I can’t help but continue to remark on the amazing insight into the work of the Post Office prosecution team that the publication of the transcript of the Seema Misra trial gave us.
For those that have read it and compared it to the alternative evidence that is now in the public domain thanks to Second Sight’s two reports as well as the details of Horizon errors unearthed by others, they must surely have reached the same, binary, conclusion that I have.
Either Post Office Ltd is totally and utterly operated by complete half wits who do not talk to each other and don’t compare notes or they have are being run by a management team that is involved in a conspiracy so large as to defy belief. I really can offer no other possible explanations and for the sake of all involved I really hope that when all is exposed it is the former for the latter option brings in the prospect of criminal charges and custodial sentences from the top down.
Criminals or idiots? Take your pick. I would be happy to defend that conclusion in court although I suspect the court may consider a third alternative to be the case using the two options available.
So what has the transcript thrown up now? Too many co-incidences are being thrown my way. Something sets me off to go and check a fact in the transcript and I reread a portion which suddenly makes more sense because of something I have since read elsewhere.
The Lee Castleton Case.
Lee was held to account by the Post Office for losses that were incurred at his branch. Losses that he reported to POL and at no time altered his accounts so False Accounting charges could not apply and neither could theft. Ultimately POL took him to the High Court in a Civil suit in order to recover the losses from his branch.
I have reported on the case earlier in this blog but what intrigues me right now is the timeline of the actions POL took against Lee.
In January 2004 Lee started reporting the errors. The Auditors eventually arrived on Lee’s behest in March 2004 and they immediately suspended him.
That in itself is absolutely ridiculous. Absolutely self evident that POL made no attempt to investigate if Horizon had made any errors that could have caused the losses before they decided that Lee was probably a thief and get him out of the office as soon as possible.
It was a year later in the summer of 2005 that Lee finally heard from POL that they intended to seek recovery of the losses through the court. An attempt to do so by them in September of that year failed and so it was December 2006 before the final court case took place in the High Court in London.
Basically a total of three years from beginning to end.
Which is an interesting time period but merely a co-incidence nothing more.
In 2013 the Post Office released into the public domain, Second Sight’s interim report into Horizon which contained details of several errors that Second Sight had found in Horizon. One such error first occurred in 2011 and affected several branches (not all mind you which is very revealing – just a few). However it wasn’t noticed by ANY of the branches in 2011 which is pretty unbelievable but it gets even more unbelievable when the error re-appeared again in 2012 and then and only then, TWO YEARS after it first occurred only ONE subpostmaster noticed it out of all the branches that were affected.
POL and Fujiitsu no doubt went about fixing the error to make sure it didn’t happen again but blow me down the SAME ERROR happened again in 2013 and now they say it has been finally fixed. Something I doubt very much and something I hope they will have to prove in court one day.
To top it all and this is crucial when you consider the length of time between Lee reporting the shortages and POL kicking him out of his business and later pursuing him through the courts, POL actually recovered the losses that this error generated from the branches concerned AND included that money in their final set of accounts. Is that not False Accounting? I think the Judge in Lee Castleton’s civil trial may well have to dwell on the ill considered case law he relied on to make his judgement.
Later when POL realised the effect of the error they wrote off the gains that some of the branches had received (errors like this are never all positive) as well as paying back those branches that had lost out. Where are the rules and regulations on False Accounting Ms Vennells? Perhaps you should read them before letting your prosecution team loose with them?
It is just one fucking mess after another with these dim-witted idiots. Ooops perhaps I am answering my own earlier question. I think we should let the police decide.
Finally – spare a thought for Lee (and the others involved in this fiasco). It is nearly 13 years out of Lee’s life and his family (including his father-in-law who is such a great guy and perhaps the reason Lee has been able to maintain his dignity throughout) Other have suffered just as long – the end is in sight but if POL make any further attempt to prolong their suffering (is that what Christians do Paula?) then I will make sure everybody knows. The truth will out sooner than you think.