years, would be in the dock! But what’s the betting that no lessons will be learned and a few years on there will be yet another major scandal leaving everyone shaking their heads.

  46. This out and out useless piece of effluent should be fined a sum equivalent to his net worth, given a council flat on an undesirable estate, and given a job as a refuse collector.

    1. michael spenser avatar
      michael spenser

      I think that you are going easy on him!

  47. A masterclass in corruption and complicity. Jarnail should be on the stage BUT he would have trouble remembering his lines .

    1. PCOJ Investigator avatar

      You mean, he would PRETEND to have trouble remembering his lines?

  48. You lot even the Admirable Mr Wallis appear to have missed the savage baboon tribe in the room.

    The JUDGES and MAGISTRATES who convicted what will surely end up being more than a thousand innocent subpostmasters.

    99% of the prosecutions brought by the Poo Orifice Limited or its preceder or on its behalf by the See-Pess-Fess or the Scottish wipes succeeded.

    Judges and Magistrates are NOT obliged to accept guilty pleas. Or just believe evidence when “beyond reasonable doubt” is the test.

    And defence lawyers, most of whom were cowardly roos, idiotic or incompetent or both.

    What type of inept gullible buffoons do we have scattered around Britain’s useless, corrupt, stupid, lazy cun-tocrazee of a JUDICIARY and BAR?

    It simply needs a whoppin’ big clear-out, no less, mass confiscation of assets, sequestration of pension entitlements, public humiliation, if possible legislation to bring back public degradation, flogging and then a year in the stocks after which there’ll be little to dispose of besides the wigs and strap-on jocks.

    All done legally of course. I’d waive me fees. They lost their right to mercy in my book

    Bring on the new laws now!

  49. I watched both Steve Bradshaw and Jarnail Singh being questioned and I have never seen 2 people talking a load of balderdash in all my life. They both showed a level of incompetence that I never knew existed. How in the hell was Mr Singh allowed to me employed as a senior member of the law law team I will never know. As for Steve Bradshaw being employed as a security investigator OMG. It just goes to show the the Post Office executives knew what was going on but thought that by using these 2 employees maybe they would take the blame away from them. This catastrophic event should never of happened and all the PO and Fujitsu executives should be held accountable for what they have done and for all the lives they have ruined and they all should be sent to prison for there actions. It is always the little person that takes the heat and the ones with power get away with it. It is a NATIONAL DISGRACE on an INDUSTRIAL scale. I am so angry what I am seeing and hearing was allowed to go on for so long to so many innocent people.

    1. Kristian Zacharias avatar
      Kristian Zacharias

      I feel exactly the same. Have to meditate to remove my anger. Then there’s Mrs Cottam day 81, but at least she probably wasn’t getting paid what Jarnail Singh was.

      Watching the emails playing out as they change witness statements to hide defects and bolster their cases to prosecute. There MUST be legal culpability on the back of this. If there isn’t – it’s a second outrage!!

  50. So did all this happen through sheer utter and absolute stupidity? This process is either full of people who deny passing on any information, or if they did have information, it wasn’t their job to share it. Doublespeak. How can you sit in an office with co workers and be unable to hear or speak? I don’t know what is worse – faux sympathy from Mr Singh or the malice of Steve Bradshaw, still believing SPM’s are guilty..

    1. I’m compiling a chart of these whackas, a Priority List, kinda. While crackers Jar Jar Nail Binks and foul Railway Bradshaw are in the first ten, they aren’t in top places.

  51. The witness who repeatedly said: “I cannot recall”. I wouldn’t have paid this person in stamps, never mind washers! What planet was/is he on? Those poor sub post persons.

  52. You poms lost the plot.

    Faced and presented with the right motivation, this Jar Nail booger will be a’squealing and a’squalling for a life sentence and sequestration of all his earthly possessions and a chance to meet “Sundar Gupta”.

  53. Speaking as “the senior” expert on this matter, without taking out the “the”, this bloke is a ruddy Psychopath. I’ve taken a professional interest in him.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hate everyone, and religious blarney and skin colour don’t come into my views. I hate ’em all.

    But it tickled me pink that three minutes into this inquiry session on 30 November, the lawyer or liar put some fricken napkin on his head, grinned and swore his oath by someone called “Sundar Gupta” or “Sunder Gupta” that he was going to break his lifelong habit and so on and so forth.

    But who the fook is this “Sundar Gupta”?

    Goggle says no one is on record ever before as swearing an oath on this person or gawd, did he make it up on the spot or premeditatedly?

    Is this Jurnail all there? Or, is the dirty blagger setting up an insanity plea for the prosecution that is to follow?

    I’d like to interview him without caution, see what he’s made of, get to the bottom of this mystery before he ups and runs with this Gupta bloke.

  54. Colin Bloomfield avatar
    Colin Bloomfield

    I watched his interview, and he just came across as a back street slippery lawyer. Could not recall anything, nothing was of his doing and how much he had suffered. Surely an investigation is supposed to uncover the truth, but with investigators and lawyers like him working for the post office, the post masters did not stand a chance. They were guilt before proven innocent. Hope he gets what’s coming to him.

  55. I get the impression from Mr Singh’s evident narcissism that he may have been attracted to appear at the inquiry to fulfil his fantasy of starring in a very public historic drama. Well, his fantasy has been fulfilled. But I’m sure he wasn’t expecting to play the role of the fool.

  56. Will the ‘evidence’ given by Singh regarding Gareth Jenkins being or not being an Expert Witness get Jenkins off the hook?

  57. After watching Singh and many of the other videos, I feel like stopping all of our Management training at my Company, and asking Managers to watch the Public Enquiry instead. They will quickly learn how not to be a Manager. How not to run an IT project. How not to respond to legal, moral or ethical challenges. How not to employ and promote staff. And how not to run a Company.

    1. All of those, and why are not to go walkabout too.

    2. I totally agree. This should definitely be used as training in businesses as what not to do! I’m completely gobsmacked.

  58. I recently started watching these streams (currently on the very articulate Tony Marsh) after the publicity from the TV series, which I haven’t yet watched. So far, including Singh, the people who’ve given evidence have given off an aura of complete incompetence, alongside a stunning absence of imagination.

    But that isn’t what scares me. What scares me is I have a sinking feeling middle management in all our institutions are just like them.

    Thanks for this blog. I’ve really been enjoying the sarcasm!

  59. Chloe Alexander avatar

    Singh’s performance is utterly incredible, almost to the point of humour. His stuttering, contradictory tone reminds me of Frankie Howerd saying “Oooh, yes, no missus”, which would be amusing if it wasn’t so tragic. Not least because this disgrace of a human being sent a woman to jail. If he’d been my conveyancing lawyer I wouldn’t trust the sale or purchase. A High Street shyster.

    1. I’m actually shocked that he managed to successfully prosecute anyone after that performance!!

  60. It’s amazing how sharp his memory is when recalling what he didn’t do, and then how it turns on a dime to become hazy and confused when asked who did.

    I’ve now watched about half an hour of testimony from three people. What I’ve seen from that small snippet are staggering levels of stupidity and dishonesty in combination. Somebody is surely going to perjure themselves sooner or later, if they haven’t already.

  61. One often hears about people suffering ‘Imposter Syndrome’. It is, fortunately, rather rare to actually meet someone who absolutely meets the actual criteria for being wholly unable to do the job they occupy – in fact, at seemingly any role several grades below the one he currently appears to be on.

    1. In Oz, and on oath, we are gonna rename the Peter Principle as the Sundar Gupta Principle.

      1. I recon that could catch on down under.

    2. Best example of the Dunning/Kruger effect it is possible to find, M. Owen.

  62. At the age of 77 I don’t think I can possibly visit all the videos, PDF’s and other documents concerned with this outrageous scandal and have to miss out on the other contemporaneous enquiry into that other major enquiry concerning the UK’s response to the Covid Pandemic which also has too many unexplained and unanswered areas!
    Well done all the investigators!

    1. Michael carpenter avatar
      Michael carpenter

      I think he was employed to dot the i’s and cross the t’s … I get a sense that this was beyond him

  63. This person is one of many in positions where they have no right to be, and highlights the bigger picture of people in other departments and agencies that are not equipped or knowledgeable enough to effectively perform the duties they were employed and trusted to do. Seeing these interviews, they seem to also think they are untouchable.

    My hope is that the truth will out, all of the wrongly accused will be vindicated and given their reputations back, but also, start the ball rolling into the wider picture and expose all of the other injustices that many have suffered at the hands of these people…..

  64. I have arrived here after the ITV drama aired in the last week. The injustice done to the sub-postmasters over all this time is quite, quite shocking.

    At this point I have watched just over two of Mr Singh’s four sessions of testimony. Mr Singh appears incompetent to the point of disbelief but falls just short of gaining my disbelief. I do not think he is being performative here, he is (and was) simply grossly inept. Mr Singh is/was stupid, lazy, negligent and, very possibly, malign. He did not understand or care that his actions had significant consequences.
    I doubt there is anyone in POL management who was consciously directing the malfeasance but do believe that there were various incompetents in senior positions and they relied on each other. But later testimony from some of these people may reveal otherwise.

    I am not a lawyer and do not understand how these things work but I’m afraid that I think Mr Singh should be on the radar for future prosecution. “I was only following orders” cannot realistically be a defence here.

    It is all very depressing and I hope all the aggrieved sub-postmasters get satisfaction sooner than seems the case right now.

  65. I’ve been busy showing anyone who would listen the disgraceful Jarmail Singh and his unbelievable faux pas, delivered with the incredible confusion usually only seen in the deranged minds of the severely mentally ill. But Jarnail Singh is not mentally ill, except if it is a legitimate thing to call him criminally insane. One would expect that the abominable behaviour which he has displayed during his Post Office employment, (for which he most certainly enjoyed a remuneration much higher than that which was afforded to the sub postmasters who he betrayed, and which he was required to answer for during the ensuing enquiry), would culminate in his rightful prosecution with a result that any right minded person listening to him would expect. But I won’t hold my breath!

    1. Mr Singh was undoubtedly wholly ill-equipped and unqualified for the role he performed, and most of his shortcomings and mistakes can probably be explained by that. He was and is quite simply an idiot. Only an idiot could make the request to correct his witness statement, but not actually give prior consideration to what those corrections would be. If he acted on the conveyance of any house I own, I would be checking with the Land Registry to make sure I was in fact the owner. So many things about this shameful scandal sit very uncomfortably. It is absurd that there are no minimum competency requirements (at least effective ones) for those making prosecution decisions within a prosecuting authority. Mr Singh could never have passed any sensible minimum standard. POL was clearly awash with over-promoted and under-qualified half-wits, extending to the most senior management. The inquiry needs to establish who were the most senior people in receipt of Mr Clarke’s opinions, and they should be prosecuted. The government (not POL) must ensure that convictions are quashed and compensation paid. That mis-carriages of justice occured in the first place is unforgivable, but the fact that those mis-carriages remain unresolved due to POL’s (aided by the government) continuing and dispicable frustration tactics is now an utter disgrace and does no credit at all to a legal system/society that is often held up as one of the best/most civilised in the world. Enough is enough for these poor people. PS – I still don’t understand why Judges were accepting the evidence of a Fujitsu employee as independent expert evidence.

      1. Are you the same Adam Crozier who was Chief Exec of Royal Mail 2003 – 2010?

        1. Very good question !

        2. And the same Adam Crozier who moved on to be the CEO of ITV plc from 2010 – 2017………….

          ……………….. which is presumably why ITV’s drama ‘Mr. Bates versus The Poo Office’ didn’t even once make mention that almost all the lawsuits and persecutions started while Crozier, not Venal, was the Boss of Royal Male and so also Poo Office.

          Saatchi & Saatchi Crozier is now CEO of B.T. so I guess that’s the office I’ve got to visit to get hold of Crozier.

          1. Well certainly the incompetance followed through to BT which has acted in a similar way to POL. BT legal operate at the same level of deceit and incompetance as the PO has shown. Such a shame for the largest employer in the twenties and thirties with the much loved and respected GPO. Al these incompetant idiots should face consequences of their ivory towers.

  66. Mr Jarnil “Two Jobs” Singh was awful. Who would ever trust him again. If he isn’t eventually struck off I will be souffle, sorry surprised.

  67. Cowboy Coders posing as professional engineers.
    Post Office (teaboy) investigators posing as detectives.
    A priest posing as the CEO.
    A conveyancer posing as a criminal lawyer.

    This must be the Post Office Panto!

    1. A Horizon fanboy posing as an independent “expert witness”.

      1. And Mick Taylor on the case.

        1. PCOJ Investigator avatar

          Do not forget a whole posse of idiotic incompetent “Judges” who negligently, ignorantly, recklessly if not maliciously sided with POO.

    2. Lots of clowns to choose the cast from

    3. From the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park to Horizon and Bracknell.
      Vennells actually claimed Horizon was so good – Fujitsu had overseas interest in buying the system.

      Paula could get work on the comedy circuit.

  68. […] Then he was taken by Millar to his witness statement, in which he recollects disagreeing with the hapless Jarnail Singh in one instance over Singh’s gung-ho prosecuting decisions. Thomas […]

  69. Listening to Singh’s evidence was a masterclass in obfuscation. He was meretricious in the extreme and came across as a buffoon. One wonders whether he thought, by his performance (and that’s what it was – a performance), he would appear to be someone on the periphery, dragged on by events and to be pitied.
    It brought to mind Vicky Pollard’s ”yes,but no, but yes……but no’ in relation to any question put to him and he would not be nailed.
    Sadly for him, he presented as a craven liar who you wouldn’t trust to tell you the right time of day or the correct date. A train wreck of his evidence reached a new level of prevarication which I have never experienced


    I’m neither a lawyer or a journalist but I knew within five minutes of hearing this man that he was an idiot. A weak, gullible. easily led idiot. A senior POL employee. come to believe like so many others in invincibility, dragged into the real world blinking and gibbering. A shocking display, quite the worst I’ve ever seen in a public inquiry (although, elsewhere, Boris Johnson has yet to finish with the Covid-19 questioning today).

    You’re right about Dunning-Kruger and the Peter Principle. We have been chown an extraordinary selection of low-energy, low-IQ types promoted to the senior ranks on little more merit than having joined the Post Office at an early age. And, once there, they found themselves on a gravy train of comfortable working, generous remuneration and excellent pension prospects – all at public expense. Why would they not fight – singly and collectively – to keep this train on its tracks?

    I joined the (hospitals) NHS in the 1970s when this type of culture was the norm. I never imagined that – nearly 50 years on – it would have continued in other corners of public ‘service’.

    1. Not “Peter Principle”, scroll back to the third minute, it is “Sundar Gupta Principle”.

  71. In my university physics department we have a special term for the process of trying to extract a straight answer from someone incapable of giving one: Jason Beer KC has spent two days “trying to nail a jellyfish to a wall”.

    1. We call it “knitting fog…”

  72. william burrows avatar

    This extraordinary and risible performance in the witness box by Jarnail Singh, as he was then, the chief prosecuting lawyer for the Post Office must rank as a unique moment in British legal annals. It will undoubted form part of every law students’ required viewing for years to come. What a legacy to leave in your wake. Generations of Singhs will see their ancestor being demolished in Court.

    1. The SRA database indicates “There are no disciplinary or regulatory decisions currently published about this person.” Yet. You might want to check in a few months.

    2. OMG!! I have watched many of these sessions now and this by a country mile makes excruciating and fascinating watching.

      Excruciating because of the Herculean ineptitude of Jarnail Singh and his pathetic attempts to put distance between himself and just about everything that Jason Beer KC threw at him.

      Fascinating to watch Jason Beer QC,a master of his craft at work in forensically exposing Janail Singh for what he is – a pathetic, disingenuous hopelessly inept professional who is shamelessly failing to take responsibility for the enormous miscarriage of justice that he has helped in perpetrating and ruining the lives of completely innocent people.

      I look forward to seeing all those responsible being hung out to dry. May the rest of their miserable lives be ruined as their victims’ lives have been.

  73. My heroes in the past have been footballers and astronauts, the list now includes Jason Beer KC.

    1. My antiheroes in the past have been Billy Bunter .
      This head of criminal investigation at the Post office ranks with him.

    2. Beer Belly was sharp but not as sharp as me.

    3. Mr Beer is a superb example of the best of British. It is clear from his demeanour that he can’t believe he and Singh are both in the same profession.

  74. As an ex Postal Officer I find it mystifying that someone,somewhere in the Post Officer management did not come to the conclusion that large amounts of sub-postmasters shortages after the implimatation of Horizon must be down to something other than a huge outbreak of dishonesty.Perhaps the new Horizon system perhaps. I think we should be told.

    1. I would just like to develop that point a bit. To end up as a sub-postmaster with a branch handling large amounts of public money, there were actually quite stringent checks in place. Randoms off the street were never appointed as SPMs. Unsurprisingly, the outcome was that SPMs were very frequently pillars of their community, middle age, middle class stalwarts of honesty and accuracy. Now middle age, middle class crime exists, as a tiny proportion of all crime, but usually it’s clear where the money went – cars, holidays, drugs and above all gambling addictions. One huge alarm bell here was both the sheer quantity of people involved (over 2,000 people have applied for compensation), the complete absence of explanation as to where the money went, and the fact that Crown post offices were also affected by shortages. Somewhere between POL’s management style and longstanding internal silos prevented normal human transparency from pitching something quite obvious up to everyone.

      1. Very well put. I agree with everything you have said.

        A question I’ve got* (which may or not be connected, ahem) is where did all the extra money go? SPMs ‘paid back’ to the Post Office tens of thousands of pounds that wasn’t missing. If the Post Office’s internal accounting and audit departments didn’t discover this, why didn’t they? And if they did, why wasn’t this notified to its prosecution department? What did happen to the money?

        It seems obvious to me that any SPM who has now been cleared should have received their money back, with interest. Its unarguable, so why hasn’t it happened?

        * forgive me if this has been asked and answered before: I haven’t seen any discussion of it.

        1. It’s a fair question. I suspect what has happened in book-keeping terms is that the “extra” money has been seen as timing differences at month/quarter/year ends and explained away. POL never gets to the ultimate end (thou’ it might yet) and so these amounts, actually quite small in terms of the amount of cash going through the system (thou’ often large at an individual SMP level) never are quite fully accounted for. Almost like a rounding error.

          Another plausible explanation may be that POL procedures are such a mess, especially on the cash account, that they were/are simply unaware the money even existed. Who was looking for it ? Other than the SPMs, there was no interest in finding it, or if found, no one wanted an explanation. It was likely moved back into POLs accounts as Miscellaneous Income. In a sense it still exists thou’ with POL being technically insolvent the SPMs who were defrauded of these sums might become creditors were it a normal commercial operation, and get pennies in the pound.

        2. Apologies in advance if I’m not correct on this, but in amongst all the details of this whole lamentable affair, I’m sure I’ve seen reference to the fact that certain Fujitsu staff had unfettered access to the entire system, including individuals accounts.
          If that is indeed the case, then it’s not difficult to surmise where the money is has gone.

          1. Exactly and my query is why did bugs in the horizon system produced shortfalls never surplus? Strange that.

      2. I remember reading about this Post Office scandal in Computer Weekly in 2009 when they were one of the first to investigate it and The Guardian followed up on the Computer Weekly investigation a couple of years after that so there were serious doubts about these prosecution even then.
        Why the very credible concerns raised by Computer Weekly among others were ignored and these prosecutions continued after 2009 is beyond me. Being an IT professional myself, I remember being surprised so many professional people were suddenly being blamed for missing funds instead of newly introduced software which was far more likely to be the cause of these issues. As any programmer will tell you, because of budget & time constraints, there is a limit to how much testing is done on new software in development so a considerable amount of debugging & refining is always done after launch. It is unforgivable that the Post Office, police & CPS all proceeded with prosecutions against these post masters without investigating the new software at the heart of it especially after the Computer Weekly investigation in 2009 proved the Post Office & Fujitsu already knew there were known issues with their software. The police & CPS may have been incompetent but managers at The Post Office & Fujitsu should be held criminally responsible for blaming post masters when they knew their software was unreliable.

        1. Computer World first, Private Eye (Eyes passim since 2011 with NW on board) then to Nick Wallis’s BBC podcast about 4 years ago then to the drama in December.
          Eye readers have been aware of this for many years, well before Vennells got her gong in 2019!

      3. “To end up as a sub-postmaster with a branch handling large amounts of public money, there were actually quite stringent checks in place. Randoms off the street were never appointed as SPMs.”

        It seems a great pity that the Post Office didn’t make stringent checks on the solicitors they employed. Maybe “randoms off the street” were appointed as solicitors.

    2. Perhaps the new Horizon system perhaps. I think we should be told.


  75. Absolutely compelling viewing – I can’t believe I’ve just watched all four sessions of Jarnail Singh’s “testimony” but it was worth every minute. What Jason Beer so skilfully brings out is the sheer laziness of Mr Singh and his persistent unwillingness to take any responsibility… which in turn appears to reflect Post Office culture generally. Also, “the progress I’ve made isn’t as swift as I’d hoped for one reason or another” (end of session 3) – how does Jason Beer keep such a poker face!

    1. Edward John Draper avatar
      Edward John Draper

      I agree with you re Mr Beer KC.

      From early 2000’s I have taken an interest in this travesty, wondering why the number of SPM’s being prosecuted was not investigated. Also, having been involved in 3 computer introductions in various large companies, did not understand how the Horizon system could not have errors, bugs and defects. Following the PO’s cover up we now know.

    2. Absolutely compelling viewing…

      It is, and, to my shame, I’m taking great delight in seeing this slow, “death by a thousand cuts” approach to questioning. It must be torture. Of course, the PO prosecutors and investigators are now in the “biter bit” situation, enduring what they’ve subjected others to, though their interrogation is being conducted by far more competent and urbane inquisitors than they were themselves… Which is why I feel no guilt enjoying the spectacle…

      Beer asks a question, witness offers a bullshit answer, Beer produces documentary evidence, witness blusters, witness despite legal training, claims to have difficulty understanding the form of words used in subsequent questions, ultimately starts, virtually, to blame age for his diminished cognitive ability… Maybe he’s aiming to avoid, or mitigate, any punishment / penalty later imposed… I suspected Ernest Saunders, of the “Guinness Four” of that… Released from prison early on the basis of his Alzheimer’s, experienced a miraculous recovery after release… Make of that what you will…

    3. Beer keeps a poker face, yes, but in these chilly times, and I’m more used to January being blazing summer, I’d keep a red-hot poker instead. It is a matter of style and art.

  76. Let’s not forget that Jarnail Singh is one of the characters in this process (hardly a witness, so bad was he) that was warned by Sir Wyn that he was entitled to the privilege against self-incrimination. That is used “on any occasion when it is considered the person being spoken to is under suspicion of having committed one or more criminal offences” so we can perhaps get some idea of what the inquiry initially believed about his position.

    Another consideration is the position of the Post Office as a legal entity with some public status. I have been watching this story of incompetence, misfeasance and often downright malevolence in its collective attitude to SPMs, since before the two High Court judgements, so that I wonder if it really has a future as an organisation. That is even before we hear from the top management and Board members.

    I for one would be very happy to see a decision by government to close it down and start again at the end of these proceedings. However, we should also not forget the legal and political failings that allowed the scandal to go on so long, and with so much cost and suffering.

  77. Another particularly noteworthy moment was, after he was asked a potentially damaging question about why he had failed to disclose evidence, Mr Singh consulted his solicitor on self-incrimination.
    After returning, he heard the question again and decided he couldn’t remember.

  78. william burrows avatar

    I watched this man on the live YouTube feed in disbelief. Quite the worst in the parade of incompetent PO witnesses giving evidence to the Inquiry. Jason Beer gives the odd quizzical and disbelieving glance at the camera. The instant reaction on ‘X’ encapsulates what many of the SubPostmasters think of this man. I am appalled that a Government owned organisation has employed such dreadful people.

  79. What a difference a day makes.

    I’m now at the lunch break on Day Two of Mr Singh’s examination. Someone from among his legal representatives has clearly taken him aside and given him firm instructions – to which he appears to be adhering. Whether or not there is someone seated in his line of sight giving him the hairy eyeball one can only surmise.

  80. Does anyone know whether the Legal services Board is going to be invited to give evidence to the Inquiry? As I understand it, this body has regulatory responsibilities as set out in the Legal Services Act 2007. I would like to achieve a better understanding of whether the Board are content with Jarnail Singh’s professional competence and ethical standards, how they would normally expect to receive reports of deficiencies? What sanctions are available to them, and can these still be applied under the Act after this period of time?

    What were the special circumstances in Post Office that allowed Singh and others to persist unchallenged in positions of superior responsibility? Who in Post Office, whether in Legal function line management or in (say) the Human Resources function, had responsibility for overseeing the competence and conduct of qualified legal staff and the unqualified others who actually conducted the majority of interactions with sub-postmasters?

    Many unqualified others seem to have had de-facto powers to make decisions on suspensions, criminal prosecutions, civil actions, and disclosure. Regardless of whether this is permitted or appropriate, this policy must surely have been reviewed and confirmed at Post Office Board level, or at least by a direct report to a Board member? Who was that, and on what rationale? What risks were considered when the decision to empower unqualified others was confirmed – including possible unintended consequences for innocent sub-postmasters and their families?

    Or did it all happen by default as a result of the Post office Board not understanding their own business and the way it was operating? Was the Post Office Board, in reality, not competent to run the business, and therefore unable to recognise the failures in policies, processes, systems, training, and oversight? Or was it that the Post Office Board deliberately turned a blind eye towards the evidence in front of them?

  81. He should go to prison.

    I doubt he will, but he absolutely should.

  82. Richard Hopkins avatar

    I also watched both days of Singh’s appearance. Did anyone else pick up the near throwaway line during the introduction that he was running some sort of sideline business during at least part of his employment at the Post Office – but then later on was constantly complaining about his workload?

    The fact that he then constantly denied being responsible for emails sent in his name makes one wonder how busy he actually could have been.

    A couple of details stick in my mind. The first was his determination that he regarded Gareth Jenkins as a lay rather than expert witness (and the subsequent failures in instruction arising therefrom) – and Mr Beer’s gradual introduction of the written evidence which undermined Singh’s claims, up until the point where JS openly refers to GJ as an/”their” expert.

    And second, Singh’s almost throwaway line, I think right at the end of one of the two morning sessions, that the inclusion of Jenkins’ email about being unable to make a clear statement of no problems with Horizon should have been “essential” to include in disclosure.

    I do hope that Rob Wilson and the other individuals Singh has associated with his conduct are now required to make further statements – or are questioned on these matters as subsequent appearances. Again though, the patience of Mr Beer, and the Inquiry Chair, in getting even this far with this individual.

    I also hope that both the SRA and Police are looking on with interest.

  83. Jason Beer is amazing – he does it all with such sincerity and professionalism. He asked Singh “so you’re Head of Criminal Law for the Post Office but you have no expertise in criminal law so you asked other people for advice on criminal law is that correct?” (or words to that affect) and the idiot says “yes”. Beggars belief.

  84. Rosie+Brocklehurst avatar

    A superb summary by Nick, of grotesque chicanery on the part of Jarnail Singh. If Richard Moorhouse is right and he claims mental health issues as an excuse not to return to the Inquiry, I will may feel obliged to pay for a Private Investigator to monitor his truthfulness. I would not like to think that the public interest is being undermined by a pusillanimous dickhead, ducking out from a call from Sir Wyn in order to skive on a golf course or run a private business as a conveyancer when he could be avoiding all responsibility on the witness stand for a second time, albeit with the risk of driving Jason Beer KC into a retirement home for jaded judges and bewildered barristers. The circularity of the transition of his explicit meaning at the beginning of a sentence to the opposite meaning at the end of it was dizzying. In this way, so it was that a definite No became a definite Yes. Nothing that was written by him was written by him except when it was. A memo materialised as if sent by a messenger from the Gods, dictated by disembodied voices, and never typed by him, heaven forbid, and unless they were Rob Wilson he could not recall who dictated them, because he never named names except when he named Rob Wilson. And who were these people he had sent his email to? Why was he always the last to know? It is so grievous to be kept out of the loop you yourself have created, to never be allowed to go to court to weep in front of Subpostmasters, to show your solidarity with the very people who you have destroyed. As to Julian Wilson who had the temerity to be dead while he named him and therefore could not hear his grief, at least things were put right for Julian. This is the numbskull who as senior lawyer (Head of Nothing or No one) is in an open plan office spending his days allegedly running a conveyancing business while farming out papers to Cartwright King at enormous cost while being paid a salary; the man who compliments the ‘expertise’ of Gareth Jenkins only to deny Jenkins three times before the cock crows. An ‘expert’? “I don’t know what an expert is. Horizon? What is that? I know nothing about Horizon” -all the while, as processes he set in motion end up in a courtroom he has no time to attend, as he is so overwhelmed with memos he has not written, and conveyancing work that is simply a pastime, while people he has grievously never met have the gall to be sent to jail.

    1. Well if Richard is is indeed right, Mr Singh surely should then be disqualified as a director of J SINGH – JUDGE SOLICITORS LTD (co. no. 14542435)?

    2. Rosie that’s a hoot of an idea, you paying for and using a Private Instigator to probe deeply into this “pusillanimous dickhead”.

      May I volunteer, I’d probe deeper than most.

  85. As well as all the cogent observations above; I am deeply sadened to realise there was no mechanism in the UK to prevent, detect and remove such an obviously incompetent/reckless even criminally minded, so called solicitor from ruining hundreds of Brittons lives, over many years. The existence and conduct at the Post Office of Jarnail Singh, atrocious though it is, is nowhere near as bad as the complete absence of an effective system in the UK to prevent/detect and stop his reign of terror in a state enterprise. The UK legal system was so ineffective it allowed him free reign to ruin so many lives. There will always be such people in society but why was and still is the UK legal system so ineffective?

    As an aside it seems he is currently MD of a newly formed (non SRA regulated) company named: J SINGH – JUDGE SOLICITORS LTD (co. no. 14542435).

    1. Well spotted Donald, I see that first accounts made up to 31 December 2023 are due by 15 September 2024 – it will be interesting to see what level of business the new company has managed to aquire by the end of this year.

    2. Conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice? Anyone prepared to crowdfund a private prosecution- if they’re allowed any more after this debacle? He WAS warned about self-incrimination!

    3. Well detected, Donald. Let’s keep an eye – and Private Eye no doubt – on this.
      A true chancer, this embodiment of the chancer.

  86. Amen to all of the above! I watched the full 10 hours of Mr Singh’s drivel in fascinated horror.

    Jason Beer is a consummate professional and represents, in marked contrast to some of the people questioned in the inquiry, the real quality that was once common but now seems lacking in much of British public life and service.

  87. Eeer , muuummm , yes but no but maybe, I can’t , it’s such a long time ago …..

    Shambles- Jason Beer must despair that this guy is part of his profession .
    And the death stare 😉

  88. I watched it all. My favourite moment was when Mr Beer pointed out that an email signed by Singh couldn’t have been composed by him as it lacked spelling mistakes. Priceless. Can’t wait for Jenkins and Vennells, who Singh called Venables.

    1. I’m waiting for Adam Crozier.

    2. Yes, that was priceless at the 1:54′ mark on Day 92:
      Beer: “Who actually drafted this email?”
      Singh: (random idiotic “um…dunno…can’t remember” Jurnail bluster)
      Beer: “Well it appears to contains no spelling mistakes, or missing words, which, if you’ll forgive me for saying, is your normal way of writing…and it doesn’t appear to be in your style of writing.”
      Singh: “….uh… I’ve no idea…”

      What an incompetent idiot, and ironic that “The” senior lawyer for POL makes such a poor performance in court.

    3. Yes that was hilarious!!! I hope sub postmasters enjoy the debacle to know justice is on its way!!

  89. The Post Office Security Team thought they owned the investigations, prosecutions, legal process, and ethical /moral standards on behalf of the business. The internal and outsourced legal teams actually did, but didn’t understand the scope of their responsibilities, and nor have they convinced us of their professional competence.

    Fujitsu was the Design Authority for the Horizon System but failed to apply best practice to requirements analysis, system architecture, software engineering, verification & validation, through-life support, or end-user training. Fujitsu were reluctant to “do the right thing” to help the Post Office with investigation into bugs, faults and defects, and investigation into alleged fraud, because this would erode both their financial returns from the contract and their company reputation.

    The Government (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) is the Post Office Shareholder and holds Post Offices’ feet to the fire regarding organisational sustainability. It must have been obvious to Government, however, that the alleged level of criminality in the sub-postmaster community was disproportionate to that in the general population, and that something was seriously wrong. It must have been obvious that Government intervention was needed to correct past injustice and prevent further damage to sub-postmasters and their families.

    In response to this pressure to achieve sustainability, the Post Office Board didn’t care who runs their outlets as long as it can offload all the risks, including business failure and financial accountability, many of these risks being outside sub-postmasters’ visibility or control. Sub-postmasters were forced to use Horizon without practical means of auditing and challenging its accuracy, including long after its bugs, faults and defects were clear to other individuals.

    1. Jeff Hammersley avatar

      One of the most lucid comments to date.
      There are so many aspects to this saga, but lack of transparency and oversight, together with protection of vested interests and professional/corporate reputations has made a tragedy of a disaster.

  90. I couldn’t watch for long. Just dipping into the transcripts left me feeling queasy. Ian Henderson of Second Sight is quoted in your book as saying that Singh was ‘on another bloody planet!’ and that now looks over-generous.

  91. Excellent, Nick. Thank you. Your report reads to me rather like Puckoon, but that was excellent fiction; having watched the whole car crash, sadly this was reality and your report is accurate and unexaggerated.

  92. It really was an extraordinary non-performance by the utterly hapless Mr. Singh. Every few minutes Mr. Beer would put something new on to the table, some new detail which shows that there were red flags all over the show right at the time innocent people were being thrown into prison. Yet after 10 hours of testimony I am unable to recall a single piece of new detail that Mr Singh could recall from his long service in the Post Office. It’s reasonable to expect that memories fade a bit, but Mr Singh seemingly could not recall any significant information, zero red flags, from his many years with Post Office Limited. What exactly was he doing? Overloaded but with no recallable work? He was there to give insight to the inquiry, yet none there came. Critically these prosecutions were “masterminded” by someone who openly didn’t understand computers at all and dictated any email that went past 2 sentences. He even needed a break in Friday’s proceedings so that someone else could arrange a pen and paper for him. Sir Wyn reminded him that if he breathed in occasionally it may help his testimony.

    Mr Singh also handled legal work for areas other than Horizon: I hope someone in Continuity Post Office (Insolvent) is delving into his workload to find the other horrors of incompetency lurking therein.

    1. Jeff Hammersley avatar

      Compare and contrast the testimony of Jarnail Singh and Warwick Tatford.
      Both asked to recall details from the Seema Misra case (so from the same dates, even the same events).
      Not only the clarity of recollection, but also the expression of regret from Mr Tatford goes someway to restoring confidence in the legal profession.

  93. What we saw over the past two days is a forensic examination of one part of the post office system and culture which remains today. In my opinion Singh showed that he gave little thought or effort to his work and it’s not hard to believe that he doesn’t remember. It seems that he got others to write reports and emails, when asked for advice and opinions he turned to others and rehashed their words.

    When confronted with the outcome and impact of his work he doesn’t like he denies all personal responsibility.

    It was a flashback to PO managers appearances at the HoC Select Committee. When challenged about their weakening of the universal delivery guarantee and their policy to prioritise parcel delivery, they lied! Then were confronted with internal signs taken from sorting offices around the country instructing staff to do it.

    Their claiming of bonuses for assisting the enquiry shows these people have NO shame. They’re clearly signalling “business as usual folks, don’t worry this enquiry is nothing to worry about, keep shuffling the paper round and deny, stall and forget everything.”

    You have to see Singh as one of the supreme products of his company culture which models such behaviour rather than an outlier.

  94. I’ll bet a large amount we won’t see him again. He’s probably already contacted his GP about the ‘mental illness’ that will prevent him from returning to testify again.

  95. Watched the whole thing. I’ll make a very large bet that we won’t see him again. He’s probably already contacted his GP about the ‘mental illness’ that will prevent him from returning to ‘help’ the Inquiry.

    1. Yes indeed, I replayed some parts several times over as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – the apparent level of professional incompetence was astounding, but I can’t decide whether this was genuine or contrived.

      1. Rose winter’s testimony also interesting!!! Changing other people’s statements????

    2. Kay Feltham-Jones avatar
      Kay Feltham-Jones

      I’m afraid I tend to agree that we won’t see Singh at the Inquiry again. On the upside, whilst I’d loved to hear Jason Beer KC’s 37 unaddressed questions (and Singh’s no doubt incredible replies) Singh has already amply demonstrated his incompetence, complacency, laziness and absolute culpability in malicious prosecutions over two days of testimony. The sheer lunacy he also displayed was a bonus – at any minute I was expecting him to place his underpants on his head, shove a pencil up each nostril and repeatedly shout “wibble”!

    3. I thought is he suffering from the first stages of dementia. Not joking but a medical examination is needed as I have never seen such a poor excuse for a human being.

      1. You are not alone in that suspicion. It seemed the only explanation for the depressing sequences of no recall, total confusion, irrelevant rambling, and for the precipitate and overbearing starts to answers before the question was ended.

    4. You might lose your bet, because I might contact his GP too.

  96. Brilliant summary of Slippery Singh’s 2 days of blustering through Beer’s superb examination, an oily & treacherous weasel who abused his position.
    I hope there’s some retribution, that he’s struck off & that his PO pension is repaid under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

  97. I watched in horror and amazement. He should be known as ‘Two jobs Singh’. When he said HE was ‘grieved’ I wanted to weep on behalf of all the real grief caused to wrongly accused Subpostmasters.
    I hope someone is producing a chart showing the salaries and pensions of POL employees involved in this scandal?

  98. Peter Joseph Smith avatar
    Peter Joseph Smith

    He was jaw-droppingly awful, but his blathering could not disguise his culpability. It is of course an indictment of the Post Office that they should employ such a man in a position of responsibility, and an indication that its senior management was happy to let fools and charlatans do its dirty work for it.

  99. I watched half an hour of Singh’s evidence & I had to stop, it was shocking, but hardly surprising, no doubt coached by legal counsel to play dumb, obfuscate & misled all to protect his masters all in all to keep his pension.
    I’ve worked for Royal Mail, they like the PO employ real idiots in senior management, usually chosen as they’re easily have the insane ability to not ask difficult questions nor have a clue about ethics & principles.

    Long since has ethics , morality & putting public interest departed from corporate & political life in the UK, the Establishment doesn’t want it’s own to be held to account & potentially thrown in jail for the audacity of being caught perjuring themselves for thier corporations & failing to disclose evidence that would have cleared the wrongly prosecuted.

    1. Edward John Draper avatar
      Edward John Draper

      I agree with your observations referring to Senior Management. In my working life I have been employed in 3 large industrial organisations, and have often wondered how some people got to be where they are.
      Watching the Inquiry I am amazed how some of the POL people were ever employed.

  100. Maybe others might take the view that this is not particularly important or relevant, but not only did he have two jobs, he in fact had a third one between 2007 and (I think) 2010, as a councillor on Crawley Borough Council, (representing the Southgate ward). This was during one of the most important periods with regard to the Horizon system and its problems.

  101. The moment when Beer KC got him to agree to a “dereliction of duties” was a special moment.
    Singh is a complete fraud and deserves to be in jail.
    Even when asked about straightforward legal principles of what he should have done or known, he resorted to “it was a long time ago. I cannot possibly recall”.
    He stank of victimhood.

  102. Magnificent demolition by Mr Beer KC as others have noted. Even with so many other outrageous responses which needed to be nailed down, I was surprised though that he did not pursue Singh’s assertion ‘I’m not here to name names’ any further. Isn’t such a stance a blatant challenge to the requirement on him to give evidence under oath which constitutes ‘the whole truth’?

  103. Poor Mr Singh, he did not know David Smith was the MD of Post Office Ltd (POL)! See Inquiry Youtube Day 92 AM 1hr 12 min. Believable?
    Then we quickly see said David Smith congratulate the team for the conviction of Seema Misra as an “excellent result”…….”justify the confidence we have in Horizon”. Paula Vennells copied in. About time some hack doorstepped the pair of ex MD’s for comment? Bet they are living in comfort. Meanwhile, the victims are still struggling to get compensation! Some need help from the Horizon Scandal Fund.
    How many more deaths will Sir Wyn Williams have to announce? Sympathies to the family of Thomas Brown.

    1. Nick has already tried to talk to Paula Vennells at her big house in the country, but I seem to remember she ran away into a different room and hid, which tells you quite a lot

      1. Why does everyone misspell Venable’s name?

        Did you know Paula’s nick at the Manchester High School for Girls was “Venal”?

        Why do people think the document prefix “FUJ” refer to ICL and not to “Ferked Up Justice”?

        1. Isn’t Vennells her married name?

          1. No, it’s her maiden name. Vennels by name, venal by nature.

  104. Jarnail Singh performance demonstrated how the serious harm suffered by the post masters/mistresses and their families happened.

    He thought emails sent by him was someone else’s responsibility
    He thought he was a victim of the Post Office
    He could not remember -when it became awkward for him
    It was a long time ago- when it suited
    He was overworked
    He was second choice for the job.
    He need experts to advise him even on his own subject

    This individual given a police caution for Perverting the Course of Justice with high Culpability.

  105. This was my first real dip into the Horizon inquiry. It’s astonishing – what stupidity, what lack of principles, what mediocrity. The fact he “can’t recall” so much about the most significant events of his career that he’s had a decade or more to reflect on. A terrible indictment of some aspects of UK working culture among so-called professionals.

    1. Cannotrememberism is a very serious illness.

      1. With a properly-applied “incentive”, his ailment would disappear fer good.

  106. I normally listen to the live inquiry streams in place of music while I’m at work. As much as the Inquiry is wholly serious, Mr Singh’s two days of giving evidence made me laugh, out loud in disbelief, countless times.
    How could such a bumbling idiot be so senior? Thankfully, Mr Beer didn’t stand for the stupidity, and was there to remind Mr Singh how to lawyer, as he’d never done this type of thing before. It’s almost as though he’d never dealt with any sort of facts before, ever. Even as a lawyer. To be fair, he was out of practice, and probably out of brain cells also.
    I know this is more of a rant than anything, but it was infuriating watching and listening to his evidence and he’s not the first person that has made me feel like this. I am in awe of Mr Beer and his counsel being able to remain calm in the presence of plain stupid. Completely ridiculous that people such as Singh were put in positions of power. The Peter Principle definitely applies here.

    1. Can you imagine the damage Sing-Singh would have done if he had started work at POCL as a counter-clerk?
      How Mr Beer KC remained cool, calm and collected remains a mystery. Even Sir Wyn was driven to intervene on one clip l saw.
      Can’t wait for Jenkins and Vennalls to show up.

  107. Maurice PENNANCE avatar
    Maurice PENNANCE

    Finally Jason managed to get him to admit to professional (possibly criminal) negligence. That was worth the ten hours watch.

  108. Maurice PENNANCE avatar
    Maurice PENNANCE

    Well, I did watch for ten hours but I didn’t turn it on. Someone else did that but I can’t remember who…it was so long ago or it might have turned itself on…I don’t recall now…it was hours ago and I haven’t got the file anymore…

    1. Please send your CV into POL – we neeed more poeple like you….

    2. Don’t be silly, it must have been Rob Wilson!

  109. did you hear at the end of today when he was waffling on, he said he wanted to be a solicitor and then to enjoy his life afterwards….which he has been doing! I am disappointed Beer didn’t respond with ‘do you think the wrongfully convicted SPMs have enjoyed the rest of their lives?’

  110. Martin H Davies avatar

    Reacted with incredulity. It was like watching a slow motion car crash, morbid fascination and I found it hard to stop watching. It seemed that he wanted everyone to believe he was just a highly paid puppet not capable of producing his own thoughts, judgements, decisions or indeed, emails. No credibility what so ever

  111. I watched the majority of his appearance live and can only commend Jason Beer for his approach to such a malevolent character. His refusal to answer directly the most basic of questions was excruciating – the back and forth regarding what date a certain Friday fell on being a good example. The fact that his session came to a close after two days with the inquiry KC still having 37 points left to cover illustrates the effect of his constant prevaricating. At least Warwick Tatford appeared to show some contrition for his involvement in this despicable scandal. I hope those with the power to investigate and take action on the professional failings being highlighted do so with considerable vigour.

  112. John Richardson avatar

    I couldn’t watch more than a few minutes of Singh’s evidence it was so awful, although I saw the section you picked out here in this excellent summary. It beggars belief that such an obvious incompetent could be in charge of any decisions – whether to open a window in the office loo or have full fat or semi-skimmed in the communal fridge, for instance – let alone prosecutorial ones which could lead to imprisonment and ruin innocent people’s lives. There has to be consequences for the people in charge of POL at the time and subsequently (if any cover-up is proven). As an aside, Jason Beer KC showed once again that he is one of the most fearsome cross-examiner currently at the bar. His patient demolition of Singh was quite brilliant. Thanks for your efforts over the years bringing this scandal to light and then covering it with such diligence.

  113. “Beer took stock. Singh had been told to write an email, headed with a title he didn’t agree with dictated to him by someone he couldn’t remember, which he didn’t actually type and then sent to a distribution list of people he didn’t know.
    “Is that where we’ve got to?” asked Beer, a little incredulously.”

    If the consequences weren’t so serious and Singh’s behaviour – at the time and during this inquiry- so utterly appalling, unprofessional and obstructive, this would be quite funny.

    But it isn’t funny at all. Not in the slightest.

    I cannot imagine what the subpostmasters and their families seeing the utter incompetence and total refusal to accept any sort of responsibility, the self-pity, the lack of professionalism and blaming everyone except himself must feel.

    I only hope that Jason Beer’s masterful demolition provides some comfort.

    1. Jason Beer KC is awesome, but Mr Blake and Miss Price are good and learning from a master.
      Of all the witnesses from POCL so far, Sing-Singh is by far the worst, but in my opinion only two have exhibited any sign of competence and real contrition. Nick’s next book on the Scandal could just be the transcripts of the witnesses for the Post Office!

  114. I watched Singh’s evasive ‘testimony’ yesterday in disbelief. Your blog captures it perfectly. I found it shocking deeply depressing- and I can only imagine the horror and anger that victims of the Post Office Scandal must have felt at watching his self-pitying testimony

  115. I’ve listened to the first half hour of yesterday’s hearing and I’ve already got a headache.

    And could someone please explain where stamp collecting is relevant?

    Ta. Confused Of Hull.

  116. You couldn’t make it up. Evasive denial masquerading as selective amnesia and the most inept performance imaginable. His mantra of not knowing or remembering because it was oh so long ago is a cloak of lies. I remember all the emails and reports I wrote.

    1. In responding to Beer’s questioning, it wasn’t a matter of memory but of reading comprehension. Anyone who can read would understand what Singh meant when he wrote those emails a decade or so ago.

  117. Tanya Hutchinson avatar
    Tanya Hutchinson

    Brilliant, as per. Did Beer establish on the first morning that JS had been running a property business for all the time he was at PO? JS splutters about it just being “a hobby” like STAMP COLLECTING! and that actually it’s run by “a businessman” who JS mentors and the whole thing is run for “the good of the community! It’s not even 10.30 and JS is BUSTED! He then casually mentions, a propos of nothing, that his PO office is “open plan” just in case anyone thought he might actually be running the property business from PO – no way, not possible.

    The PO lawyers knew his CV would show the 2 job “situation” and strategized that the main job – property conveyancing – had somehow to be magicked into nothingness. Hence the reduction to “hobby”. But the example of a hobby, stamp collecting, is so surreal it must have come from Singh on his own.

    Favourite bit on day 2 was Singh indulging in smarminess, as if he can better Beer.

    Beer: Friday was the 5th so Monday was the 8th

    Singh: if you say so

    Beer: I’m not debating with you how calendars work.

    1. He also had another job between 2007 and 2010, as a councillor on Crawley Borough Council, representing the Southgate ward. So for a time, he was working on 3 jobs, just when the Horizon system problems were taking place.

  118. Fairly certain he was entirely absent from his role, and spent most of his time earning easy conveyancing fee from his private practice (“a hobby like stamp collecting”). He doesn’t know because he didn’t engage at all with his job, and got away with it for years. To admit that in the Stand would be impossible.

    1. It’s crytsal clear JS’s first love was conveyancing.

      1. If he had done the conveyancing on my home l would now be having the paperwork checked by a legal professional.

    2. Kay Feltham-Jones avatar
      Kay Feltham-Jones

      Absolutely. Singh wasn’t just incompetent, but lazy too, taking a POL salary for 17 years for doing very little other than forwarding other people’s emails asking more other people to do the required work whilst he did nothing – including taking responsibility for anything. He’s utterly beneath contempt.

      1. thanks, the fact that Crown POs were also affected had somehow escaped me. That must have been a huge clue, ignored obviously as were all the other large flashing arrows pointing to Horizon.

    3. Spot on, that’s my take on it as well

  119. John O'sullivan avatar
    John O’sullivan

    I have met and dealt with some Half-wits in the Post Office including an auditor who after an armed robbery asked me if the gun was real but Jarnail Singh is special.Paula Vennells is running out of people she claim were trusted colleagues who have her assurances over prosecution’s and Horizon Robustness.

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