An open letter from me to Sir Tim has met with no response which was always the likely outcome, but there has been some action in court and in Post Office Ltd since then. Most notably of course the application for Justice Fraser to recuse himself on the grounds of Bias which by all accounts can be no more than a delaying tactic rather than a serious assessment of the Judge’s impartiality. I have thought about little else since that explosive moment in court only a few days ago and wondered what on earth POL are up to when it is so clearly obvious to even the most impartial and intelligent observer that POL have lost this case hands down based on the evidence and witness testimony already produced in court.
To try and get an understanding of such irrational behaviour I turn to Robert Burns who in a Poem whose title I shall not name for legal reasons finished with these lines:
I have tried all my life to see the other side of the argument and to try and understand how someone can oppose my opinion because in doing so it allows me to either form a better opinion of the situation because the opponent raises good points that I did not understand at the time or to create a better rebuttal to the opposing point of view. In this case though I just cannot get to grips with what must be going through Sir Tim’s head.
There are four trials scheduled in this GLO, the common issues one has run its course and a decision published, the Horizon trial has stopped just short of the Expert Witness testimony and there remains a trial on Breach of Contract/Causation as well as one likely to try a couple of claimants cases. POL have lost the first two trials hands down (although the second hasn’t been completed the decision is surely obvious to Sir Tim and his legal team). These first two trials produce the background and evidence required for the Third trial and again it must now be so obvious to POL’s legal team that they don’t have a leg to stand on in the Third because of the evidence from the first two that they are going to lose that as well.
That all adds up to the fact that continuing with this GLO makes no sense whatsoever. So why has Sir Tim chosen to continue?
At the very outset of the trial POL declared that an outcome in favour of the claimants would cause an existential risk to the very future of Post Office Ltd and at that time, putting my ‘see yourself as others see you” cap on I could understand that POL firmly believed that they had a good case and could win. Now nearly through the first two trials POL must see they are marching towards defeat and perhaps we must consider that this existential risk is real. If that is the case then I can understand carrying on and deploying all the underhand tactics they can muster. One of these is to force the claimants in to a corner, lengthening the trial and by doing so reducing the eventual amount of money the claimants will receive by way of settlement. Introduce threats of appeals at every stage of the process then it is perfectly possible that at some point the claimants will have nothing to win as the potential legal costs mount and as they mount the claimants financial backers will be under pressure to have the matter resolved as soon as possible.
So as far as tactics go in this trial I might now understand what is going on in Sir Tim’s head. There is just one point I would throw in here. An existential threat to POL is one that would see the business collapse. Now you cannot say that unless you mean it and in POL’s case you are certain that their only shareholder would allow it to happen. So it is probably safe to assume that Sir Tim has discussed financing a settlement of the claims with the Government and they have refused to provide the funding. That is bizarre in itself as it would be political suicide but still a conclusion to be drawn from what we know.
So I don’t know what is going on in Sir Tim’s head, I can only surmise. But one thing I do know, is something that is NOT going on in Sir Tim’s head. He has completely overlooked it and should he carry on with this strategy which can no longer be about winning the case on pure legal terms, the thing he has overlooked is going to catch up with him and I would suggest possibly destroy his reputation and future career. He has a chance, one that is getting slimmer each day as the trial progresses, to recover the situation and I would suggest that he considers the quote from Robert Burns above and do something about it. It would indeed be a foolish notion not to.