Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Jul 03, 2023 10:18 am

I recently read through a few SRA judgements, they are extremely hot on misleading practices and any deliberate actions which bring the profession into disrepute. It would be hard to claim that a legal company failed to understand what "without prejudice" meant, as it's such a basic legal concept, therefore the only reasonable assumption is that it was deliberate and malicious.
If truth is many-sided, mendacity is many-tongued

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snoozeofreason
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by snoozeofreason » Fri Jul 07, 2023 4:43 pm

The Williams Inquiry into the Post Office's Horizon failings - including their failure to disclose relevant evidence at the trials of sub-postmasters - has just been adjourned because of their failure to disclose relevant evidence to the inquiry (and this comes after senior executives at the Post Office have received bonuses for providing information to the inquiry).
Inquiry Website wrote:Inquiry Chair, Sir Wyn Williams, had been due to hear evidence from former Fujitsu engineer, Gareth Jenkins. He will now be called to a hearing later in the year, likely to last four days.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Jason Beer KC, set out a number of failings of the Post Office, including disclosing 95 documents to the Inquiry this week that relate to Mr Jenkins in some way and should previously have been disclosed to the Inquiry. The Post Office has apologised to the Inquiry for sending these documents so late.

Mr Beer referenced evidence given by Post Office’s General Counsel, Ben Foat, on Tuesday, and set out reasons why it would not be appropriate to call Mr Jenkins now.

He noted that this Inquiry is itself investigating the late or non-provision of disclosure by the Post Office in a series of criminal prosecutions that lasted over a decade, and the non-disclosure of documents in civil proceedings, and the unfairness that such non-disclosure had on parties and on witnesses.

He said: “We of all people will not entertain the making of the same mistakes of the past whilst simultaneously investigating those mistakes.”

He also noted Mr Jenkins is under criminal investigation by the Metropolitan Police for serious criminal offences relating to his role in the Horizon scandal, and that the evidence that he gives to this Inquiry may be used in any criminal investigation, prosecutorial decision making, and in any criminal proceedings brought against him.

Mr Beer went on to say that at 10.32 pm last night, the Post Office wrote to the Inquiry drawing its attention to the fact that amongst the 95 documents that it had recently disclosed, it had recently identified that one of them was a new document that the Post Office said was ‘likely to be of significant interest to the Inquiry’. He said the Inquiry had already identified the document as being of significant interest. The Post Office also disclosed in the same letter that it had identified 4,767 documents, not previously disclosed to the Inquiry, that may be relevant to the evidence of Mr Jenkins.

Mr Beer said: “It is of course grossly unsatisfactory, to be told at 10.32 pm that there are 4,767 documents that are at least potentially relevant to a witness who is being called 11 hours and 28 minutes later.”

Sir Wyn Williams will be issuing directions to the Post Office this week that seek to ensure disclosure issues do not continue.

The Chair agreed with Mr Beer’s plans to reschedule the hearing and said “I cannot help but express my frustration that this has happened at this time. It is a very important time for the Inquiry, and we do not need dislocation.”
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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Opti
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Opti » Wed Jul 19, 2023 9:30 am

Marina Hyde takes the Post Office to task in her own special way.

Here.

She really is a National treasure.
Time for a big fat one.

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by noggins » Thu Jul 27, 2023 3:02 pm

An IT experts take on the stupidity of computer infalliability and the Horizon scandal:

https://journals.sas.ac.uk/deeslr/artic ... /5226/5073

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snoozeofreason
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by snoozeofreason » Fri Jul 28, 2023 7:44 am

Sir Wyn Williams, chair of the Horizon enquiry is now threatening that further failures to disclose relevant evidence may result in jail time.
Law Society Gazette wrote:All future Inquiry requests for evidence to the Post Office will carry a notice under section 21 of the Inquiries Act 2005 which carries a threat of a criminal sanction and up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment.

Williams said the failure to supply all documents relevant to witnesses due to give evidence earlier this month was ‘grossly unsatisfactory’ and he noted the views held by many sub-postmasters wrongly convicted by the Post Office that the mistakes were deliberate.

Williams stressed that he remains open-minded about that position, but added: ‘It would be remiss of me to fail to guard against the possibility that there are those who are engaged in the process of disclosure of documents on behalf of the Post Office who are unwilling or unable to comply strictly with requests for disclosure of documents made of them by the inquiry and/or are unwilling to ensure strict compliance with requests.’
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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Martin Y
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Martin Y » Fri Jul 28, 2023 10:45 am

noggins wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2023 3:02 pm
An IT experts take on the stupidity of computer infalliability and the Horizon scandal:

https://journals.sas.ac.uk/deeslr/artic ... /5226/5073
Thanks for posting that. It was really interesting in its own right rather than what it had to say specifically about the Horizon scandal.

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by noggins » Fri Jul 28, 2023 11:47 am

Its clear a new legal framework(?) for computer system derived evidence is needed.

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Brightonian » Fri Jul 28, 2023 3:02 pm

noggins wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2023 3:02 pm
An IT experts take on the stupidity of computer infalliability and the Horizon scandal:

https://journals.sas.ac.uk/deeslr/artic ... /5226/5073
From page 17 of that document:
One of the Horizon problems that shocked me, with my background in accountancy, was that it breached the rules of double entry bookkeeping (e.g. the Dalmellington Bug34). It is completely unacceptable that a single, non-zero, accounting entry can be created without its double, a counter-balancing entry.
I remember my own shock, as an accounts clerk using an unrelated system in the early 1990s, when I somehow managed to credit one account without a matching debit from another account. (The system was still partly in development at the time.)

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by nekomatic » Fri Jul 28, 2023 8:09 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2023 10:45 am
Thanks for posting that. It was really interesting in its own right rather than what it had to say specifically about the Horizon scandal.
Yes.
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Mon Sep 18, 2023 6:09 pm

They are offering £600,000 to each person who was given a criminal conviction.

It'll be interesting to see how many take the offer and how many push for more. It's not clear whether taking the money means you lose the option of getting more in the future, or whether you are still eligible if it's decided that more is warranted by the inquiry. Given that people went to jail for years and some lost their homes it doesn't really feel that much.

I thought this line did a very good job of summarising how f.cked up the situation was,
Between 2000 and 2014, the Post Office prosecuted 736 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses - an average of one a week - based on information from a recently installed computer system called Horizon.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by jimbob » Tue Sep 19, 2023 4:48 am

There should be prosecutions for perverting the course of justice, and possibly perjury. It was knowing.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Thu Sep 21, 2023 7:19 pm

From the Guardian: Post Office knew legal case was likely to bankrupt Horizon IT victim, lawyer says:
Castleton bought a post office in Bridlington, east Yorkshire, in 2003. However, within a year his computer system showed a £25,000 shortfall, despite him calling the Post Office’s helpline 91 times as he suspected the Horizon IT system was at fault.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:16 pm

The Post Office just can't stop accusing people of fraud. Now they're accusing people who are swapping their old stamps for new barcoded ones that their old stamps are fake.
Royal Mail has apparently rejected scores of applications, claiming that stamps that customers say were bought from supermarkets and post offices were used or fake.

Some of the new barcoded stamps have also been declared counterfeit by Royal Mail, which has issued fines to unwitting recipients. In March, constituents in Brighton were charged a £2.50 fine to receive Labour party leaflets after Royal Mail insisted the party had used fake stamps for a campaign mailshot. Critics have accused the company of ignoring problems with its barcode scanning technology.
...
Customers who contacted Guardian Money say they have been accused of potential criminality after their stamps were confiscated by Royal Mail, which insisted they had already been used or were counterfeit.

Some who sent in high-value batches say they have been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

Sheila Spelsby from London says she was informed that it was a criminal offence to use fraudulent stamps when she attempted to replace a batch of seven first- and second-class stamps under the scheme.

“Royal Mail claims that my stamps, which were bought from my local post office, are ‘either used or fraudulent’ – they should surely be able to state which,” she says.
...
Last November, Royal Mail was forced to apologise after 3,000 customers were erroneously told they had neglected to enclose their stamps with their Stamp Swap Out application. Others complained that they received an inadequate number of stamps in return – or none at all. One charity was left empty-handed after submitting 500 stamps worth £350 and receiving only 11 in return.

Royal Mail did not wish to comment on how many applications have been refused because of suspected forgeries, or on complaints that barcoded stamps have been dismissed as fakes.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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snoozeofreason
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by snoozeofreason » Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:36 pm

And yet more evidence that the Post Office new something was amiss as early as 2003. Fortunately the sub-postmaster affected fought back, and the outcome for her was more positive than for some others. It's worth reading the linked article in full, to see Elaine Cottam's evidemce, but here is a quote.
Nick Wallis wrote:I am going to attempt to analyse the evidence which came courtesy of Elaine Cottam.
Ms Cottam was a former Post Office Retail Line Manager. She was called to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry to help try to work out what had happened in the Cleveleys case. Cleveleys Post Office was run in 2000 by a woman called Julie Wolstenholme who suffered problems with the Post Office Horizon system from the moment it was installed.

Instead of receiving help, she was sacked. By Elaine Cottam. Mrs Wolstenholme fought back. She kept possession of her Horizon terminal and suggested a proper examination of the hardware might reveal the source(s) of her problems. The Post Office had no interest in all that – but they did want their kit back, so in 2003 they took Mrs Wolstenholme to Blackpool County Court.

The case was resolved when a court-appointed technical expert – Jason Coyne – took a look at the available evidence and decided there were red flags all over the Horizon system. Desperate to keep this information out of the public domain, the Post Office settled the case with Mrs Wolstenholme. The Inquiry spent some time looking into the Cleveleys case earlier this year. For more detail, you can read and watch the evidence from Jason Coyne, Fujitsu and a Post Office lawyer on the Inquiry website by looking for the transcripts on 26 – 28 July 2023.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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snoozeofreason
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by snoozeofreason » Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:41 pm

And another disclosure failure.
Computer Weekly wrote:Two key Post Office scandal inquiry witness hearings have been postponed following the identification of thousands of potentially relevant documents that had not been disclosed.

The hearing of evidence from two witnesses with “heavy footprints” on what the inquiry is considering have been postponed while the Post Office analyses the newly emerged emails to see if they are relevant to the inquiry.

During the latest public inquiry hearing, it was revealed that the Post Office has identified more than 300,000 emails from after 2012, that had previously been missed due to a technical problem dating back to an email gateway software migration in 2016, referred to in the inquiry as the Microsoft Exchange issue.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Sciolus » Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:39 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:16 pm
The Post Office just can't stop accusing people of fraud. Now they're accusing people who are swapping their old stamps for new barcoded ones that their old stamps are fake.
That's the Royal Mail, not the Post Office. But still exceedingly iffy. (Who TF keeps receipts for stamps, let alone ones they bought over a year ago?)

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Fishnut
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:40 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:39 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:16 pm
The Post Office just can't stop accusing people of fraud. Now they're accusing people who are swapping their old stamps for new barcoded ones that their old stamps are fake.
That's the Royal Mail, not the Post Office. But still exceedingly iffy.
Oh you're right, I keep forgetting they're not the same
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by noggins » Sun Nov 19, 2023 3:41 pm

Several new episodes of the radio 4 podcast “The Great Post Office Trial” came out last week.

Standing out in the usual sewer of PO Evil is

Chancellor Gordon Brown advised that from a purely financ perspective, the project should be cancelled.

Fujitsu warning that the future of Fujitsu uk dependent on it.

The contract gave the PO zero access to the code.

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by jimbob » Sat Dec 02, 2023 8:41 pm

https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/m ... singh-ing/

No acceptance of his role in ruining people's lives
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by jimbob » Wed Dec 13, 2023 8:04 am


• The branch has appeared to have balanced, whereas in fact they could have a loss or a gain.
• Our accounting systems will be out of sync with what is recorded at the branch
• If widely known could cause a loss of confidence in the Horizon System by branches
Potential impact upon ongoing legal cases where branches are disputing the integrity of Horizon Data.
• It could provide branches ammunition to blameHorizon for future discrepancies
https://www.postofficehorizoninquiry.or ... atch-issue

Singh knew that it was flawed but pushed on in prosecuting innocent people
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by snoozeofreason » Fri Dec 22, 2023 7:09 pm

More on familiar lines from the Law Society Gazette (possibly referring to the communication that jimbob mentioned).
Law Society Gazette wrote:A senior Post Office solicitor was told about dozens of issues with the computer system just days before a pregnant sub-postmistress was convicted, the Post Office Inquiry heard this week.

Rob Wilson, former head of criminal prosecutions, received an email on 8 October 2010 stating that ‘discrepancies’ with the Horizon IT system had been detected at 40 branches. This bug had caused an apparent loss of £20,000 to show up on the system.

The email, labelled as of ‘high importance and confidential’ was sent by a member of the Post Office security team and was disclosed to the inquiry for the first time when Wilson gave evidence for a second time on Tuesday.

Wilson forwarded the email and its contents to two solicitor colleagues, Jarnail Singh and Juliet McFarlane, but did not disclose it to defence solicitors or defendants. All three solicitors have been reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, although any potential disciplinary proceedings against them have been put on hold at the request of the inquiry.

The trial of Seema Misra started three days after Wilson received and passed on the email outlining the discrepancies with the branch accounts. Despite arguing that Horizon had caused shortfalls in her branch account, she was found guilty of theft and sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment.

...
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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snoozeofreason
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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by snoozeofreason » Sat Dec 30, 2023 11:01 am

ITV have made a series about the scandal. Starts on New Year's Day, stars Toby Jones.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Mon Jan 01, 2024 9:25 pm

snoozeofreason wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2023 11:01 am
ITV have made a series about the scandal. Starts on New Year's Day, stars Toby Jones.
Watching this now. It's very good.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Jan 01, 2024 9:59 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2024 9:25 pm
snoozeofreason wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2023 11:01 am
ITV have made a series about the scandal. Starts on New Year's Day, stars Toby Jones.
Watching this now. It's very good.
Toby Jones kicks arse.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ente ... 65992.html

I strongly suspect this is correct
We all secretly think they’re spinning it out so everyone dies before they get their money’: Inside Mr Bates vs the Post Office
It seems like standard procedure in this type of case to lie to people and tell them that nobody else has had problems even when they know that’s not true.
I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list if that’s still in the works

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Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Trinucleus » Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:18 pm

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2024 9:59 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2024 9:25 pm
snoozeofreason wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2023 11:01 am
ITV have made a series about the scandal. Starts on New Year's Day, stars Toby Jones.
Watching this now. It's very good.
Toby Jones kicks arse.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ente ... 65992.html

I strongly suspect this is correct
We all secretly think they’re spinning it out so everyone dies before they get their money’: Inside Mr Bates vs the Post Office
It seems like standard procedure in this type of case to lie to people and tell them that nobody else has had problems even when they know that’s not true.
Surely that's perverting the course of justice if they proceed with the prosecutions?

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