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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Common Issues trial transcript: Day 11

This is the transcript of the 11th day of the Common Issues trial in the Bates and others v Post Office group litigation. The hearing below took place on Mon 26 November 2018 in court 26 of the High Court's Rolls Building. The claimants' QC is Mr Patrick Green and the defendant's QC is Mr David Cavender. The managing judge is Mr Justice Fraser.

Day 11 witnesses

Michael Haworth, Network Engagement Manager, Post Office Ltd (witness statement here).
Andrew Carpenter, Agents Contract Advisor, Post Office Ltd (witness statement here).
Brian Trotter, Network Contract Advisor, Post Office Ltd, (witness statement here)

There's also a cameo from me at the beginning of the day (see transcript below). I got a court order in my favour after making this application. Which was nice.

For my write-up of the day, click here.

Day 1 transcript - Wed 7 November - Opening arguments
Day 2 transcript - Thu 8 November - Claimants: Alan Bates, Pam Stubbs part 1
Day 3 transcript - Mon 12 November - Pam Stubbs part 2, Mohammad Sabir
Day 4 transcript - Tue 13 November - Naushad Abdulla, Liz Stockdale
Day 5 transcript - Wed 14 November - Louise Dar
Day 6 transcript - Thu 15 November - Post Office: Nick Beal, Paul Williams
Day 7 transcript - Mon 19 November - Sarah Rimmer, John Breeden, AvdB part 1
Day 8 transcript - Tue 20 November - AvdB part 2
Day 9 transcript - Wed 21 November - AvdB part 3, Timothy Dance, Helen Dickinson, Michael Shields part 1
Day 10 transcript - Thu 22 November - Michael Shields part 2, Elaine Ridge, David Longbottom, Michael Webb
Day 11 transcript - Mon 26 November - Michael Haworth, Andrew Carpenter, Brian Trotter

Day 11 transcript:

                                       Monday, 26 November 2018
   (10.30 am)
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I have had an application from the
       press.  I don't know if you both ...
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, I have a copy of the letter, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  From Mr Wallis.  I would ordinarily say
       we would deal with it after we have dealt with today's
       evidence, but on the basis it relates to what we do
       today I think I ought to deal with it first.
           I will hear from Mr Wallis first, then I'll ask you
       for any observations and then I'll decide what to do.
           Mr Wallis, I am not going to rigorously interrogate
       you so you don't need to worry.  You want to record the
       proceedings, is that right?
   MR WALLIS:  I would like to, yes, if I may.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Would you like to explain the basis for
       that.
   MR WALLIS:  Yes.  I am live-tweeting notes of the
       proceedings to give quite a committed audience
       a blow-by-blow account of what is happening.  There are
       an awful lot of claimants who obviously can't be in
       court and some of them say they are relying on my notes
       of what is happening to get a gist of what is going on.
       However, I'm not always confident that I  can send out
       direct quotes unless I have heard them perfectly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Understood.
   MR WALLIS:  So at the end of the day I would like to review
       my notes so that I am able to send out direct quotes
       against an audio recording of what has transpired in
       court, particularly the most newsworthy ones.  So that's
       why I've made the application, because I'm not in
       a position to do both.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I understand.  And as you can see, it
       actually takes two or three people properly to record it
       anyway.
           So is it therefore the case that it is effectively
       to give you an accurate recording at the end of the day
       of what has happened during the day so you can make sure
       any quotes you use are accurate, is that a fair summary?
   MR WALLIS:  Yes.  I also have a number of people who are
       following this in the media and they require
       100 per cent accurate quotes which I am not always able
       to send them because I have been busy taking notes, if
       that makes sense.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Understood.  I am going to ask counsel
       for any observations, but before I do that, is it right,
       therefore, to summarise what you are asking for: it is
       not going to give anything that the official transcript
       of the day wouldn't give you, it is just for you to
       basically record it yourself, is that right?
   MR WALLIS:  It would allow contemporaneous --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The daily transcript actually is
       finalised usually by about 5.30 in the evening.
   MR WALLIS:  I have made repeated requests for daily
       transcripts and haven't received any so far.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I didn't know that.
           Mr Green, any observations?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, just on that last point, we have no
       objection at all to Mr Wallis having the daily
       transcripts, but the process as your Lordship knows is
       that Opus does the recheck and then sends out to all of
       us, and then we then submit our corrections, any
       corrections that they haven't picked up, and we pass
       those across to the defendants and they then go on to
       Opus.  Just so your Lordship has a feel for the timeline
       on that, Day 1 I think has now been sent by the
       defendant and approved to Opus.
           So although we had agreed to Mr Wallis having the
       transcripts --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is quite an unusual way of doing it,
       though isn't it?  We use Opus almost routinely in this
       court.  So you are saying it is taking a number of days
       if not weeks for the finalised version of Day 5 actually
       to be finalised, is that right?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, yes.  I'm not approving it or -- I am
       just saying --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I'd just like to summarise exactly what
       you are telling me.
   MR GREEN:  To be fair to Mr Wallis, he has not had the
       transcripts that we agreed he could have because --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Did he know you had agreed he could have
       them?
   MR GREEN:  I understand he did know we'd agreed.  But he has
       not been able to have them because the actual finalised
       version -- as I understand it, consent was based on him,
       the consent of the two parties was based on it being the
       very final version, and the very final version, as
       matters have played out, hasn't come to him --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is today Day 11 of this trial?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, yes.  So it's not ideal for him that he
       hasn't been able to see those.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is a process point rather than any
       sort of principled point about him not having the
       transcripts.  It is a process and timing point.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, indeed.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is the last point.  What about the
       first point?
   MR GREEN:  We would have no objection at all to what is
       essentially a recording being made anyway also being
       made by Mr Wallis.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Okay, but then -- well, if the aim of
       all of this is transparent and public justice it seems
       rather foolish to have two recordings that might say two
       different things of what has happened.
   MR GREEN:  Yes, my Lord, it might be possible for --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Cavender.
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, I don't object to it, I am concerned
       in a number of respects.  Firstly the point, is it
       necessary, that your Lordship has alighted on and it all
       seems rather unsatisfactory.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  This is the recording point?
   MR CAVENDER:  Exactly.  And whether he needs the final final
       version.  Perhaps he does if he is going to quote from
       it.  But he seems to be saying he wants it at the end of
       the day to do an almost contemporaneous sort of blogging
       type thing.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  As I understand it from Mr Wallis's
       written application, he actually tweets during the day,
       which as a member of the press he is allowed to do, but
       obviously while he is tweeting things are happening.
       And I understand the point about accuracy of quotations.
       And it is also group litigation, there are 500-odd
       claimants.
   MR CAVENDER:  Indeed, so I am not objecting to it.  But if
       your Lordship is minded to do it, there are a couple of
       things in my submission you ought to consider.  One is
       making any onward disclosure by him subject to an order
       of the court, because he could be made the subject of an
       access request and have to provide it.  And point two,
       I don't know what equipment he has, but it would be
       rather unfortunate if he picked up other conversations
       in the courtroom, potentially privileged conversations.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is as to his doing his own -- you
       are currently still focused on him doing his own
       recording?
   MR CAVENDER:  Yes.  If you were minded to do that and go
       down that road, one, I think you'd have to make it
       subject that the onward disclosure not be permitted
       subject to order of the court.  But secondly, be
       absolutely clear what device he has, what is the
       capability of the microphone and where he is going to
       place that in the court, because otherwise he could pick
       up privileged conversations.
           Subject to those points I have no further
       observations.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is on the recording point.  What
       about him having the -- well, it cannot be perfected on
       the basis that the perfected transcript seems to be
       taking about two and a half weeks to get perfected.  But
       what about him having a copy of the transcript at the
       end of the day?  Because it seems to me that is as
       likely to be accurate, if not more accurate, than
       anything he might record.
   MR CAVENDER:  The words he will record would be more
       accurate because the transcript, although very good,
       does, as you will have seen from the first draft,
       inevitably in parts of the conversation with heavy
       traffic there are bits missing --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  This is on the LiveNote one.  But they
       are not there when it comes out in the perfected version
       which I am usually getting about 5.30/6 o'clock.
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, yes, it is certainly obviously one
       better than that, but there are still points that,
       subject to concern, are corrected in fact.  The question
       is whether the risk of him reporting that from
       a transcript where there are inaccuracies, whether that
       is a good idea, and then when the perfected one comes
       out it is different.  That is not --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But whatever that risk is, Mr Cavender,
       and I understand that there is a possibility of slight
       differences in wording, that risk is probably less based
       on the Opus recording than it would be based on his own,
       isn't it, because that risk is there anyway?
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, that is right.  So I'm not --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  All right.
   MR CAVENDER:  I am not making any massive point.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I am not approaching your submissions as
       if you are in any way being either unhelpful or --
   MR CAVENDER:  Or objecting.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is just a question of mechanics
       really, isn't it?
   MR CAVENDER:  Indeed.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right, Mr Wallis, I am going to tell you
       what my intention is and then we will just have a quick
       exploration of how that is best achieved.  I'm not going
       to allow you to record using your own equipment but I am
       going to order that each day you be given the transcript
       of that day's proceedings, and the correct phraseology
       for the order which would just occur to me is the
       perfected transcript but it seems there might be a more
       accurate way of describing it.
           But just so you know, the realtime transcript which
       comes out during the day is then processed, it's subject
       during the day and immediately at the end of the day to
       some sort of a polishing exercise and a polished version
       is produced usually at about 5.30 pm, that comes out on
       email, both PDF and Word, and I am going to order that
       that be sent to you then.
           It is not, however, as you have heard, the precisely
       100 per cent approved by all the parties final in every
       respect version, but in my judgment it is going to be
       better than anything you might have off your own
       recording equipment, so that is why I am going to order
       you to have it.
   MR WALLIS:  I am very grateful, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  How that is distilled in words in any
       order I would like you to try and agree between
       yourselves and we can maybe revert to it at the end of
       the day.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, it might be we can just say the daily
       revised versions, and then I think the perfected one is
       literally --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  It is obvious that Mr Wallis
       should also have the perfected one if he is getting the
       daily revised one, but I think the daily revised one
       needs to be sent to him.
           What you do with it and how you treat it, based on
       your knowledge that it isn't 100 per cent perfected, as
       far as I am concerned, is not a matter for me at the
       moment because these proceedings are open to the public,
       but the aim of this order is to allow you to have as
       complete and accurate a record as possible each day for
       the purpose of the press.
   MR WALLIS:    I am very grateful, my Lord.  Thank you.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Does that make sense?  Right.
           There are a number of other things that we will end
       up dealing with at the end of the day but I think we
       will get on with the last three witnesses.
           Mr Cavender.
   MR CAVENDER:  May I please call Michael Haworth.
                MR MICHAEL RICHARD HAWORTH (sworn)
               Examination-in-chief by MR CAVENDER
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you.  Do have a seat, please.
   MR CAVENDER:  Good morning, Mr Haworth.  In front of you,
       you should find a copy of your witness statement.  Is
       that in front of you? {C2/14/1}
   A.  It is, yes.
   Q.  If you go to paragraph 10.2 of that, please {C2/14/2},
       you deal there with the interview checklist you used, do
       you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  I understand there is a correction you want to make to
       paragraph 10.2, can you tell me what it is?
   A.  I just want to clarify that the checklist I used was my
       own checklist.  It is not exactly the same as the ones
       shown to court last week but it did contain the same key
       points.  Mine pre-dated the time of the electronic
       version and also the time when interviews were recorded
       and it was a version that was kept by myself and didn't
       go anywhere.
   Q.  Thank you.  If we go to -- if you look through your
       witness statement to page 6 of it {C2/14/6} there is
       a signature there.  Is that your signature?
   A.  It is, yes.
   Q.  Subject to the one correction you have just given me,
       are the contents of this statement true?
   A.  They are, yes.
   MR CAVENDER:  Wait there, please, and you will be asked some
       questions.
                  Cross-examination by MR GREEN
   MR GREEN:  Have a look at paragraph 8 of your witness
       statement, please {C2/14/2}, Mr Haworth.  Can I just
       check I have the pronunciation right?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  I am grateful.  In paragraph 8 you refer to the
       interview of Mr Sabir and in the first line you say:
           "Since this was more than 12 years ago and as I have
       carried out so many interviews, I can no longer recall
       interviewing Mr Sabir."
   A.  That is correct.
   Q.  So pausing there, effectively the rest of your evidence
       about the interview is reconstructed from such documents
       as you have been shown?
   A.  It is, yes.  I have been shown the documents to state
       that I can see I did the interview with Mr Sabir, but as
       I followed a standard process for all my interviews I am
       quite confident that this interview was no different to
       any others that I performed at the time.
   Q.  So it is what you would have done, you think?
   A.  It is what I would have done.
   Q.  You haven't exhibited the personalised checklist, have
       you?
   A.  I don't have a copy of that, no.  Due to the time and
       the changing roles I no longer have a copy of that.
   Q.  Your checklist was different to that of other contract
       advisors or ...?
   A.  Yes, the checklist at the time was probably very
       similar, but the checklist has developed I understand
       over the years.  As I say, at the time I did this
       interview we didn't have an electronic version, it was
       pre the recording of interviews.  It was basically
       a crib sheet to myself to ensure that I covered all the
       key points at every interview.
   Q.  Look at paragraph 12, please {C2/14/3}.  If you go three
       lines down from the top, in the middle:
           "I was involved in creating the list of questions
       and this was later circulated to other contract
       advisors ..."
   A.  Yes.  Those were the questions relating to the
       competencies that we were interviewing against at the
       interview.
   Q.  That is what you are dealing with in the top of
       paragraph 12, the various competencies.  You say:
           "... this was later circulated to the other contract
       advisors who as far as I am aware worked from the same
       list ... standard list of questions ..."
   A.  Yes, that is correct.
   Q.  That list was about competencies alone, was it?
   A.  Yes, they were for the various competencies relating to
       experience of dealing with staff, business focus, that
       type of thing, yes.
   Q.  Pausing there, are you saying you had two lists in
       the interview?  One a checklist to go through and one
       a list of questions and competencies?
   A.  Yes --
   Q.  Was it all part of one list?
   A.  It was all part of the one list, yes.
   Q.  On what basis do you say: as far as I am aware, the
       other contract advisors worked from the same list?
   A.  As I say in my statement, it was circulated to the other
       contract managers.  I was taken on as a contract manager
       at the start of the role so I was involved with
       development of the role, and hence how I came involved
       in putting together these questions to be shared across
       the team.
   Q.  But if other contract advisers were already working from
       the list, why was it necessary for you to give a copy of
       your standard list of questions?  You say at
       paragraph 12, have a look.  If they were already working
       on the basis of that list, if you gave them a copy they
       would go, "Michael, why are you giving us that?  We've
       all got it".
   A.  It is still to ensure everyone had -- were asking the
       same basic questions of all interviewees.
   Q.  What it suggests is that it was a little bit ad hoc,
       wasn't it, Mr Haworth?
   A.  I wouldn't say so, no.
   Q.  You weren't confident enough in all the other contract
       advisors having the document not to hand them an extra
       copy when you did an interview, were you?
   A.  Sorry, can you ...
   Q.  I will repeat that.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Maybe without the double --
   MR GREEN:  Triple negative.
           If you had been confident that they were all working
       from the same document, uniformly, there would be no
       point to giving them one in the interview, would there?
       Do you agree?
   A.  I didn't give the applicant a copy --
   Q.  No.  You say in paragraph 12, go back and look at
       paragraph 12.  You say:
           "If I was leading the interview ..."
           That means there is another contract advisor with
       you?
   A.  Not a contract advisor, no.  It would be either an area
       intervention manager or one of the sales managers.
   Q.  So would they know about that list as well or not?
   A.  They had a copy of that list, yes.
   Q.  They all had a copy anyway, yes?
   A.  Because there were different ones all the time when you
       were doing your interviews depending on which area the
       branches fell into.
   Q.  So there were different lists for different areas?
   A.  No, the same list but different people who I may be
       holding the interview with.
   Q.  Right.  But you would expect them all to have a copy of
       the list naturally as well?  They had been circulated
       with your list, had they?
   A.  They were given a list as they came into the interview.
   Q.  But not circulated with one before?
   A.  Not previous to the first -- once they had done the
       first interview with me they would always have it then,
       but I would always ensure that they had that with them.
       If they didn't, I would give them another copy.
   Q.  If you look at paragraph 10 of your witness statement,
       please {C2/14/2}, you say:
           "The standard order of the interviews I conducted
       was:
           "10.1 Asking the applicant questions on the various
       competencies ...
           "10.2 Running through the 'brief summary of certain
       sections of the subpostmaster's contract' (which
       I detail further below in paragraph 13 ...), together
       with other areas ... in the interview checklist ..."
           You then say:
           "This checklist is referenced in more detail in the
       witness statements of Elaine Ridge and Brian Trotter."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And this morning you have confirmed that the interview
       checklist is nothing like the ones -- it's not the same
       as the ones --
   A.  It is not exactly the same but it contained the same key
       points.  Those checklists, when I saw them in court last
       week, are from a later date.
   Q.  Let's take it very briefly.  Elaine Ridge said she had
       her own personal one.  How do you know what was in hers?
   A.  I don't know exactly what was in hers.
   Q.  So how can you tell the court that it was the same as
       yours?
   A.  It wasn't the same as the ones that I saw last week.
   Q.  I understand.  But I think you were suggesting to the
       court a moment ago that everyone would have been working
       from checklists that had the same items in them.
   A.  No, we were talking about the competency questions.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Let me just clarify this because I think
       this might take up a vast amount of time longer than it
       merits.
           You said a few minutes ago that your interview
       checklist contained the same key points as the
       checklists used by the others.
   A.  That is correct, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Green asked you if you had seen the
       checklists used by the others and I am a bit confused as
       to whether your answer to that is yes, you have seen
       them, or no, you haven't.
   A.  No, I haven't seen all the checklists used by all the
       other contract managers at that time.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I think Mr Green is focusing on the ones
       referred to by Ms Ridge and Mr Trotter.  Have you seen
       their checklists?
   A.  I saw them in court last week, yes.
   MR GREEN:  What you saw in court when Mrs Ridge was
       cross-examined were other checklists that were not hers.
       So have you ever seen Mrs Ridge's personal checklist
       that she used?
   A.  I haven't seen her personal checklist, no.
   Q.  So you are not able to say that you were using the same
       checklist as Mrs Ridge, are you?
   A.  I can't say definitely I was using the same list but
       I would imagine it would contain the same key points.
   Q.  So it is based on what you imagine?
   A.  That is -- because I have never seen Elaine's Ridge's
       checklist, no.
   Q.  Mr Sabir, if we look at paragraph 13.7 in your witness
       statement {C2/14/4}, your evidence about what you would
       have said about notice is at 13.7.  Do you see that?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  You say:
           "... the 3 month notice period worked both ways,
       whether Post Office or the subpostmaster wanted to end
       the relationship."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "I would give an example such as the subpostmaster
       wanting to solely focus on the retail element of their
       business."
           Then you say:
           "Although it was unpleasant to talk about at
       an interview, I would say that if something untoward
       happened such as a major breach of contract, Post Office
       could end the relationship immediately without giving
       3 months' notice."
           You, on the basis of your evidence, would expect
       Mrs Ridge to have said the same thing, wouldn't you?
   A.  I would expect her to say a similar sort of thing, yes.
   Q.  So would it surprise you that Mrs Ridge specifically
       says that she would not have mentioned the three months'
       notice?
   A.  As far as I am aware she would have covered it.  If
       Elaine, if Mrs Ridge said she didn't, well, I can't
       argue with that, no.
   Q.  So your evidence about what she would have been doing
       was based on what you imagined was in a checklist you
       hadn't seen, and you would have assumed she was going to
       mention the three months' notice period but we know from
       her evidence that she doesn't say that.  Would you like
       to look at that?
   A.  No.  I would have imagined, as I said in my statement,
       that she would have covered that.  To cover these areas
       at the interview, as I mentioned in my statement, I ran
       through the brief summary of certain sections of the
       subpostmasters contract which was the five pages that
       formed part of the invite to interview letter.  That is
       where these points come from.
   Q.  We will come back to that in a moment.  Let's look at
       {C2/12/3} please.  This is in Mrs Ridge's statement.
       Look at 12.9:
           "... the contract could be ended at any time by
       Post Office, and that if there was anything untoward
       that happened at the branch, that Post Office could
       suspend him or end the contract immediately.  I wouldn't
       have mentioned the 3 month notice period specifically
       during the interview."
           Would you have mentioned suspension?
   A.  Not specifically, no.  I would have mentioned, as I said
       in my statement, that the contract was on a three-month
       notice period from either side or that the contract
       could be terminated, as I mentioned.
   Q.  Let's just look, please, at {F1/38/1}.  This is an ACC
       in 2006.  Can you tell his Lordship what an ACC is?
   A.  It is an accounting communique which was circulated
       across everyone in the distribution list as
       an instruction of details to follow.
   Q.  So if there was anything significant that people should
       follow an ACC would be sent around?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  We see an ACC here for the five-year work history?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And if we look at {F1/73/1}, we see one for producing
       interview notes using voice recording equipment?
   A.  I do, yes.  That one was after the time that I did my
       interview with Mr Sabir.
   Q.  I understand.  Quite correct.  But there is no ACC with
       an interview checklist, is there, or requiring people to
       follow one?
   A.  Not that I am aware of.
   Q.  There is no ACC about what people must be told about
       losses?
   A.  Not that I am -- not that I can remember from that
       period in time, no.
   Q.  And there is no ACC telling people that they will be
       forced to accept, on Horizon, figures in their accounts
       with which they strongly disagree, is there?
   A.  No, there wouldn't be one for that, no, that I am aware.
   Q.  Did you ever tell an interviewee, "By the way, the way
       the Horizon computer system works, you will be forced to
       accept on the system liabilities with which you may
       seriously disagree"?
   A.  No, I would not have said that.
   Q.  In fact no contract advisor would ever say that, would
       they?
   A.  I wouldn't have thought so.
   Q.  No.  Can we look, please, at {F3/68/3}.  This is the
       internal debt recovery process summary document, just to
       tell you where you are.  If we look at the foot of that
       page:
           "Please note: the acceptance of a TC may still
       result in a dispute."
           And then this sentence:
           "Branch trading forces the acceptance of the TC on
       the Horizon system to enable the kit to roll over."
   A.  Okay, I can see that.
   Q.  Did you ever tell any interviewee what is in that last
       sentence?
   A.  No, I didn't.
   Q.  Are you aware of any other contract advisor having done
       so?  Ever?
   A.  Not that I am aware of.
   Q.  Would you imagine that any contract advisor would?
   A.  I wouldn't have thought so.
   Q.  Thank you.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Did you know at the time you were --
       once Horizon was brought in, did you know that that is
       how Horizon worked?
   A.  I didn't know the details of that, my Lord, no.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I'm not asking you about the detail.
       Did you know, as it is put at the bottom, that Horizon
       forced the acceptance of the TC to enable it to roll
       over?  There is no reason why you should, I am just
       interested.
   A.  I can't say I would have known it at the time, no,
       my Lord.
   MR GREEN:  Mr Haworth, perhaps I put those questions with
       more vigour than I should have thinking you might have
       been aware of that.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is rather why I thought I would
       clear it up.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, I am grateful.
           Can we go back please to {C2/14/3} and look at
       paragraph 13.  As I understand it, in line 2 on the
       right-hand side:
           "As part of all recruitment interviews I would run
       through the 'brief summary of certain sections of the
       subpostmaster's contract' which was included in the
       invitation to interview letter."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Such as the one sent to Mr Sabir?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Just pausing there.  Would you run through that in
       addition to the interview checklist?  Or was there
       overlap between the two?
   A.  My checklist would have had a check point on to run
       through the brief summary of sections of the contract,
       rather than have every section on there to tick.
   Q.  Can we look just briefly, because I think we have dealt
       with this already, at {E3/53/1}.  So this is the
       invitation to interview letter.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  You will see in the second paragraph it explains:
           "At the interview you will be asked to give examples
       of previous instances where you have demonstrated
       skills ..."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "... detailed questions ..."
           It tells people what it expect, doesn't it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Third paragraph:
           "... expected to talk through your business plan and
       finance arrangements, and you are therefore required to
       bring a copy of your business plan with you."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  You then say:
           "You will ... be given the opportunity to ask any
       questions relating to the Post Office business."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Fourth paragraph:
           "I also attach a brief summary of the conditions of
       the subpostmasters contract, for your attention."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And then it doesn't say: you are required to bring this
       with you so we can go through them together?
   A.  No, it doesn't.
   Q.  Did you understand why that was?
   A.  I don't understand why it wasn't in the letter.
   Q.  You don't have to know the answer, Mr Haworth, that is
       very fair.
           Then second line:
           "Please note that the summary does not represent the
       complete terms and conditions of the subpostmasters
       contract and may not be relied upon, for any purpose, by
       a subpostmaster."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Did you understand why that was done?  Did you have any
       feel for why that was being done?
   A.  My understanding of that statement is that the summary
       didn't take the place of a full review of the contract.
   Q.  Right.
   A.  The summary only contained certain key points and not
       the detail that is included in the subpostmasters
       contract.
   Q.  Let's have a look, please, at {E3/53/3}, the third page
       of this document.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  We can see that is page 4 of 11.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So it was those other 11 pages that you would go
       through, was it?
   A.  I think -- from my memory I think it was 5 --
   Q.  Sorry, the other 7.  I think it's possibly 8.
           Just looking at "Losses" at the bottom.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Given your evidence that you didn't know about how
       Horizon worked in the respect that I was asking you
       about, you weren't hugely well placed to explain what
       that meant in practice, were you?
   A.  I explained that any losses that were incurred in
       the branch, and I gave some evidence -- some examples
       which I mentioned in my statement, such as keying in
       maybe an extra 0 when accepting a banking transaction,
       paying out too much money to a customer, not taking
       payment from a customer would result in losses in the
       branch and they would be fully responsible to make good
       those losses.
   Q.  And you chose those examples because you thought those
       were examples of something that was the subpostmaster's
       fault, didn't you?
   A.  I did, yes, yes.
   Q.  Because that is what it says there?
   A.  Uh-huh.
   Q.  But you didn't say, did you, that you will be liable for
       all losses however they are caused, even if they are
       caused by Post Office?
   A.  I wouldn't have said any losses would be being caused by
       Post Office.  I would have explained to the applicant
       that any losses that were incurred in the branch they
       were responsible for.
   Q.  It wasn't your practice to put a completed interview
       checklist in the file, was it?
   A.  It wasn't at that period of time, no.
   Q.  Would you actually tick one off as you went through it,
       or would you just glance at it and --
   A.  I actually ticked off as I did each interview.
   Q.  So why didn't you pop it in the file as a record of what
       you discussed?
   A.  I don't know.  It wasn't a requirement at the time that
       it was returned as part of the interview file so
       it was -- I don't know any more, sorry.
   Q.  Mr Sabir did remember the interview, unlike you.  Yes?
       He gave evidence that he did remember it?
   A.  As far as I understand.  I know I did this interview
       because I have seen the documentation with my signature
       on --
   Q.  You don't recall it otherwise?
   A.  I don't remember that specific interview but I do know
       that I followed the structured format that I followed at
       every interview that I performed.
   Q.  Mr Sabir can clearly remember being asked questions and
       going through the business plan.  That is something that
       you would have done?
   A.  I would, yes.
   Q.  It was something that he was warned about in the
       interview letter?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And he says he can't remember you going through any of
       the contractual matters you say you would have covered
       in your witness statement by reference to a checklist or
       brief summary.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  There are two possible explanations.  One is that he
       doesn't recall it because you didn't do it with him.  Is
       that possible?
   A.  No.
   Q.  It is not possible?
   A.  It is not possible.  I ran through this at every
       interview I did.  I am confident of that.
   Q.  The second -- if you did, that only leaves the
       possibility that the emphasis which you gave to it
       compared to the emphasis on the business plan was much
       less.  Was there a much greater focus on the business
       plan?
   A.  I wouldn't -- there was a big emphasis on the business
       plan because that is the basis of the decision on any
       applicant.
   Q.  Yes, and a lesser --
   A.  I wouldn't say a lesser focus.  I used to keep these
       five pages in a file I used for my interviews and
       I would always say to the applicant, "This formed part
       of your invite to interview letter.  I now want to run
       through certain -- each section of it just to give you
       a bit of explanation of what it refers to".
   Q.  Look, please, at your paragraph 19 {C2/14/6}.
       Mr Sabir -- you refer to Mr Sabir alleging he was not
       advised to seek independent legal advice.  He was very
       firm on that when cross-examined by Mr Cavender.  You
       say:
           "I would have told every applicant at interview,
       including Mr Sabir, that if they were successful it
       would be advisable to take independent legal advice
       before signing their agreement to the contract."
   A.  That is correct.
   Q.  "I always gave this advice."
   A.  That is correct.
   Q.  Are you sure you always gave this advice?
   A.  I am sure I always gave that advice, yes.  I would
       always explain that the subpostmasters contract was
       a long and detailed document which needed to be read and
       fully understood if they were successful, and it was
       always advisable to take independent legal advice before
       signing their agreement to it.
   Q.  Was that something that you also ticked off in your
       file?
   A.  It was -- yes, it was on my list to cover off, yes.
   Q.  Just to understand what is in your file for a moment,
       you have an interview checklist copy, have you, when you
       are interviewing Mr Sabir?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  You have a blank interview checklist, have you?
   A.  It was a printed out checklist which ran through
       everything in the interview to ensure I covered the same
       things at every interview.  So it would start off with
       things like introductions, running through the format of
       the interview, business plan, questions, competency
       questions, and then move --
   Q.  Was legal advice a separate item on your list or not?
   A.  It wasn't a separate item, no, but I would have covered
       that off when I covered off the brief sections of the
       subpostmasters contract.
   Q.  So you didn't have legal advice as a separate item --
   A.  I didn't, no.
   Q.  -- but you say you would have covered it off when you
       went through --
   A.  I would, yes.
   Q.  So there is actually nothing in those pages that we have
       looked at, that you had in your file, about the need to
       take legal advice, is there?
   A.  There isn't specific, no, but --
   Q.  So you would have to remember that in every interview?
   A.  I would have to remember to say it and I always said it
       because I always stated that these five pages were to be
       regarded as five pages of a much larger book.
   Q.  Let's take it in stages.  Were you the only contract
       advisor telling people to take legal advice, to your
       knowledge?
   A.  I wouldn't have thought so.
   Q.  Were you exceptional in that?
   A.  I wouldn't have thought so, no.
   Q.  Was it something you would expect all the other contract
       advisors would have done?
   A.  I would expect that, yes.
   Q.  Let's look at {G/27/5}, please.  This is in the report
       by Second Sight of 21 August 2014.
   A.  Okay.
   Q.  Do you have that?
   A.  I have now, yes.
   Q.  If you look at paragraph 4.6 very kindly:
           "Having considered the standard contract in some
       detail from a business perspective, we are of the
       opinion that it can, in some circumstances, operate to
       the detriment of the subpostmaster, who may not have
       reviewed nor fully understood the terms before accepting
       or declining to enter into the contract."
           Then the following:
           "We have not seen any evidence that Post Office
       either advises or requires subpostmasters to seek
       independent legal advice before taking up their posts."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Do you see that?
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  Let's look at what Post Office's reply to that was.
       {G/28/10}.  This is at 4.13, do you see?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "The report also notes that Post Office does not
       recommend that subpostmasters take legal advice.  There
       is no obligation on Post Office to make this
       recommendation.  It is however open to any subpostmaster
       to take legal advice on the contract at any time."
           If it is right, as you have suggested, that contract
       advisors were typically encouraging people to take legal
       advice, why would Post Office not know that in 2014?
   A.  I wouldn't know that.  It was something that I always
       mentioned it was advisable to take before signing the
       contract.
   Q.  Can we turn now to your current role, please.  You
       explain it at paragraph 1 of your witness statement
       {C2/14/1}.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  You say you are a network engagement manager for
       Post Office.
   A.  That is correct.
   Q.  What does that involve, in plain language?
   A.  It involves managing the deployment of change across the
       network, so any changes to products, services that are
       implemented by the business, ensuring that from
       a network perspective they meet our design principles.
   Q.  You have had some experience before of developing
       documents and internal agreements, haven't you?
   A.  When I was in the contracts team, yes, I was involved in
       looking at some improvement activity, yes.
   Q.  Can we look, please, at {G/35/1}.  This is the working
       agreement and you are a co-author of it?
   A.  That is correct, yes.
   Q.  And a co-reviewer with Mr Winn?
   A.  That is correct.
   Q.  If we go over to {G/35/2}, we can see the genesis of
       this document.  The dates in the document history, it
       has come out a little oddly, but we can see 01/04/2009?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And there is "Initial OLA".  What is OLA, do you know?
   A.  From what I can remember I think it is operational level
       agreement.
   Q.  It's like an SLA but internal?
   A.  Yes, an operational one, yes.
   Q.  And the document is circulated in 2010, we see from the
       fourth line down.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Then there is -- it is updated, two lines up from the
       bottom, on 14 February 2011 with a network write-off
       process?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And on 13 July 2011 with an updated TA dispute process.
       Can you tell his Lordship what the TA dispute process
       was?  What does TA stand for?
   A.  From memory, that would be transaction acknowledgement.
   Q.  Thank you.  We can see this version, if we go over the
       page to {G/35/3}, this version appears to have been
       reviewed last in December 2012.
   A.  It appears so, yes.
   Q.  Just to give you context.  Do you know if it has been
       updated since then or not?
   A.  I am not aware, sorry.
   Q.  Can we go, please, first to page {G/35/16}.  Do you see
       the heading "Branch Discrepancies"?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  That was one of the things that fell within the
       consideration in this document as we can see.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  We see at 3.4.2, "Investigation", it says:
           "It is the responsibility of the branch to
       investigate and understand the cause of this
       discrepancy."
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  And that is a theme that we find elsewhere, I think, as
       well.
   A.  Okay.
   Q.  If you look below at 3.5 "Settle Centrally", there you
       deal with the meaning of settle centrally and we can see
       that it says:
           "Meaning - choosing the option to 'Accept and settle
       centrally' signifies acceptance of a loss or gain within
       a branch ..."
   A.  I can see that.
   Q.  And then:
           "... unless the dispute process is instigated."
           Yes?
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  Just taking it in stages.  Then it says:
           "'Settle centrally' does not prohibit further
       investigation which might offset all or part of the
       loss/gain accepted earlier, but this is a branch's
       responsibility to initiate."
           Yes?
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  So the process is as Mrs Van Den Bogerd explained to
       his Lordship when she was asked, that settling centrally
       means that the sum -- the discrepancy is accepted as
       a debt by the subpostmaster subject to them then
       disputing it by calling up the Helpline?
   A.  That is my understanding.
   Q.  Over the page {G/35/17}:
           "The customer account is managed by FSC.
       Outstanding amounts are resolved through the debt
       recovery process."
   A.  I can see that.
   Q.  We can just see there:
           "The shortage or surplus 'settled centrally' [just
       above] is transferred to a subpostmaster's 'customer
       account'."
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  So the customer account is a specific account referable
       to that subpostmaster?
   A.  That is my understanding.  That would be the finance
       service centre operational side of things --
   Q.  And that lies outside what you are dealing with, does
       it?
   A.  It is, yes.  They would have input that side to this
       working agreement.
   Q.  Can we just look, please, at {F4/5/10}.  This is in the
       "Balancing with Horizon" document.  You can see a till
       roll print out there with a balance snapshot?
   A.  I can, yes.
   Q.  If we look at the bottom it says:
           "The figures on Horizon stock unit balance snapshot
       report are cumulative.  You will need to deduct the
       previous day(s) totals from the figure on the report to
       obtain the figures for the current day."
           Just to confirm your understanding, that means that
       the subpostmaster gets their calculator out and deducts
       from what is shown on that till roll what was shown on
       the till roll the previous day?  Or whenever they
       previously did a balance snapshot?
   A.  I don't --
   Q.  Is that something you don't know about?
   A.  I don't know about that, sorry.
   Q.  Can we look, please, at {G/35/18}.  This is the 3.6, the
       dispute process.  We are back in your document.
   A.  Okay.
   Q.  "Post Office Limited acknowledges the potential
       financial impact and stress that may be caused by
       unexpected transaction corrections or branch
       discrepancies."
           Pausing there, how did you know about that?  Had
       people fed that back to you or did you have personal
       experience of that?
   A.  It's -- it's only what I have picked up during my time
       in the contracts team, that losses can be incurred in
       branches, and it does cause stress and worry for people.
   Q.  Not unnaturally?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Then you go on to say:
           "An effective dispute process is essential to ensure
       that settled centrally debts are not recovered from
       agents without reasonable time to investigate, challenge
       and resolve individual amounts."
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  Do you still feel that an effective dispute process is
       essential?
   A.  I do, yes.  Yes.
   Q.  You have to have one in this relationship, don't you,
       otherwise it is impossible for subpostmasters to resolve
       these issues in any reasonable way?
   A.  Yes, I agree with what went in that document.  I am not
       aware now, with my change of role, what the current
       dispute process is.
   Q.  I'm not putting to you what the current one is, I am
       just making -- I'm asking you to comment on the fact
       that you have to have an effective dispute process?
   A.  Yes, I would agree.
   Q.  It's absolutely essential?
   A.  I agree.
   Q.  And that has to involve some proper opportunity to
       investigate what the root cause of the problem is,
       hasn't it?
   A.  It does.
   Q.  If we look at "Transaction Corrections" at 3.6.1, this
       is internal guidance here, isn't it?  This document is
       an internal document?
   A.  It is, yes.
   Q.  Look at the second bullet point:
           "If the challenge is accepted in full or part at
       this stage ..."
           This is when a branch is notified:
           "... a compensating transaction correction will be
       issued to close the dispute."
   A.  Yes, I can see that.
   Q.  So if a subpostmaster was wrongly sent a transaction
       correction, yes?  Or there was a wrong discrepancy --
   A.  Or they --
   Q.   -- and they were upheld --
   A.  Yes, or they had discovered something else, which they
       have highlighted since the error was made, which was
       a compensating error.  It could be various things,
       I don't know.
   Q.  Yes.  Or if some paperwork had gone astray at
       Post Office, for example, and Post Office had then found
       it, and a transaction correction was coming through for
       that, that might be after the end of the balance trading
       period?
   A.  I don't know the detail of what -- why there may be
       a compensating transaction correction.  I can't say.
       I wouldn't agree that Post Office may have lost any
       documentation, all I know is that if a compensating
       error was identified we would issue a compensating
       transaction correction.
   Q.  Can I just ask you just to contrast the old system
       pre-2005 in relation to disputing discrepancies with the
       new one.  Because there was a change in 2005, wasn't
       there?
   A.  I can't remember.  I can't remember.
   Q.  Let me show you.  If you can't comment then fair enough.
       {C1/2/19}
           This is Mrs Stubbs' witness statement and in the top
       paragraph, 79, she is talking about things that happened
       in July 2000 and November 2000, and she received letters
       purporting:
           " ... to give me the authority to hold two small
       shortages of £393 and £578 respectively in my account
       for a period of eight weeks."
           Then she goes on to say:
           "... this permission was only for as long as no
       other error notices were issued ..."
           Were you familiar with the old system at that time
       of having a suspense account?
   A.  I can't remember in detail what it was.
   Q.  Okay, don't worry.  If you can't remember, you can't
       remember.
           Looking at {C1/2/21}, paragraph 88.  In your role as
       contracts advisor you might receive a call sometimes
       from a subpostmaster about a discrepancy they were
       particularly concerned about, might you?  Or not?
   A.  I can't remember any specifically.  Any calls would have
       gone in to the Helpline, and then I would imagine they
       would have been routed through to the finance service
       centre product area that it related to.
   Q.  So would it be fair to say the only time you would be
       most likely to get a call about some sort of discrepancy
       is if there was an audit and the auditor calls you up
       and says "Should we suspend?"
   A.  That is correct.  I would get a phone call then, yes.
   Q.  So that might be the first you have heard of it.  You
       might not have heard about the discrepancies before
       that?
   A.  I may not have done, no.
   Q.  Look at paragraph 88, please:
           "At my first full balance on 11 November 2009 there
       was an apparent shortage of £388.88.  I sought the
       Helpline's advice - the representative said that it was
       probably because some paperwork had gone missing in the
       move and that it would probably right itself in time.
       Believing what the Helpline told me, I put the cash in
       to cover the apparent shortage."
           Pausing there, Mr Haworth, that is a situation you
       must have come across in your years as a contract
       advisor, where someone puts the money in understanding
       that they are expecting some sort of correcting
       transaction correction or compensating transaction
       correction coming back the other way?
   A.  It could be the case, but I can't remember any detail
       from -- I was in the contracts team.
   Q.  I'm not asking you for a specific event.  But that is
       something that you don't regard as unusual necessarily
       or impossible, is that fair?
   A.  I don't think it is impossible.  Some branches would
       make good a loss to meet the contractual obligation but
       hoping for something to come back as a corresponding
       error.
   Q.  Let's look at paragraph 89:
           "The following trading statement on 9 December 2009
       showed a shortage of £2,584.65.  As I mention above,
       I attempted to call the Helpline, but without success.
       The Helpline advised, the following day, that there was
       nothing they could do, and I had no option to make
       a payment to Post Office by cheque.  I was not advised
       that I could dispute the shortfall.  As I mention above,
       there does not appear to be a record of my call the
       following day in Post Office's disclosed call logs."
           Pausing there, can I ask you whether you would have
       any knowledge -- would the Helpline report back to you
       if someone was disputing a shortfall?
   A.  No, they wouldn't.  From what I can remember, no, they
       wouldn't have done.
   Q.  Similarly paragraph 90 where if you look in the middle
       of the paragraph she says:
           "This was entirely unexpected as I knew that there
       had not been this amount of cash unaccounted for in
       the branch during the trading period and the branch had
       been closed for a number of days.  I immediately
       reported it to the Helpline, who gave no assistance
       apart from to inform me to double check my figures,
       which I had already done.  As I mentioned above, the
       Helpline marked this as 'low priority'."
           That is a reference to the internal Helpline record
       of the call.  Are those records that you would look at
       if an auditor called you about a suspension?
   A.  From what I can remember I wouldn't have had access to
       those at that point, no.
   Q.  I understand.  Would you have had access to those later
       on at all for investigation purposes?
   A.  I would imagine so, from what I can remember, but --
   Q.  Can you ever remember having consulted them?
   A.  I probably did but I can't say definitely.
   Q.  Can we say that if you did, it would have been
       exceptional rather than the norm?
   A.  If -- if the subpostmaster had made me aware of these
       calls I would definitely have had a look.
   Q.  Are you aware of any case that you have been involved in
       where you have provided copies of the Helpline logs to
       the subpostmaster?
   A.  I can't remember because I haven't been in the contracts
       team for the last eight years.
   Q.  Then 91:
           "I believed I had accurately accounted for the cash
       and stock held at the branch and I was able to confirm
       this when I reviewed the records that I had retained,
       which I refer to below.  Helpline advised me that unless
       I had formally declared that I wished to dispute a
       shortfall then it would not be considered disputed."
   A.  I can see that.
   Q.  If we look at the transcript, please, for Day 3, page 14
       at the foot of the page.  This is the cross-examination
       of Mrs Stubbs by Mr Cavender on behalf of Post Office.
       {Day3/14:17}
           At line 17 Mr Cavender says:
           "In relation to losses, before we go into those
       particular losses, in terms of procedure for losses you
       knew the procedure was to settle centrally and dispute
       it?"
           And Mrs Stubbs says:
           "No, at that time I didn't.  When it started
       I didn't.  Because the first two, the one on 11 November
       was an apparent shortage of £388.88, and I was told that
       I ought to pay it because it was probably a piece of
       paperwork that had got lost in that move and it would
       turn up as a transaction correction.  So I paid that in
       cash.
           "Question: Shall we look at what happened in
       relation to the £9,000-odd one, the January one.  That
       is when we get a bit more light shed on this.  So it's
       {E2/40/1}, this is the £9,033 one and this is
       27 January 2010.
           "It says at the bottom, I think my learned friend
       put this in opening:
           "'This statement excludes any items currently in
       dispute ...'"
           "Or it is meant to.
           "We then have your response which is at tab
       {E2/42/1}.
           "Answer: Yes."
           And then look down at line 18, please {Day3/15:18}:
           "Fifth paragraph down."
           Mr Cavender puts:
           "'When I received the last reminder I rang the
       accounts office and was told that unless the matter had
       been reported as in dispute they could do nothing.
       I was unaware that this had not been reported as a
       dispute ...'
           "In relation to that conversation you had, is it
       possible that when you first raised the matter with the
       Helpline you raised it as a query and asked about it and
       didn't formally say 'I want to raise a formal dispute
       about this amount', is that possible?"
   A.  I can see that.
   Q.  She says:
           "That is entirely possible.  I wrongly assumed that
       if I rang the Helpline and said 'I have got this
       shortage, I don't think it is right, what can I do about
       it', I thought that automatically meant that I was
       disputing it ..."
           Pause there.  From your knowledge from the
       perspective of considering suspensions and terminations,
       did you understand there to be any magic words required
       of a subpostmaster when they rang the Helpline for them
       to be taken to be disputing or querying a transaction
       correction?
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, with respect to my learned friend, my
       learned friend put both possibilities in the last three
       words of that question, the very distinction he is
       trying to elicit from this witness.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is probably best to break it into
       shorter bite-sized chunks so that you don't have more
       than one question rolled up together.
   MR GREEN:  Mr Haworth, were there any magic words or any
       particular word that a subpostmaster was required to say
       on the Helpline in order for the initiation of the
       dispute process that you have referred to in your
       process to happen?
   A.  Not that I am aware of.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Which then leads to the next question:
       if someone phoned up and said "I am querying it", how
       would you expect it to be dealt with?
   A.  From memory, my Lord, I would expect that the query
       would go through to the finance service centre to the
       product team who had the details relating to that error.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  As a query or as a dispute or as
       something else?
   A.  I would imagine -- I don't know definitely what it would
       go through as, sorry.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Green.
   MR GREEN:  I am grateful.
           When you were considering sums that subpostmasters
       had accepted on the Horizon system, when you were
       considering suspension and termination decisions, you
       still weren't aware of the point we covered earlier,
       that they are required to accept by settling centrally,
       you still weren't aware of that, were you?  You weren't
       aware of it -- sorry, let me --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Green, you are going to have to start
       again.  You now have three questions.
   MR GREEN:  Take it in stages.  You have given evidence that
       you didn't understand about settling centrally and
       forced rollover.
   A.  I understood the principle of settling centrally but
       I didn't understand that line on that ...
   Q.  Okay, you didn't understand.  Let's look back at
       {F3/68/3}.  You didn't understand that last sentence at
       the foot of the page, did you, that:
           "Branch trading forces the acceptance of the TC on
       the Horizon system to enable the kit to roll over."
   A.  At that point I probably didn't, no.
   Q.  So you regarded debts recorded on the Horizon system as
       debts that the subpostmasters had chosen to accept?
   A.  I wouldn't say they had chosen to accept, I would be
       looking at the accounts and what the accounts stated.
   Q.  But the accounts stated on Horizon, you were under the
       impression that those accounts reflected what the
       subpostmaster had chosen to agree to?
   A.  Well, that -- the accounts are a reflection of the
       position in the branch.  That was my understanding.
   Q.  That was your understanding?
   A.  Uh-huh.
   Q.  Was it your understanding that the accounts reflected
       a picture of the position in the branch to which the
       subpostmaster had voluntarily agreed?
   A.  I wouldn't say that they had voluntarily agreed.  The
       accounts are a statement of the position.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  A statement by whom?
   A.  By the subpostmaster, because the subpostmaster is the
       person who produces the accounts.  So that is
       a statement of the position in their branch at that
       particular time.
   MR GREEN:  And that understanding could not have taken into
       account the fact they were forced to accept transaction
       corrections at the end of branch trading, could it?
   A.  Sorry, I don't understand --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Green, I think that is probably
       a point for me, really, isn't it?
   MR GREEN:  I am grateful.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is not really a point for the
       witness.
   MR GREEN:  Can we look please just quickly -- were you
       familiar with the layout on the Horizon screen itself of
       what buttons they had to press, or is that not something
       you would really know about?
   A.  I didn't go -- I wasn't fully aware of the operation --
       I have an overview of the Horizon screens but I wouldn't
       know in particular how to actually transact ...
   Q.  Did you have any training on the Horizon system ever?
   A.  I have, yes.
   Q.  How long was that training?
   A.  I can't remember.
   Q.  A couple of days or ...
   A.  I can't remember.  I was engaged on the roll-out
       programme for Horizon when we rolled it out to branches,
       and from what I can remember there was some training
       I presume at that time.
   Q.  So you actually participated in helping subpostmasters
       to understand how it worked?
   A.  I went out to provide support to subpostmasters at that
       point.
   Q.  To help them to understand how it worked?
   A.  Well, yes, yes.
   Q.  Can we look, please, back at your document {G/35/7}.
       The purpose of the document at the top was to:
           "Improve conformance and cut losses via agreed roles
       and responsibilities, standards and measures for
       transaction corrections, debt recovery, enquiries and
       conformance between FSC ..."
           Which is the financial services centre:
           "... and network."
           What is network?
   A.  Network is the part of the business that manages the
       branches.
   Q.  So were you in network then?
   A.  I was.
   Q.  It says:
           "It initially commenced on 1 April 2000 as an agreed
       OLA ..."
           Which is organisational level agreement.
           "... between product and branch accounting, network
       and service delivery.  A decision was taken to separate
       the agreements with network and service delivery,
       thereby resulting in the formulation of this document."
           Yes?
   A.  Yes, I see that.
   Q.  So the document you are working on is actually more of
       an internal responsibilities and service delivery
       document?
   A.  Yes, it is, that is correct.
   Q.  We can see the rationale for the working agreement:
           "2. Improving debt recovery - better chance of
       recovery when you identify it earlier."
           And:
           "5. Clarifying standards and responsibilities ..."
           Do you see that?
   A.  I can, yes.
   Q.  And then at 1.5 {G/35/8}, "Dependencies":
           "FSC will work with clients and suppliers to improve
       the timeliness of their data to Post Office Limited to
       enable further improvement to the timescales for issuing
       transaction corrections.  This is also subject to the
       authorisation of business cases to employ agency
       resource within FSC."
           What was that last line about?
   A.  From what I can remember, that was -- finance service
       centre did at times bring in casual staff to help deal
       with the workloads.
   Q.  Because there was sometimes backlogs in FSC, weren't
       there, which they had to deal with?
   A.  From what I can remember, I think they may have been due
       to excessive sick leave or something like that.
   Q.  The backlogs were due to excessive sick leave?
   A.  That could be a possible reason for it.
   Q.  Another reason might be an unexpectedly high number of
       transaction corrections that FSC had to look into?
   A.  It could be, yes, I suppose.
   Q.  So they would sometimes get in casual staff to help
       basically take decisions on those and issue or not issue
       transaction corrections?
   A.  From my understanding, they would help deal with the
       churn, if you will, within that particular product area
       so that they could meet the timescales in the agreement.
   Q.  Let's have a look at those dependencies as they found
       expression at the back on page {G/35/28}:
           "In order to deliver the levels/timescales in this
       agreement, the following dependencies need to be met."
           Look at 4.2, "Clients and Joint Venture Partners":
           "Timescales for data feeds, enquiries and evidence
       requests must be agreed with client banks, A&L,
       Bank of Ireland, Hanco, First Rate, Moneygram, NS&I,
       Camelot [et cetera] to enable the timescales in this
       document to be achieved.  Failure by our clients to
       deliver the requested information will be reported and
       dealt with on a case by case basis."
           So one of the dependencies was getting the clients
       to provide FSC the information they needed to work out
       what had gone wrong?
   A.  Yes, correct.
   Q.  Similarly for "Suppliers", we see the same reference to
       "enquiries and evidence requests" in the first line of
       that one, and similarly for "Cash, Bureau and Stock"?
   A.  Yes, I can see that.
   Q.  Was any thought given to trying to get better
       information from Fujitsu or improve that provision of
       evidence?
   A.  I can't remember at the time that this was put together.
       I can't remember.
   Q.  Can we look, please, at {G/14/1}.  This document is on
       Opus dated 26 June 2013 and it refers to the benefits of
       extending life of business transaction data:
           "This was an initial meeting to identify where the
       business might benefit holistically from being able to
       interrogate Horizon transactional data for longer than
       at present."
           And it identified the available data today as:
           "Branch data [61 days]: cash declarations plus stock
       unit discrepancies.
           "Credence data ... : all transactional data
       including non-sales ..."
           Did you have access to the Credence system or not?
   A.  I didn't, no.
   Q.  You didn't?
   A.  No.
   Q.  So if you wanted to get that data just to look into --
       investigate something, would you have to request it?
   A.  I would, yes.
   Q.  Did you ever do that?
   A.  I did, yes.
   Q.  Then:
           "TES [180 days]: online banking transactions only."
           Do you know what TES stands for?
   A.  I don't.
   Q.  And then in bold:
           "Consider the benefits of a repository of data for
       24 months.  Note: this is open for discussion, but 24
       months is the initial gambit."
           Obviously at the moment branch data is only
       available for two months at this stage.  Yes?
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  Then "Business Benefits" set out here are:
           "The business, in particular security and P&BA
       departments suffer from the inability to interrogate its
       data due to the short periods of retention.  If we were
       to keep data for longer and for that data to be
       interrogatable the following areas should benefit ..."
           Then it says:
           "POCA claims and disputes."
           Do you know what that was, or not?
   A.  That is the Post Office Card Account.
   Q.  Then:
           "Banking.
           "Other product claims and disputes."
           And if we go down, we have:
           "Fraud and conformance investigations."
           Would that be more the security team or would that
       be something you might be involved in as well?
   A.  That would be the security team.
   Q.  Okay.  Then if we go down, we have:
           "Proactive fraud identification (obviates the
       complexity costs of the Detica project which if goes
       ahead will need to take inputs from multiple sources
       instead of just one single database)."
           Did you know about that project?
   A.  No, I didn't.
   Q.  Then we have:
           "Security investigations.
           "Criminal investigations."
           And at the bottom it says:
           "SPMR contract advisors - re non-conformance
       suspension hearings."
           Do you see that?
   A.  I can see that, yes.
   Q.  Did you encounter difficulties with branch data after 61
       days, obtaining it?
   A.  Nothing that comes to mind.  I can't remember any
       specific cases.
   Q.  When a TC is issued outside that period and disputed by
       a subpostmaster, you would need normally to get the
       branch data, wouldn't you, to investigate it properly?
   A.  I would assume so.
   Q.  Then if we look at "Financial Benefits" it refers to
       Detica again, than in the second paragraph it says:
           "ARQ (audit retrieval process) costs at least
       £384,000 recurring annually.  This is subsumed without
       breakdown in the Fujitsu security management costs.  720
       requests at £450 unit cost."
   A.  I can see that.
   Q.  So if you were to ask for ARQ data in relation to
       a particular dispute, it would effectively be using up
       one of the requests of that £450, wouldn't it?
   A.  It appears so, yes.
   Q.  So it is fair to say there was some resistance to asking
       for ARQ data on every disputed matter with
       a subpostmaster, wasn't there?
   A.  I can't personally remember any issues relating to that.
   Q.  If we can go back, please, to your document {G/35/1} and
       look at {G/35/28}, the page we were on.  You appended at
       the bottom of that page two Word files and one was, the
       left-hand one, "Finance Product & Branch Acc", the
       right-hand one was "Write-off Process - Final Dec 2012"?
   A.  I can see that.
   Q.  Yes.  If we go please to {F3/138/1}, this is the product
       and branch accounting write-off process and you will see
       it is revised February 2012?
   A.  Okay.
   Q.  This appears to be the document you appended, yes?
   A.  It appears so.
   Q.  If we go, please, to {F3/138/4}.  You are not an author
       or a reviewer of this document but we do see that
       Alison Bolsover, who contributed to the document we have
       been looking at --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- is there, and Andrew Winn, yes, with whom you
       reviewed the document we were looking at --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- is also there.  The scope of the document at
       paragraph 2:
           "The purpose of this document is to ensure that
       a consistent, controlled write-off process is deployed
       across all open item managed accounts (matched)."
           And then it says:
           "In order to clear down these G/L accounts, teams
       may need to perform three types of write off ..."
           Pausing there, what did G/L stand for?
   A.  From memory, I think that is general ledger.  But this
       actual document relates to the operational side of
       things in finance service centre so I wouldn't have had
       any input into this.
   Q.  I will take it a little bit more quickly then, if I may.
           Looking at the bottom of that page:
           "The ad hoc write off of individual open items that
       cannot be resolved following the usual investigative
       process ..."
           As a first example it says:
           "For example, matching with client files shows
       an error, but there is no error in the branch.  Value is
       over the maintained error limit.  Normal investigations
       do not find a resolution, decision taken to write off
       the unmatched error."
           You may or may not know the answer, but do you know
       what normal investigations included or not?
   A.  I don't --
   Q.  Is that outside your area?
   A.  It is outside my area.  It was an FSC function.
   Q.  So when you were considering a suspension or termination
       would you get a report from FSC to say what normal
       investigations had been done, or not?
   A.  From memory I think, yes, I would have got some details
       through if there was any particular errors that were
       part of the investigation.
   Q.  When would they send those to you then?  So you get
       called by an auditor who says there is a loss of £9,033,
       let's say, and it's the first you have heard of it
       because you don't get any information before then.  You
       have to make a decision to suspend or not suspend at
       that point?
   A.  Uh-huh, I would.  I would have done, yes.
   Q.  And let's assume, would you suspend if there is a big
       unexplained shortfall?
   A.  It would depend on the situation.  I'd want as much
       information from the auditor about the position before
       I made a decision like that.
   Q.  Would you also then speak to the subpostmaster as well
       about that information before making your decision or
       would you just rely on what the auditor explained?
   A.  From memory, I would have relied on what the auditor
       explained plus any other information they could provide
       from any other areas such as FSC.
   Q.  Would you know at that stage whether the auditor had
       given the subpostmaster all the information that they
       had relayed to you or would you not know --
   A.  I wouldn't know, no.
   Q.  So at what stage roughly do you think you might have got
       some information from FSC?
   A.  I can't remember.  I can't remember.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, would that be a convenient moment?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  How much longer are you going to
       be?
   MR GREEN:  This is the longest of the three witnesses by
       a considerable margin.  I will finish before lunch in
       any event.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Okay, we'll have ten minutes.
           Mr Haworth, we are going to have a short ten-minute
       break for the shorthand writers.  You are in the middle
       of giving your evidence so please don't talk to anyone
       about the case, but you don't have to stay in
       the witness box, by all means leave and go outside and
       have a bit of a breather, but be back by 12.07 pm,
       please.
           Thank you.
   (11.59 am)
                         (A short break)
   (12.08 pm)
   MR GREEN:  Mr Haworth if we can go back to {F3/138/5}.  We
       are back in the write-off process document that was
       appended to your document.
   A.  Is this the FSC one?  Yes.
   Q.  That is right.  And I appreciate you say you have
       a limited knowledge of it so I am just going to put it
       to you quickly.  You did at least understand, didn't
       you, that the internal service level agreement or
       organisational level agreement provided for losses to
       hit different budgets internally depending on how they
       were written off?
   A.  I would assume so.  I don't know the detail of that.
   Q.  Just have a look -- in case it seems familiar, have a
       look at paragraph 3, "Extract from OLA document".  I'm
       not sure whether we have that, but you can see there at
       1:
           "If timescales have been met by product and branch
       accounting then default is for all losses to be charged
       to network and to product budgets."
           Then 3:
           "If postings originate from Horizon as in the case
       of Crown Office losses/gains and transaction corrections
       and retail line write off, these will automatically be
       charged to network."
           4:
           "If product and branch accounting makes a decision
       on disputes then the default is to charge to P&BA
       budgets."
           Pausing there.  Are you part of product and branch
       accounting in terms of making a decision on a dispute or
       are you in network still?
   A.  I am in network.
   Q.  So do you know who would be making decisions on disputes
       in product and branch accounting or is that not
       something you know about?
   A.  I don't know, sorry.
   Q.  If we go over the page {F3/138/7}, at 4.1 it seems that
       decision 1, write off to network:
           "If the decision is to write off to the network then
       the profit centre used should be the branch FAD code."
           Do you know what that was?
   A.  That is the branch code.  Every branch has a specific
       seven-digit --
   Q.  It's the specific branch code that we've seen.  So if
       you made a decision as a contract advisor at any point
       in relation to a transaction discrepancy to write it
       off -- let me ask you this first question: did you ever
       make a decision about whether a disputed discrepancy
       should be written off?
   A.  I can't remember anywhere I have actually authorised
       a write-off.
   Q.  So if someone has been suspended and you are looking
       into it for the purposes of suspension or termination,
       and you considered that perhaps they should be
       reinstated, have you ever reinstated anyone after
       a suspension?
   A.  I have done.
   Q.  And did you take any decision about the discrepancy that
       had led to their suspension?
   A.  Not that I can remember.
   Q.  Do you know who would have done?  Would it have been you
       or FSC or somebody else or P&BA?
   A.  I am sure it would have been a conversation between the
       two, but I think it would have at a higher level than
       myself.
   Q.  Finally, just over the page {F3/138/8}, just to clarify
       different sorts of accounts.  Do you see under
       "Credits":
           "Unresolved credits should be transferred to:
       miscellaneous client creditor suspense account if the
       credit would be proper to a vendor; customer creditor if
       the credit would be proper to an external customer;
       current agents customer creditors if the credit would be
       proper to a current agent."
           Is a current agent there a current subpostmaster?
   A.  I would imagine so.
   Q.  And then it says:
           "Values will be held there pending
       client/customer/branch enquiries and written to profit
       after 3 years."
           Do you see that?
   A.  I can see that.
   Q.  So the system was that if a particular credit had not
       been resolved by three years that sum would be then
       credited to Post Office profits, yes?
   A.  I don't understand how that works because it wasn't my
       area, so ...
   Q.  I understand.  Were you familiar with the existence of
       any of those accounts or not?
   A.  I'm not familiar with any of those, no.  They are all
       accounts in FSC dealing with --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Green, I think you are going to
       a level of detail in the document which --
   MR GREEN:  It may not be fair to him.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, apart from his earlier answers
       which accepted it was appended to his document but it
       wasn't his document, the witness is being clear that he
       is not involved in the detail of this at all.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, I am grateful.  I have actually finished
       on that document in any event.
           Were you aware of any issues with client data
       integrity in any of your cases where someone was
       suspended?
   A.  No, I can't say that I was.
   Q.  Were you ever made aware that Post Office sometimes had
       difficulties with client data integrity?
   A.  Not that I can remember.
   MR GREEN:  Thank you very much indeed, Mr Haworth.  No
       further questions, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Cavender.
                  Re-examination by MR CAVENDER
   MR CAVENDER:  A couple of questions, if I may.  If we can go
       to page {Day11/19:1} of today's transcript.  If you
       recall, you were asked a number of questions about your
       recollection during interview of dealing with the three
       months' notice on termination provision.  Do you
       remember that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  It was put to you by my learned friend at {Day11/19:8}:
           "So would it surprise you that Mrs Ridge
       specifically says that she would not have mentioned the
       three months' notice?"
           Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  It was put to you that you would be surprised et cetera.
           Can we in that connection to Day 10, please, and go
       to page 100 which is the evidence of Mrs Ridge.  Line 7
       {Day10/100:7}.  If you cast your eye over that from line
       7 and following.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Then at line 22, this is me now:
           "Doing the best you can, firstly, is this item in
       relation to a contract can be ended at any time, is that
       something that would have been on your checklist?"
           "Answer: I am sure it would have been but I can't
       remember 100 per cent."
           Over the page, please:
           "So when you say that you don't remember saying it
       in the answer at {Day10/55:5}, do you see that?
           "Answer: Yes.
           "Question: Does that mean you didn't say it, or
       what?
           "Answer: It doesn't mean I didn't say it, it means
       I can't remember the interview.  So I can't 100 per cent
       say I did because I can't remember the interview.
           "Question: I think my learned friend said in an
       earlier question, out of 1 to 10, doing the best you
       can, given the answers about your checklist, where would
       you be on this one out of ten as to the probability of
       mentioning it?
           "Answer: 8 probably."
           Do you see that?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  So it was?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  So it was put to you on the basis in fact that
       Elaine Ridge couldn't remember giving -- or having any
       debate about three months' notice and you will see what
       she actually said there.  Does that help you at all on
       your recollection as to the practice of contracts
       managers at this time to mention three months' notice?
   A.  As far as I can remember, it was covered in all
       interviews.
   Q.  Thank you.
           Can we then please go to page 47 of today's
       transcript through to 48.  {Day11/49:1}  This was the
       area when you were asked about Horizon and the accounts
       of Horizon, do you remember that?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  What was put to you is in effect, in this part, that the
       accounts were a submission, you would look at the
       accounts, and that would be the position.  That is the
       way it was put to you?
   A.  That is correct.
   Q.  Can we go to {G/35/16} which was the document you were
       taken to around this time.  Do you remember you were
       shown this?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  Look under "Settle Centrally" for me, under "Meaning",
       and read the first sentence to yourself then I will ask
       you a question.
   A.  Okay.
   Q.  In particular the bit where it says:
           "... unless the dispute process is instigated."
           Do you see that?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  The question was put to you by my learned friend on the
       basis, well, when we are looking at the submitted
       accounts you have what's on the accounts.  And as
       I think you said, that represents the subpostmaster
       indicating what is going on in the branch?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  If you were assessing this for any reason in your
       capacity as a contracts manager, would you -- or should
       I say what regard, if any, would you have to whether
       a given amount settled centrally was under dispute or
       not?  Would you have any regard to that and, if so,
       what?
   A.  I would have definitely taken it into consideration with
       any decision I was making.  I would have wanted further
       information from the finance service centre on that.
   Q.  Thank you.  At page 51 today, line 17 {Day11/53:17}, my
       learned friend was dealing with an FSC document and
       transaction corrections and he was picking up the note
       about casual staff, do you remember that?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  He says:
           "So they would sometimes get in casual staff to help
       basically take decisions on those ..."
           Ie the transaction corrections:
           "... and issue or not issue transaction
       corrections."
           You then go later on to say that the staff were part
       of the churn.  Do you see that?
   A.  I do, yes.
   Q.  To your understanding, were these temporary staff
       actually taking decisions on whether to issue
       transaction corrections or not?
   A.  As far as I understand, no.  All they would be doing
       would be the operational procedures of, once a decision
       had been made, issuing the TC out to a branch.
   Q.  What do you mean by "the churn" in your answer?  What is
       "the churn"?
   A.  Just dealing with the volumes of issuing the transaction
       corrections, not involved in any decision-making as
       such.
   MR CAVENDER:  Thank you very much.  No further questions.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I just have a couple of questions,
       Mr Haworth.
                 Questions from MR JUSTICE FRASER
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Could we call up your witness statement
       at {C2/14/3}.  I understand your evidence about
       Mr Sabir, you can't remember but you have a standard
       process that you went through, and in paragraph 13 you
       go through, as I understand it, your standard practice
       in terms of what you would talk to the applicant about
       at the interview, is that right?
   A.  That is correct, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I have just got a couple of questions
       about that.  What do you understand by the phrase
       "something untoward"?
   A.  I would say that was a major breach of a contractual
       obligation.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So when you say that you told the
       applicants, and I think it is in 13.7 {C2/14/4}, that if
       something untoward happened, would you also explain to
       them what you meant by that phrase?
   A.  I would have added on there a major breach of
       an obligation.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  A major breach of on obligation.
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Did any of them in any of the interviews
       ever ask you what you meant by those expressions?
   A.  I have been asked questions from several interviewees,
       from memory, on the various aspects of the contract when
       I have run through the key points.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, I am not asking you about that.
       I am asking you about this specific point where you say
       that you told them if something untoward happened, the
       Post Office could end the relationship immediately.  Did
       any of them ever ask you questions about that?
   A.  I can't remember specifically but they could have done.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Obviously.  But you don't remember any
       of them ever doing so?
   A.  I can't say I do, sorry, no.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is all right.
           Then your example of the loss where someone miskeys
       an extra 0.  Can you just talk me through that as if
       I were at an interview.  Can you, so far as you can
       remember, just talk me through how you would explain
       that.
   A.  What I would have said was that if you were dealing at
       the counter with a customer who was depositing £90 into
       the bank account, when you input it into Horizon you
       input it as £900 and gave the customer a receipt for
       £900, you are only physically putting £90 in the drawer,
       so when you come to balance you would be £810 short.  So
       that is an error made in branch and you would be
       responsible for making that good.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I see.
           And then going on to {C2/14/6} and the point which
       Mr Green explored with you in paragraph 19 about taking
       legal advice.
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Where I think you say that you would
       always tell every applicant that they would or should
       take legal advice.
   A.  I would have done, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And that you remember you would always
       do that.  I think in your answer, which was at page
       {Day11/30:1} of the transcript, if we can go to that,
       please, of today.  Let me just find the relevant line,
       yes, line 1:
           "I am sure I always gave that advice, yes.  I would
       always explain that the subpostmasters contract was
       a long and detailed document which needed to be read and
       fully understood if they were successful, and it was
       always advisable to take independent legal advice before
       signing their agreement to it."
   A.  That is correct, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  At that interview would any of these
       subpostmasters have that long and detailed document with
       them?
   A.  Not that I am aware of, no.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Would you ever have, in the interview,
       a copy of that document physically with you to go
       through with them?
   A.  I kept a copy of the subpostmasters contract in my
       interview file.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  In your own file.
   A.  And I would just refer to it as it -- the size of it
       basically.  The bit I went through in detail was the
       brief summary of certain sections which was part of the
       invite to interview letter.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  What was your understanding then, so far
       as you can remember, of when and how a subpostmaster
       applicant would receive that document?
   A.  My understanding was they got it as part of any letter
       that was sent out saying they were successful.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Okay.  But they wouldn't have had it
       before your interview?
   A.  They wouldn't have been sent one specifically but they
       may have had sight of the one in a branch.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Understood.  That is very helpful.
       Thank you very much indeed.  I don't have any more
       questions.
           Anything arising out of that?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, just one short one.
              Further cross-examination by MR GREEN
   MR GREEN:  It is right, isn't it, that in 2012, Mr Haworth,
       on miskeying, which his Lordship asked you about, you
       actually contributed to a document about a miskeying
       project to help reduce the possibility of those errors?
   A.  I believe so but I can't remember being involved in
       that.
   Q.  I will just show you {G/97/1}.  I won't take you through
       the document.  Do you see in "Contributors" there --
   A.  I can see my name, yes.
   Q.  Essentially the premise was how Horizon could be
       improved to reduce the risk of miskeying by
       subpostmasters.  That was one of the features of it,
       wasn't it?
   A.  I think it covered the whole -- because it was
       a feasibility study, it was looking at what could be
       done maybe to help prevent miskeying in a branch.  It
       may be, from memory, things like issuing of a laminate
       instruction to help with things or just any possibility
       really to reduce it.  But I don't remember the detail of
       it.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, the document speaks for itself.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Okay.  Mr Cavender?
   MR CAVENDER:  No questions, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you, Mr Haworth.  Thank you for
       coming.  Your evidence is now at an end and you can
       leave the witness box.
                      (The witness withdrew)
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is it Mr Carpenter now?
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, it is.  I call Mr Carpenter, please.
                MR ANDREW PHILIP CARPENTER (sworn)
               Examination-in-chief by MR CAVENDER
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Do have a seat.
   MR CAVENDER:  Good morning, Mr Carpenter.  Hopefully in
       front of you there is a witness statement with your name
       on it. {C2/10/1}
   A.  Yes, there is.
   Q.  If you turn the pages and go to internal page 5, you
       will find a signature there? {C2/10/5}
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Is that your signature?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Are the contents of this statement true?
   A.  Yes.
   MR CAVENDER:  If you would like to wait there, please, there
       will be some questions.
                  Cross-examination by MR GREEN
   MR GREEN:  Mr Carpenter, can we look at a paragraph 7 of
       your witness statement {C2/10/2}.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  At paragraph 7 you say, very fairly:
           "As a result of the time that has passed since, and
       the number of interviews I have carried out in my
       career, I cannot now recall interviewing Mrs Stockdale
       on 5 February 2014 at the branch known as the Sandsacre
       Post Office branch at Wheatley Drive, Bridlington,
       East Yorkshire."
           Can you tell the court roughly how many interviews
       you would do typically in a year?
   A.  Last year I did 80 and that is a typical year.
   Q.  How many years have you been doing interviews for?
   A.  A long time.
   Q.  Just a --
   A.  I think I moved into the role in 2005 and there were
       a couple of years within there that I wasn't doing the
       role, so it's a lot of interviews.
   Q.  At paragraph 8 you say:
           "Whilst I cannot recall the details of the interview
       with Mrs Stockdale ..."
           And then you go on to confirm what you always did.
           Just pausing there, can you even picture yourself
       having the interview at Sandsacre branch, or not really?
   A.  The interview wasn't at the branch, it was in Leeds.
   Q.  Yes, I was going to ask --
   A.  Yes, it does say on there, the actual interview itself.
       The meeting I held with Mrs Stockdale was in the branch
       but the actual interview was in Leeds.
   Q.  Because the only document you actually exhibit is
       {E6/29/2}.  That is the second page.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And the location on the bottom right corner is Leeds.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  When did you first notice that your witness statement
       was wrong?
   A.  Probably very, very recently, actually, having read
       through it before coming in.  I hadn't realised --
   Q.  Was it last week or today or ...?
   A.  I don't know, in all honesty.
   Q.  Do you know why you didn't ask to correct that?
   A.  No.  No.
   Q.  At paragraph 8 {C2/10/2}, is it fair to say you can't
       recall interviewing Mrs Stockdale in Leeds either?
   A.  Not specifically, no.
   Q.  Because when you wrote this you couldn't even remember
       where it was, could you?
   A.  I think that is fair comment but I do remember that it
       was in Leeds.  We don't do the application interviews in
       branch.
   Q.  So you would never have thought it was in branch?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Ever?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Do you know why in your witness statement, signed by
       you, it says that it was, or appears to?
   A.  I have obviously failed to identify that, that it is
       different.
   Q.  Let's look at paragraph 8 where you talk about what
       would have happened and you say there you would have run
       through a checklist?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Where are we, which page?
   MR GREEN:  Sorry, on page {C2/10/2}.  You say there:
           "Whilst I cannot recall the details of the interview
       ... I can confirm that I always followed a structured
       format for all interviews conducted.  I would have run
       through an 'interview checklist' with Mrs Stockdale as
       I did this as part of all agent application interviews.
       I would read through this checklist and expand on the
       relevant sections as set out below."
           Pausing there, do you have a copy of one of your
       checklists?  Because you are still interviewing.
   A.  Do you mean at the interview?
   Q.  Yes, do you have a copy of one of your own checklists?
   A.  No, I use the official checklist that we have.
   Q.  You use the one that is online now?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Yes.  Do you have any copies of your old checklists from
       before that came in?
   A.  No.
   Q.  So you say at paragraph 8.1 you would go through the:
           "... contract for services and not a contract of
       employment, therefore, personal service is not
       required."
           But it is right, isn't it, that during the course of
       the interview you would identify whether or not
       an applicant was going to offer 18 hours of personal
       service or more?
   A.  No, that is not correct.
   Q.  How would you know?
   A.  Because it not relevant for a local contract.
   Q.  You are talking about NTC ones?
   A.  Yes.  This is a local contract.  The reference we're
       making to 18 hours is only applicable to the
       subpostmaster contract.
   Q.  But when you did interview subpostmasters you would have
       identified it in those cases, wouldn't you?
   A.  The only purpose that would be asked for is if
       a postmaster was going to work 18 hours, they would be
       entitled to claim sickness or holiday substitution
       allowance.  It wasn't a contractual obligation and if
       they said they were going to do that, then we could
       notify HR they could expect claims to come through.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Carpenter, what I am more interested
       in is what you can remember doing and how you did it
       rather than whether something is a contractual
       obligation.
   A.  Okay.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So Mr Green, do you want to explore it?
   MR GREEN:  Just briefly.  In order for internal records to
       be made of whether or not a subpostmaster under an SPMC
       contract would be offering 18 hours or more, you would
       have to find that out in the interview, wouldn't you?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And would you explain, in relation to that, that if they
       agreed to provide 18 hours or more then they would be
       entitled to holiday substitution allowance?
   A.  No.
   Q.  What would you explain?
   A.  I wouldn't be asking them to agree to do it.  It is not
       a request from the Post Office.
   Q.  How would you explain to them any entitlement to holiday
       substitution allowance?
   A.  I would put it to them that there is holiday -- as you
       have explained, holiday or substitution allowance if
       18 hours' service is provided.
   Q.  Then you would find out from them whether they would
       provide it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And then you would record that internally?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And they would not be provided with that aspect of the
       internal record?
   A.  No, that is a notification to HR.
   Q.  Internally?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  But they wouldn't see that you had done that?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Focusing back on the NTC contracts now, can we just look
       at what you set out in paragraph 8.  If we go over to
       page {C2/10/3}, please, where you say at 8.3:
           "The subpostmaster is responsible for staffing the
       branch for the training of their staff.  I would mention
       TUPE but not give them any advice about how it worked
       and would have said that they were responsible for their
       assistants from the moment they were employed by them to
       the moment they left."
           Can you explain to his Lordship how you mention
       TUPE.  Do you just say "TUPE" or do you say a sentence
       with TUPE in it?
   A.  What I would explain is when an applicant is acquiring
       a business there is transfer of undertakings, protection
       of employment, which they may want to seek advice on as
       there could be some implications in terms of the
       employment of the staff at the branch.  But it is not
       something that I would advise them on specifically
       because I'm not an expert in employment law.
   Q.  Do you accept that the business plan discussion took up
       the larger part of the interview?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And that her employment history was covered?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And there was a general discussion about development of
       the business?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  If we look at {E6/117/4}, this is a document disclosed
       originally in this format but if we go to page
       {E6/117/4} we can see part of a note.  I think this is
       your note.  Have you seen this recently?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Did you remind yourself of it before making your witness
       statement?
   A.  Yes, I have read through it.
   Q.  Before making your witness statement or after?
   A.  I don't recall.
   Q.  You are not sure.
   A.  I don't recall.  I would have completed -- there is
       a narrative that I would have put in this document
       following the interview.
   Q.  This is a narrative that you put in following the
       interview?
   A.  Yes, this document is linked to the one you have
       recently received with the checklist, although this is
       not very user-friendly.
   Q.  Just looking at the text for a moment:
           "Liz began by giving a detailed description of her
       background in the workplace which included a management
       position with Mad House retailer where she was used as
       a floating manager, going from branch to branch.
           "She gave a detailed explanation of the retail offer
       at the branch and how she would like to freshen it up
       with a new range of greeting cards, possibly a new range
       of weigh out sweets.  She also intends to promote the
       HND aspect of News ..."
           What is HND?
   A.  Home news delivery.  The branch is very, very --
   Q.  It's a paper round, effectively?
   A.  Yes, which accounts for a large amount of the business
       in there.
   Q.  Yes:
           "She has researched the Post Office offer and has
       a good understanding of the products on offer.  She
       particularly concentrated on the potential for cash
       withdrawals.  She explained the benefit of extended
       hours and also the fact that current service is not what
       is expected by customers as the present subpostmistress
       is disinterested and has no ambition.
           "She has plans for attracting new customers via
       leaflet drops and links with the local press.  She also
       gave a good account of how she would instil 'good
       customer service'.  Her understanding of what was
       expected in this area is in line with Post Office
       standards.  She was very keen to ensure training was
       delivered to staff and that their performance is
       monitored.
           "She has researched legislation/regulators and had a
       reasonable understanding of that area.
           "Staff plans and training plans adequate.  Plans to
       increase margins ... altogether a sound application for
       a branch of this size from an applicant extremely
       enthusiastic and positive about the change to a PO Local
       Format.
           "Financially assessed as a high risk but sufficient
       funds are available and start-up costs very low,
       additional funds available from parents if needed."
           Pausing there, overall a sound application, yes?
   A.  (Witness nods).
   Q.  Why was it high risk?
   A.  I believe in this document there is a summary of the
       risks analysis that was done.  Basically there were
       no -- we would normally expect to have three years
       accounts provided.  When they are not provided, it is
       pretty much always the case that it is automatically
       assessed as high risk.  She didn't obtain three years'
       history.
   Q.  So that was the key factor in why it was high risk?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So sometimes the outgoing subpostmaster or
       subpostmistress won't provide the incoming one with the
       three years accounts?
   A.  That is correct.
   Q.  And so they have to do the best they can in filling in
       the business plan provided for them on a template by
       Post Office?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Yes.  Can you remember whether you went through --
       obviously there is quite a lot been discussed about the
       business plan and so forth?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Would you have gone through your check list before or
       after that?
   A.  After.
   Q.  After, okay.  By which time you would have formed the
       view that it already sounded like a sound application?
   A.  By the time I get to the interview I have already had
       the business plan, so I would have been able to read
       through that.
   Q.  Yes.
   A.  Talking through the business plan, the presentation, it
       gives you an indication certainly.
   Q.  You are basically at the position that you have now
       formed the view it is probably a sound application?
   A.  It is working towards that way, yes.
   Q.  What information is there to come after that that might
       change it?
   A.  There is not a great deal, but what I would do after the
       interview is sit down and spend a little bit of time
       going through the actual details that I had obtained
       and -- there is a question and answer session we would
       have later on as well.  So take note of what -- the kind
       of things that would be discussed there.
   Q.  Just taking it in stages, how would you move from
       discussion of the business plan to discussion of the
       items in your checklist?
   A.  When we talk about -- the discussion, the main part of
       the actual interview is centred around the actual
       presentation.  The presentation would include
       talking -- making reference to the business plan as
       well.  So it is all-encompassing really.  It is giving
       an overall picture of what Mrs Stockdale would be
       proposing and once all of that area is concluded is when
       I would move on to the checklist.
   Q.  Just pausing there.  At 8.11 on page {C2/10/4} you say:
           "I would have explained that it was important that
       she understood the contents of the local contract, ask
       any questions she may have prior to signing it and only
       sign it once she was happy to do so, as this was
       something I said to all applicants."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Did she have a copy of the contract in the interview
       with her?
   A.  No.
   Q.  When would she get --
   A.  I am saying no.  I don't know what she had in her pack.
       She may have -- not that I am aware of.
   Q.  Not that you are aware of.  When would she get it
       normally in the process?
   A.  She would have received a standard copy of the contract
       prior to the interview.  After the interview, she would
       have received the actual agreement which was specific to
       her.
   Q.  If you were going to suggest to her that it was
       important she understood the contents of the contract,
       would it be easier for her to do that if she had it
       there with her to ask you about it?
   A.  It may be.  That would be her decision.
   Q.  Because, on your evidence, you went through a checklist?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Yes, and one of the things you were covering was aspects
       of the contract?
   A.  Uh-huh.
   Q.  And when you referred to -- for example at item 8.9 in
       your witness statement you say:
           "I would have explained to Mrs Stockdale that
       transaction errors were possible, which could be the
       cause of a shortfall."
           Would you have referred her to anything in
       the contract?
   A.  That would be tied in with the section where I would be
       discussing losses.
   Q.  Shall we just go back, if we may, and just trace it
       through.  If we look at 8.4 {C2/10/3}.  Are these items
       roughly in order that you discussed them, or not?
   A.  The order I would discuss them would be the checklist
       that you have.  So this may not be in the exact order.
   Q.  We see that 8.4:
           "The subpostmaster is responsible for preparing
       accounts at the end of each trading period, which was
       every 4 to 5 weeks, together with any losses identified
       in the branch accounts (whether incurred by them or
       others)."
           Did you explain that that was effectively anything
       that was their fault?
   A.  It is not necessarily their fault.  It could be a member
       of staff's fault --
   Q.  Of course.  Their fault or a member of staff's fault.
       Did you explain that to them?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Was that understood by Mrs Stockdale, as far as you
       could tell?
   A.  I can't remember what her answer was to the question.
   Q.  But this is part of your standard explanation?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So if it was Post Office's fault, they wouldn't be
       liable for the loss?
   A.  If Post Office had made an error, we wouldn't -- as far
       as I am aware, we wouldn't charge the postmaster.  I'm
       not sure really ... how the question is aimed, to be
       honest.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You don't need to worry about that.  You
       just need to listen to the question and answer it.  But
       would you even in an interview discuss an error the
       Post Office was responsible for?
   A.  No, my Lord.
   MR GREEN:  Did you have a working knowledge of the Horizon
       terminal and what buttons you have to press?
   A.  Basic.
   Q.  Were you aware of the "accept now" button or not?
   A.  As in "settle centrally"?
   Q.  Were you aware of a button that said "accept now" on it?
       Or not?
   A.  Not a button that specifically says "accept now".  Are
       you referring to how they would settle a loss in
       the branch?
   Q.  Let me just ask you if you can have a look, please, at
       {F4/135/11}.  Do you see the diagram comes down from the
       top, "System shows Processing options"?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And it says "Is seek evidence option available".  If it
       is, "yes", there is an option "seek evidence".  Do you
       see that?
   A.  Yes, I do.
   Q.  If it is not available, it goes down to:
           "Do you want to accept the TC now."
           Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  To the left it says "yes", "accept now".  F2.  Were you
       aware of that button?  Or is this more detail than you
       were really aware of?
   A.  Yes, it is not something I am aware of.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I had guessed you weren't on the basis
       you said you didn't know there was an "accept now".  But
       this is a level of detail which you weren't involved in?
   A.  No, I am aware when a transaction correction comes,
       my Lord, that they have an option where they can
       actually settle it or settle it centrally.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Settle it or settle it centrally.  All
       right.
   A.  Yes.
   MR GREEN:  Have a look at {F3/68/3}.  When that page comes
       up ... what you are going to see is a flowchart.
   MR CAVENDER:  I think the transcript seems to have died on
       my terminal.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is why we are not pulling up the
       common screen.  But rather wonderfully it is almost
       1 o'clock.
   MR GREEN:  Shall we break there, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It does make sense probably because last
       time it was about ten minutes.  Do you want to come back
       at 1.50 pm or 2 o'clock?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, 2 o'clock is fine.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You are still on track?
   MR GREEN:  Totally on track.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is just finishing Mr Carpenter and
       then Mr Trotter, isn't it?
   MR GREEN:  Yes, finishing Mr Carpenter and then Mr Trotter.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Carpenter, we are all going to have
       a slightly extended lunch break.  We will come back at
       2 o'clock.  That is to give the computer wizards time to
       get the system back up and running.  You know the score
       but I say it to everybody: you are in the middle of
       giving your evidence.  Please don't talk to anyone about
       the case and if you can come back at 2 o'clock I would
       be very grateful.  Thank you all very much.
   (12.50 pm)
                     (The short adjournment)
   (2.00 pm)
   MR GREEN:  Mr Carpenter, I think we were trying to look at
       {F3/68/3}.  Hopefully that should be on screen in front
       of you.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  I just want you to look, this is an internal Post Office
       transaction correction debt recovery process summary.
           Just look at the bottom, please.  Last two lines in
       the note:
           "Branch trading forces the acceptance of the TC on
       the Horizon system to enable the kit to rollover."
           Two questions.  Were you aware that that was the way
       the system worked?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And did you ever tell any subpostmaster in an interview
       that that was the case?
   A.  No, I wouldn't have gone into that detail.
   Q.  Could we please look at paragraph 7 of your witness
       statement {C2/10/2}.  It says halfway down on the
       right-hand side:
           "However, I have been shown a number of documents
       which confirm that I did in fact interview her for the
       position of subpostmaster."
           You only exhibited one document to your witness
       statement.  What were the other documents you were
       shown?
   A.  There is the summary of the interview.
   Q.  The coded one?
   A.  Yes.  The version I see is not coded but --
   Q.  Were you shown the one as I showed you this morning
       which was all in HTML with text on it?
   A.  May I see that one again, please?
   Q.  By all means.  Certainly.  Look, please, at {E6/117/4}.
       I took you to page 4 of that document.  I'm asking you
       now about what you were shown before you made your
       witness statement.
   A.  I have seen this document before.  I don't see it like
       this, I see the clean version, if you like.
   Q.  Let's just take it in stages.  Because paragraph 7 says
       {C2/10/2}:
           "... I have been shown a number of documents ..."
           Who were you shown them by?
   A.  I am not 100 per cent which documents I refer to.
   Q.  Can I ask you this: what document, if any, did you look
       at before you made your witness statement?
   A.  This would be one of the main ones, if not the main one,
       because it is a summary of the actual interview.
   Q.  Did you look at this version or did you look at the
       version at {E6/175/1}.  Is that what you looked at?
   A.  That is the same document.  That is part of that
       document.  This is basically a cleaner version of
       what -- if you go to the previous -- I think it is in
       the witness pack for Mrs Stockdale, I think it's
       page 315, it shows on there in computer language, if you
       like, the checklist, which is that.  So it's all part of
       the same document.
   Q.  You didn't think it important to exhibit this document
       that you had looked at?
   A.  It is part of the document they have.  It's just that
       what you have here is a cleaner version of it, it has
       all the narrative et cetera.
   Q.  Let's look at this document at {E6/175/1}, please.  This
       is an interview checklist --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- for your interview with Mrs Stockdale.  We see the
       items on the left "Contractual Status", tick.  And
       various other things ticked.  And then "National Lottery
       Sales Improvement Plan", that is not ticked.
   A.  Because it is not applicable.
   Q.  Because it wasn't applicable to her.
   A.  No.
   Q.  So do you have to tick all the ones that are applicable
       to the person or not?
   A.  I would tick the ones I have gone through at the
       interview.  When I receive the document it is blank,
       and I would tick them when I have gone through them.
   Q.  But it is online, isn't it?
   A.  Yes, but I can download it.
   Q.  You can download it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And then you tick it in handwriting, do you?
   A.  No, it's a check box.
   Q.  So is it in Adobe PDF form and you tick it?  What format
       is it in when you --
   A.  I don't know the format of the actual file.
   Q.  Okay.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just so I understand, you tick it in
       hard copy with a pen, do you --
   A.  No.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  -- or do you tick it on screen?
   A.  I tick it on screen.  I have it in front of me and I
       tick it on screen.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is what I thought.
   MR GREEN:  Do you do that on a laptop at the interview?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So you have the laptop with you at the interview?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And you tick it off --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- as you are going through --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- or at the end?
   A.  I usually do it as I am going through them.
   Q.  Can we look back at your witness statement, please, at
       {C2/10/4}.  At paragraph 8.8 you say:
           "I would have covered with Mrs Stockdale the
       possibility of fraud."
           Is it fair to say you may well have touched on that
       reasonably lightly compared, for example, to the
       business plan discussions?
   A.  In terms of the length of time, the business
       plan/presentation takes up the majority of the
       interview.
   Q.  Is it possible you didn't touch on it at all?
   A.  No.
   Q.  You are confident of that?
   A.  Yes.  I wouldn't have ticked the box if I hadn't done
       it.
   Q.  So is it your evidence that people tick the box only if
       they have gone through and dealt with the point?
   A.  I don't know what other people do.
   Q.  You are not aware.  But that is your practice?
   A.  That is what I usually do, yes.
   Q.  If we look at 8.9:
           "I would have explained to Mrs Stockdale transaction
       errors were possible which could be the cause of
       a shortfall."
           You would have explained that, would you?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Just in those terms there?
   A.  I'm not saying it would be exactly word-for-word.
   Q.  No, but that is the gist of what you said?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  What was said at the interview was obviously recorded,
       wasn't it?
   A.  Yes, it was.
   Q.  There is a CD recording of it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Have you been asked to provide the password that you use
       for that?
   A.  I haven't got a password for it.  There is a problem
       with the encryption of the actual file.
   Q.  So you have not been asked to provide any password?
   A.  I was asked if I had a password.  I don't have
       a password.
   Q.  You don't have a password.
   A.  No.
   Q.  Did you ever use a password?
   A.  I don't recall how we actually saved them at that time
       but I don't believe we put an actual password on them.
       I don't actually recall.
   Q.  Look at paragraph 9 of your witness statement --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Did you say there is a problem with the
       encryption or if there is a problem?
   A.  No, there is.  We are not able to open the actual file.
   MR GREEN:  Look at paragraph 9, please, of your witness
       statement:
           "I would not have gone into any detail about the
       specific products and services of Post Office in
       the interview with Mrs Stockdale or the notice periods
       under the contract."
           It's right, isn't it, that when we looked at
       {E6/117/4} there was quite a lot of discussion about the
       products on offer with her, is that fair?
   A.  That is generally the presentation that is being
       delivered to myself, which I guess is part of the reason
       I would not need to expand a great deal further myself
       because we would expect any applicant to cover off the
       products and services that we deal with in the
       presentation.
   Q.  So she was actually talking about the products with you?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Finally in relation to the interview, look at
       paragraph 10, please, on your witness statement, which
       is on {C2/10/4}:
           "I am aware that in paragraph 92, Mrs Stockdale has
       alleged that Post Office agreed to act as her agent.
       I do not believe I said that.  This was not how the
       relationship worked and was not something I would agree
       to or suggest in any circumstances."
           Let's park agency for a moment.  Could we look,
       please, at {C2/1/24}.  This is Angela Van Den Bogerd's
       evidence.  She is talking about whether or not
       Post Office was under an obligation to provide all the
       information for every single transaction to
       a subpostmaster.  At paragraph 80 she says:
           "... that Post Office has to effect all customer
       transactions for the branch accounts to be accurate and
       then, as a necessary consequence, provide subpostmasters
       with access to all client data, would be completely
       unworkable."
           One of the reasons she gives is at 80.2:
           "It would undermine one of the key benefits of the
       subpostmaster relationship - that Post Office handles
       this on behalf of the subpostmaster."
           Might you have said something along those lines,
       that effectively Post Office is handling those matters
       on behalf the subpostmaster?
   A.  No, I wouldn't have put anything over like that at the
       interview.
   Q.  What would you have said about what Post Office is
       actually doing in relation to transactions?
   A.  If I can just clarify, do you mean in terms of the type
       of products we do?
   Q.  No, just in terms of processing the transactions, would
       you have said anything to the subpostmaster, to
       Mrs Stockdale, about what Post Office does, or not?
   A.  I don't think so in the context that I am understanding
       the question.  Certainly we would have discussed, and
       you will see on the review, that Mrs Stockdale had
       a good understanding of the products and services that
       we offer.
   Q.  But when she sells some stamps, her entering that on the
       till is not the end of the matter, is it?
   A.  No.
   Q.  There is a whole process behind that that she doesn't
       see, you agree?
   A.  Yes, I agree.
   Q.  And you agree that Post Office handles that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And does all that and she doesn't do it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Yes.  Would you have mentioned that to her at the
       interview, about the structure?
   A.  I wouldn't.  I think that would be going into too much
       detail at the interview.
   Q.  Okay.  Can I now just turn to Mrs Stockdale's
       suspension.  Can we look please at {E6/142/1}.  It says
       there -- this is from Mrs Stockdale to you dated
       13 May 2016, do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "Dear Andrew Carpenter.  As per your actions today to
       suspend me from Sandsacre Post Office, I strongly reject
       any allegations against me and requested to be
       reinstated with immediate effect.
           "If this is not possible please can you send me the
       details of the appeal process which I must follow.
           "I would add that my solicitors on the group action,
       Freeths LLP, have today written to Bond Dickinson ... to
       seek confirmation that the suspension will be revoked."
           Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Let's go forward to {E6/145/1}.  This is a letter to
       Mrs Stockdale dated 15 May 2016.  It begins:
           "Dear Mrs Stockdale."
           Then it says:
           "I confirm that Mrs Elizabeth Stockdale, the
       operator ..."
           Not "you".  It doesn't say "I confirm that you have
       been suspended".  Why was that language chosen, or is it
       a standard letter?
   A.  It is pretty much a standard letter.
   Q.  Let's go to {E6/149/1}, please.  At the bottom of
       the page you can see Mrs Stockdale's email that we saw
       at {E6/142/1} of 13 May, and then if you look above it,
       on 6 June:
           "Dear Andrew.  We are now into our 4th week of
       closure and as yet you have not contacted myself with
       any information regarding the investigation into my
       case."
           That was correct, wasn't it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "I have customers coming to the shop constantly asking
       if we are going to re-open and when because they are
       finding it difficult to access other post offices as
       they are elderly.
           "Also, we have contacted the lottery to take it over
       but with no joy as they say it is still contracted to
       yourselves.
           "This is now having a fundamental effect on our
       remaining newsagent business as people cannot carry out
       all their business in one place as before.
           "I look forward to receiving your response."
           Why hadn't you got back to Mrs Stockdale in
       the intervening period at all?
   A.  If you go back to the very first email that you showed
       on the screen, that made reference to the fact that she
       had already referred the case to yourselves.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is that the same one as the second half
       of that screen?
   A.  Yes my Lord.  Because that email, I had referred it to
       our legal team as well.  And although Mrs Stockdale was
       not being communicated with directly, there was
       communication going between the two legal parties.
   MR GREEN:  Yes, but if we go back to {E6/145/1}, you
       followed her 13 May email with your 15 May letter.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And you say:
           "I will contact you further shortly to confirm the
       consequence of the suspension and to confirm what will
       happen next."
           You didn't do that?
   A.  No, that -- as I said, that is a standard letter.  And
       the communication -- in fact I believe there is another
       email which I sent at a later date which explains that
       she was not being ignored but the communication was
       between two legal teams.  That pretty much overtook what
       I would normally be doing.
   Q.  Look at this at the bottom:
           "If you have any queries, please contact me."
           You just sent this letter at that stage realising
       that it wasn't appropriate, what was written in it?
   A.  It is appropriate in that it is a confirmation of the
       precautionary suspension.
   Q.  Yes, but you know I am asking you about the bottom two
       paragraphs, aren't I:
           "I will contact you further shortly to confirm the
       consequences of the suspension ..."
           Did you intend to do that when you wrote the letter?
   A.  That is the intention on a normal suspension process --
   Q.  I am talking about this case.
   A.  Yes, that would be the usual approach.
   Q.  I understand it would be the usual approach --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Carpenter, if you would just please
       listen to the question.
   MR GREEN:  Did you intend to contact Mrs Stockdale "further
       shortly" to confirm the consequences of the suspension
       and to confirm what will happen next when you wrote this
       letter?
   A.  At that stage that would be my intention.
   Q.  And you intended to allow her to ask you any queries?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  When did that intention change?
   A.  I couldn't give an exact date but I was then being
       guided by our legal team.
   Q.  I won't ask you about that guidance.
           Let's go forward then.  So we have her letter to
       you -- her email to you on 6 June having heard nothing.
       Then we go to {E6/151/1}.  So this is four days later
       still having not had a response.  You could have said to
       her at any time, "Contrary to what I said in my letter,
       this matter is now being handled by the solicitors",
       couldn't you?
   A.  I could have, but at this stage I am being guided by the
       legal team.
   Q.  Let's look at this:
           "Dear Andrew.  Today is four weeks since my
       suspension.  I have tried to ring you and sent you
       previous emails but you are not answering me.  Why?  The
       Post Office in my mind have treated me very badly and
       for what reason?  Since I took over this Post Office in
       2014 I have had nothing but trouble.  I have already
       paid you back every penny you say 'I owed' you even
       though you never gave me any proof that the monies were
       ever actually 'missing'.  You are now saying there are
       anomalies again which I didn't declare, I see your point
       but I was told by the Post Office that while you are
       paying back 'monies owed' you can't settle another loss
       centrally, so what was I supposed to do???"
           Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Was it true -- when you saw this, did you regard what
       she was telling you there as true, what she had been
       told?
   A.  She received a letter from David Southall which
       explained she wouldn't be able to settle any further
       losses and have a repayment plan which is a little bit
       different to how that is worded.
   Q.  Did you enquire whether she had been told that by
       anybody else?
   A.  I have seen an email from Paul Kellett, which is
       probably not worded particularly well, which I know
       refers to her settling losses.
   Q.  You say you have seen it.  When did you first see it?
   A.  I don't know when I first saw it.
   Q.  Was it recently for the purpose of this litigation?
   A.  I think probably within the packs I have seen for this
       round.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So in about 2018 we are talking, are we?
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.
   MR GREEN:  How did you investigate what she was telling you
       there at the time when you received this?
   A.  I had got the letter David Southall had sent to her
       previously.
   Q.  But how did you investigate whether anyone else had told
       her that?  Or did you not do anything other than look at
       David Southall's letter?
   A.  There was a very detailed investigation done on this
       case involving many other departments, but I didn't have
       sight of that actual email, not that I recall.
   Q.  What did you do in respect of this particular point she
       was raising by way of investigation?
   A.  That, to me, I believe referred to David Southall's
       letter.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Carpenter, I am going to remind you
       again: just listen to the question and answer the
       question, okay?  Mr Cavender is here to argue the case
       for Post Office, you don't have to worry about that.
       Just listen to the actual question.  It is about what
       you did or didn't do, or thought or didn't think at the
       time.
           Please put it again, Mr Green.
   MR GREEN:  What did you do to investigate that point that
       she raised in that email at the time?
   A.  At the time I would have been gathering all evidence
       I could find relating to the branch and any letters that
       were on file.  We have a branch file where any
       communication would be detailed there.  So that is the
       kind of detail I would be looking into.
   Q.  So would Paul Kellett's email have been on that file?
   A.  Possibly not.  I don't recall 100 per cent.
   Q.  Because I think that may have related to a different
       lead claimant.  Which Paul Kellett email are you
       thinking of?
   A.  I believe there is an email that referred to any settled
       losses.
   Q.  Okay.  Did you specifically try to investigate that
       issue?
   A.  Yes, but -- I'm not sure how to answer this now because,
       as I say, when I saw the letter from Mr Southall that is
       what I assumed that was referring to.
   Q.  So you assumed that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Did you check back with Mrs Stockdale to say "Are you
       referring only to Mr Southall's letter?"
   A.  At that stage I have not been speaking to Mrs Stockdale.
   Q.  Let's trace it through.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I understand you weren't communicating
       with her directly at all at this point, is that right?
   A.  That is right.
   MR GREEN:  Let's go forward, please, to {E6/150/1}, also
       dated 10 June.  Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  You say:
           "I refer to my previous letter confirming that the
       operator, Mrs Elizabeth Stockdale, had been suspended
       from operating ... I am now writing to set out further
       details regarding suspension."
           And then "Next Steps", you say:
           "At present Post Office Limited's investigations are
       not yet concluded.  I will be in contact with you in due
       course."
           Did you intend to be in touch with her in due course
       at that stage when you wrote that letter?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Then you say:
           "In the meantime, if you have any information
       explaining when and how you believe the losses at your
       branch may have arisen, how they were treated in the
       branch accounts, and whether (and if so when) you took
       steps to raise with Post Office any issues with the
       branch accounts, please feel free to provide this to me
       in writing."
           What investigations were ongoing at that stage?
   A.  There were various strands of the investigation.
       I would be pulling together the history of the branch
       and that would include checking registered assistants,
       it would be looking at the call logs that the branch had
       made.  We have a separate team who specifically analyse
       Horizon data and they were reviewing that.  So there
       were different strands that were being actioned at the
       time.
   Q.  Were you investigating it actively at the time you wrote
       this letter yourself?
   A.  My investigation would have started from day one.  Or,
       should I say, as soon as the case was allocated to
       myself.
   Q.  The question is: were you investigating it actively on
       the date you wrote this letter?
   A.  Yes, I would have been.
   Q.  Let's look at {E6/152/1}, please.  The same day, an out
       of office reply:
           "I am now unavailable until 20 June 2016."
           You were aware for ten days, weren't you?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Were you on holiday can you remember?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So --
   A.  I am assuming I was on holiday.
   Q.  Who is Keith Bridges?
   A.  Keith Bridges at that time was a fellow contracts
       advisor.
   Q.  Had you handed over the investigation to him, or not?
   A.  No, the investigation wouldn't have been handed over to
       him, no.
   Q.  Let's go forward, please, to {E6/154/1}.  You say:
           "Dear Liz.  As you know, your solicitors are
       pursuing the points you make on your behalf as part of
       the High Court action in which you are a claimant.  It
       is therefore appropriate that Post Office respond
       through that channel which we are doing through our
       external lawyers.  I am obviously very happy to maintain
       lines of communication with you where it might assist
       and where appropriate to do so, but do not propose to
       duplicate the communications already being had between
       solicitors."
           Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So you were prepared to entertain the information coming
       from her, weren't you?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "That said, to the extent you are able/willing to
       provide further information on the cause or timing of
       the relevant shortfalls I reiterate the invitations
       already made by our solicitors for you to provide that
       information directly to me."
           Her problem was she didn't know what the cause or
       timing of them was, wasn't it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So how could she provide further information in relation
       to when the difficulties she faced was she didn't know
       the cause of them and she had been suspended so had no
       access to her records?
   A.  Well, she had had access to her records for the previous
       six months when she says her losses were occurring, at
       which stage she could access many records on the Horizon
       system.
   Q.  Pause there.  As at the moment she was suspended, you
       have agreed her problem was that she did not understand
       the cause of shortfalls, yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So that is after the six months you are talking about.
       From that point on, you are asking her to provide
       further information about the cause at a time when she
       is suspended and doesn't have access to her records,
       that is right, isn't it?
   A.  Yes, but for that previous six months, if she had been
       having problems, I'm sure she would have been gathering
       information.
   Q.  What information do you think she had whilst locked out
       of the part of the post office -- the part of her
       premises which was the post office branch?
   A.  She wouldn't have had access to the Horizon system.
   Q.  What records would she have been allowed to take away
       from there by the auditor, if any?
   A.  She wouldn't have been able to take away any of the
       documentation from the branch.
   Q.  So I will put the point again.  She is suspended.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  She has not been allowed to take any documentation away.
       When she is suspended she doesn't understand the cause.
       What prospect did you think she would have of providing
       further information about the cause of the shortfalls?
   A.  It could be any information she had previously gathered.
   Q.  It is impossible for her, then, isn't it?
   A.  No, with respect, I don't think so.
   Q.  Pause there.  Did you give her any further information
       as a result of your investigation which related to the
       cause of the shortfalls?
   A.  At that stage I hadn't, no.
   Q.  Did you ever?
   A.  Did I ever give her a reason that caused the loss?
   Q.  No, did you give her any information which you gleaned
       in your investigation about the cause of the shortfalls?
   A.  Yes, in terms of when I had been out to see
       Mrs Stockdale she gave -- well, she provided us with
       a file of her monitoring of the system of where she
       believed problems were occurring.
   Q.  Her private notes?
   A.  Her private notes and Horizon print-outs.  One
       specifically, and I believe in her pack she actually
       detailed it as "Horizon created losses" or words to that
       effect.  I took that away for her because she believed
       the system had lost £300, £309.50 I think it was.  She
       believed she had lost that overnight.  So I said that
       I would take that away and investigate it further to see
       what the issue was.  And she was right, at the close of
       play on one day there was a difference of £309.50 to the
       opening up of the business the following morning.
           I was able to take that away and share it with one
       of our teams who were doing the investigation and they
       were able to come back to me with details of three
       transactions.  One of them was for sales of stamps and
       two were acceptance of transaction acknowledgements.
       They totalled exactly £309.50.
           So where she thought Horizon had lost her that
       amount of money we were able to actually explain.  And
       that is where, if somebody comes to us with details like
       that, we can investigate properly.
   Q.  That wasn't at the time of her suspension, was it?
   A.  That was when I went to see her at the branch.
   Q.  So when was this in the chronology?  Before or after she
       was suspended?
   A.  That is after she had been suspended.
   Q.  Right.
   A.  But that event was before she had been suspended.
   Q.  So you were able to trace that --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- with the benefit of documents she had retained in
       relation to that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  What about shortfalls more generally?  Did you provide
       her with any further information that you obtained in
       your investigation in relation to causes of her
       shortfalls?
   A.  Not for what the causes were.
   Q.  Then look at {E6/162/1}.  You recite what had happened
       in this letter of 16 September 2016: settled centrally
       shortfall of £18,000, yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Audit initiated, further loss.
           "... I have been investigating your running of the
       branch.  I refer in this letter to the losses found at
       the audit and the sums settled centrally as 'the
       losses'."
           Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And then you give notice of termination saying that
       Post Office investigations have now concluded.  And you
       say:
           "During our discussion on 13 May and again at the
       meeting on 19 August 2016, you stated that you had
       falsified the branch trading accounts to hide the
       losses, stating that you had done so since about
       December 2015.
           "I have reviewed this case very carefully.  In
       particular, I have taken into account that your actions
       in falsifying the branch accounts and failing to make
       good the losses without delay breach the following
       sections of the standard conditions that form part of
       the agreement."
           What you don't mention anywhere in this letter was
       her understanding that she was not allowed to dispute
       any further transaction corrections.  She had to settle
       any further transaction corrections, didn't she?
   A.  That doesn't mean she didn't dispute them.
   Q.  Let's take it in stages.  Her understanding expressed to
       you in the email -- shall we look back at that?
   A.  I know the email you are referring to.
   Q.  So what she says to you in the email on page {E6/151/1},
       she says:
           "I was told by the Post Office that while you are
       paying back 'monies owed' you cannot settle another loss
       centrally."
           Yes.  So that is what she was saying?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  That would mean that she has to accept and pay by cash
       or accept and pay by cheque, wouldn't it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Right.  So if she gets a huge further loss she has to
       accept and pay by cash or accept and pay by cheque?
   A.  I think she has misunderstood what the letter said
       because I don't believe -- well, we didn't remove the
       facility for her to settle centrally.
   Q.  Well --
   A.  That is not my understanding.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Let's focus on the documents that she
       was sent.  Mr Green is putting it to you that those were
       her only options.  Is that your understanding or not?
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That was your understanding?
   A.  My understanding is that Mr Green is saying she had to
       make it good by cash or cheque and that she couldn't
       settle it centrally.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And that is your understanding?
   A.  No.  I believe she could have settled centrally.
   MR GREEN:  Did you investigate the basis of her belief set
       out here that she couldn't, before the letter of
       termination that we have just looked at?
   A.  In as far as I got the letter from Mr Southall, that is
       where I assume -- the letter she was referring to.
   Q.  So beyond that assumption you didn't investigate
       further?
   A.  No.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, no further questions.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Cavender.
                  Re-examination by MR CAVENDER
   MR CAVENDER:  You said in response to my learned friend
       a moment ago that Mrs Stockdale would have information
       because I think you said for the last six months she had
       been experiencing problems, in fact she said that in the
       interview.  Can you explain to me a bit more evenly what
       you mean by that.  What information do you think she
       would have had and what knowledge would she have had
       developed over that six-month period?
   A.  Postmaster has to produce the accounts at the end of
       each trading period and each trading period is four or
       five weeks.  Many postmasters actually balance on
       a weekly basis also, I don't know whether Mrs Stockdale
       did, off the top of my head anyway without referring to
       notes.
           At the end of each trading period she would have had
       a result on the balance.  What she explained is she had
       been recording losses for at least six months, but what
       makes it more difficult for us to investigate is that
       they weren't being declared.  So these losses were
       continuing over a six/seven-month period, so when it
       comes to us investigating that it makes it extremely
       difficult to identify where an error may have been.
           At the time Mrs Stockdale would have known -- she
       could have narrowed down the investigation to
       a four/five-week period at most and she would have known
       something has happened within that trading period.
   Q.  It was put to you on the basis that at audit there was
       a lump sum of £7,000-odd?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  To your way of thinking, is that the right way to look
       at it as £7,000, or should you look at it into the
       monthly amounts on rollover?  Would that be a different
       way of looking at it?
   A.  I was looking at the whole figure, actually, in that we
       had already got over £20,000 that had been settled
       centrally, there was the £18,000, and then there was
       some that was outstanding.  I actually requested the
       audit because it was reported back to me of that large
       amount that had been settled centrally.
           I have to say it was a bit of a surprise to see
       another £7,000 short in the accounts and Mrs Stockdale
       I believe was referred to -- in fact in discussions with
       me she also stated that that was also missing at the
       time that she settled the £18,000.  So in actual fact it
       hadn't been lost in the course of the few weeks or
       whatever it was since she had declared the previous
       shortage, it was actually part of the previous loss.
   Q.  So do I understand this right: would there be separate
       information available after each of the months in
       advance of the sixth?  So you have the six-month
       period --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- which (inaudible) as Mrs Stockdale said.  After month
       one, would there be certain information available to her
       of losses available at that stage which she could
       investigate or whatever?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And at the end of month two?
   A.  The same.  Because each month is a separate balancing
       period so she would have been able to identify the --
       what she is actually doing is building up the loss,
       which is like a rolling loss but it is growing.  So if,
       for example, in December she had had a shortage of
       5,000, when she has done the accounts in January it is
       up to 10,000, she knows she has lost another 5,000
       in January.
   Q.  Would she know at the end of each month how much her
       losses were for that trading period?
   A.  Yes, she would.
   Q.  Would she be in a position to investigate --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Would she have the information appertaining to the
       losses at the end of each of those six months?
   A.  Yes, she would.
   Q.  In relation to within a month period, so looking
       particularly at the final period, would she have any
       information by way of cash declarations as to the
       position immediately prior to the audit? i.e. prior to
       the audit, would she have any information as to the
       ongoing balance within the last month?
   A.  Yes, she would need to be declaring a cash declaration.
       Cash is declared on a daily basis.  When the actual
       accounts were produced at the end of each period the
       cash is declared.  To make the account balance that
       figure was being inflated.
   Q.  So if I were to say the first time she had any real
       knowledge of this in relation to the last month was when
       the auditor came in on the morning of whatever day it
       was, and she had no prior indication of that loss, what
       would you say to me is the likelihood of that being
       correct?
   A.  She would have known she was short.
   Q.  Various questions were asked of you as to the procedure
       and when and the information you gave.  In that
       connection, can I take you to a document you have not
       seen which is {E6/158/1}.  This is a letter from
       Bond Dickinson on 5 August 2016 in relation to this
       matter to Freeths in relation to Elizabeth Stockdale,
       and we can see the entry, a few lines there.
           Go down to "Suspension" and beyond there to the next
       page, please, {E6/158/2} for the relevant purpose.  Read
       the words under "Investigation" to yourself, please.
       (Pause)
           Does that generally accord with your recollection?
   A.  Yes, it does.
   Q.  And so am I right first in the paragraph, then, that you
       invited Mrs Stockdale to attend a meeting to discuss the
       shortfall?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And provide an opportunity to comment on the same?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Did she agree or come and do that?
   A.  The first invite she declined I had invited her to come
       and see me in Doncaster.  I am not 100 per cent on the
       exact dates, but I know it was at a similar time she was
       due to go into hospital for an operation.  So the first
       date was declined and she was subsequently given another
       option for a later date.
   Q.  Did that happen?
   A.  Yes, it did.
   Q.  Then "Disclosure Requests" underneath because you were
       asked about documents you provided et cetera.  Cast your
       eye over that for me:
           "... our client provided the requested audit
       reports, call logs, session documents and branch trading
       statements."
           And you can see them listed there.  You say you have
       given all the requested information that could
       reasonably be said to assist.  Does that accord with
       your recollection of what happened in this case?
   A.  I guess this links in with where I say the two legal
       teams were communicating.  I wasn't privy at the time as
       to all the details that were going backwards and
       forwards.
   MR CAVENDER:  Thank you very much.  No further questions.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I have a couple of questions.
                 Questions from MR JUSTICE FRASER
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just focusing on the Mrs Stockdale
       suspension decision, just so I have the sequence right.
       I think you say you requested the audit.
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You were looking at the whole figure.
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  By "whole figure", do you mean including
       the amount that she was repaying over a period of time?
   A.  Yes, I was aware of the outstanding debt, my Lord, and
       of course the £18,000 that she had settled.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  What was your understanding of her
       choices in terms of settling sums centrally during that
       period when she was repaying the amount?
   A.  My understanding is there was never a block on her
       settling centrally a shortage.  The options are both the
       same.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Sorry, when you say "the options", which
       options?
   A.  Making good to cash or cheque or settling centrally.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You say they are both the same.  Both
       the same in terms of what?  Because as I understand it,
       if you make good to cash you put the cash in.
   A.  Sorry, I didn't explain myself clearly.  She would have
       had the options she would always have had in that she
       could settle cash, settle cheque or settle centrally.
       What I understand was the situation, she wouldn't have
       then been able to request a repayment plan because she
       was already on a repayment plan to pay back previous
       losses.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So what was your understanding of --
       let's just take an example figure.  If she settled
       £5,000 centrally --
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  -- she can't request a repayment plan,
       is that right?
   A.  (Witness nods)
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is that correct?
   A.  That is correct, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So what happens to the £5,000?
   A.  The process would be she would settle it centrally.  She
       would then have been invoiced for that amount.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  For the £5,000?
   A.  Yes.  At which stage she would have had the opportunity
       to say "I can't make it good, I have a problem", and we
       could have then investigated further as to what was
       happening at the branch.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Were you individually responsible for
       the decision taken to suspend her in May 2016?
   A.  At that stage I would have put a recommendation forward
       to make the suspension.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  To whom would that recommendation go?
   A.  To my line manager, Mr Breeden.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  When you made that recommendation did
       you know she was a claimant in the litigation?
   A.  I don't believe I did.  I knew very quickly because of
       the email I received the same day.  I don't believe
       I was aware at the time but I'm not 100 per cent certain
       on that, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you very much.
           Any questions out of that, gentlemen?
   MR CAVENDER:  I have one question.
              Further re-examination by MR CAVENDER
   MR CAVENDER:  Can we go back to page 120 of this transcript.
       You were asked in relation to this by his Lordship about
       the notional £5,000, do you see that? {Day11/127:11}
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Then you say:
           "The process would be she would settle it centrally.
       She would then have been invoiced for that amount."
           Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Assume -- I'm not sure it was in the premise or not of
       the question, but assume for the moment that she
       disputes that, she doesn't want to pay the £5,000.  She
       settles centrally and wants to dispute it.  How does she
       do that?
   A.  At the time when she would be invoiced she could have
       actually made contact with myself or one of my
       colleagues and explained she had got a problem.  I guess
       because David himself had sent her a letter he would
       have been the ideal person to have gone to and said
       "I have had another loss, I'm not in a position to make
       it good".
           In effect that is pretty much -- may I explain the
       process, what happens when somebody settles centrally?
   Q.  What I want to do before you do that is to explain, in
       the process you described to his Lordship, where the
       process of disputing the settled centrally amount comes
       and your understanding of that.  Could you do that for
       me?
   A.  The figure that had been settled centrally would have
       gone to the agent's accounting team.  They would have
       made contact with Mrs Stockdale to make good the
       shortage.  If it is not made good, it comes in what is
       called a concurrence report to the contracts advisor,
       which basically says Sandsacre branch has a shortage of
       X, and then that is for me to follow up.
           That happened, and I made contact with Mrs Stockdale
       and asked her about the £18,000 shortage.
   Q.  On this, this is a notional £5,000.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Can we stick to the notional £5,000 one.  Let's assume
       for the purposes of this hypothetical that she says,
       "No, I have settled it centrally.  I know I can't get
       a repayment thing because I have got one but I want to
       dispute this"?
   A.  We would ask her on what basis she was disputing it.
   Q.  I see.  And what is your understanding of the
       relationship between that and the Helpline and any
       processes that are provided under the Helpline for
       raising matters of this sort?
   A.  The Helpline is the first port of call for any queries,
       really.  If a postmaster has an issue they would ring
       the Helpline.
   Q.  Could they raise an issue with something they dispute?
   A.  They can raise an issue about anything with the
       Helpline, whatever kinds of problems they have.  That is
       what they are there for.
   Q.  If they had done that and, explaining what you said to
       me, they come back to you and you go to her in this
       notional £5,000 world --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Without leading, please.
   MR CAVENDER:  Would there be -- well, explain to me how
       those two join up.
   A.  In terms ...
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  In other words, what would happen?
   A.  What would happen -- I'm sorry, I'm probably not
       grasping this --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You don't need to grasp where it is
       going, you just need to tell me what your evidence is
       about what Mr Cavender is asking you.
           Would you like to put it again, Mr Cavender.
   MR CAVENDER:  I have gone through one process based on the
       notional £5,000 and you explained that you can settle
       centrally.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And she can dispute it, I understand what you are
       saying, via you?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  What I am asking as well is the role of the Helpline
       within that scenario.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And can you, just to make life easier,
       just explain to me your understanding of the role of the
       Helpline in that scenario.
   A.  The role of the Helpline would be to direct the query to
       whichever department, whether it be to myself or whether
       it's the agency accounting team, who they would see as
       the person that was best suited to pass the challenge on
       to.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  On the basis that the convention is not
       only not to lead in re-examination but one is stuck with
       the first answer, and this witness has now had three
       opportunities, I don't really think you can explore that
       further.
   MR CAVENDER:  No, my Lord.  I have finished.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you very much.
                 Questions from MR JUSTICE FRASER
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I have one other question and this is
       not going to be controversial but I am just interested
       because I am a bit long in the tooth.
           I have read in some of the other evidence the
       Post Office, and I don't know if it still does today but
       it certainly did more recently than I was aware, sells
       postal orders.
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Does it still do that?
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Postal orders are a product of the
       Post Office, am I right?
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I used to receive postal orders when
       I was a child sometimes when the odd aunt might send me
       a very tiny amount of money for my birthday.  But if you
       buy a postal order in a branch in Scotland for £5 and
       you send it to a relative in Southampton, say, and they
       go in and cash it, that transaction doesn't involve any
       Post Office clients, is that right?
   A.  No, I don't believe it would.  It is one --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is a Post Office product, is that
       right?
   A.  Yes, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The same applies, I imagine, for
       an example that it is often used by both counsel in this
       case, for stamps.  Is that right?
   A.  Yes -- no, stamps are not a Post Office product, they
       are a Royal Mail product.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So Royal Mail is a client, is it?
   A.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That was my next question, so thank you
       very much.
           Are there any other Post Office products that you
       can think of other than postal orders?
   A.  We have a lot of financial services now which are -- we
       are a partnership with the Bank of Ireland but it is
       a joint -- joint venture on that.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  On what?
   A.  It's like we do foreign currency, savings accounts,
       those kinds of things.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But those are all in conjunction with
       another client, is that right?
   A.  Yes, in --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is not a trick question --
   A.  I think I am on the spot at the moment, my Lord, on
       this.  I'm not sure of any specific other products that
       are directly ours.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Other than maybe postal orders.
   A.  I am probably going to walk away and think of half
       a dozen now.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Don't worry, it is just for my own
       personal interest.  Thank you very much.
           I can't imagine there are any questions but it
       appears there are.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, nothing arising from that.  The only
       observation was my learned friend's re-examination --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  We don't need observations while we are
       still dealing with the witness, I am sure.
   MR GREEN:  Misphrased.  My learned friend was putting
       an example to the witness.  There is a document he
       wasn't shown which bears directly on it.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It doesn't matter.  You can draw my
       attention to that document in closing submissions and
       I am sure you will.
           Thank you very much, Mr Carpenter.  Your time is now
       over and you can leave the witness box.
                      (The witness withdrew)
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I think it is just Mr Trotter.  How long
       is --
   MR GREEN:  It is short.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Shall we press on?
   MR GREEN:  We can take a ten-minute break if that is
       convenient.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  By short, do you mean 30 minutes?
   MR GREEN:  Yes, exactly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right, we will take ten minutes now,
       then we will deal with Mr Trotter, and then logistics
       and housekeeping.
   (2.56 pm)
                         (A short break)
   (3.08 pm)
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, I call Mr Trotter, please.
                MR BRIAN ALEXANDER TROTTER (sworn)
               Examination-in-chief by MR CAVENDER
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you very much, Mr Trotter.  Do
       have a seat.
   MR CAVENDER:  Good afternoon, Mr Trotter.  You will find in
       front of you hopefully a witness statement you have made
       in this action. {C2/13/1}
   A.  That is correct, yes.
   Q.  Can I ask you first about paragraph 8 of your statement
       {C2/13/2}.  You set out there a format of the structure
       that you normally ran through in interviews, do you see
       that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Which covers various aspects of the contractual
       relationship with the postmaster.
           Can we then flick up, please {E5/74.2/1}.  This is
       the transcript of the interview you had with Mrs Dar.
       Have you had a look through this?
   A.  Yes, I have.
   Q.  You will see on that page you set out what you intend to
       cover within the interview.  Is that right?
   A.  That is correct, yes.
   Q.  We can see there under "BT", the third column:
           "The interview this afternoon should take no longer
       than about an hour and a half.  It splits itself nicely
       into three bits actually."
           Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "The first part is for you to take me through the
       business proposition, basically to tell me what you're
       planning and what you're proposing, because from my
       point of view most of my knowledge is around Lenzie Post
       Office. I've no idea about what your plans are for now
       or for the future."
           So that's the first.
           "The second part is to have a look at your business
       plan that has been assessed by your finance team so we
       spend a bit of time on that as well and the final part
       is to tell you a bit more about the local agreement, how
       it works and also cover off the vetting procedures that
       we're obliged to follow as a business."
           Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  When we look at the transcript, I observe we don't seem
       to get to the third bit.
   A.  That's correct.
   Q.  Can you tell me why that is?
   A.  The reason I didn't cover the third bit during the
       interview was that when we -- when I reviewed Mrs Dar's
       business plan I found it unviable and unsustainable, and
       I told her that during -- or at the end of the
       interview.  That was the reason why I decided not to
       cover the contractual reference during the interview.
   Q.  I see.  Thank you.  So subject to that one
       clarification --
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  -- can you please go to page 4 of your witness statement
       {C2/13/4}.  I think you have that in hard copy?
   A.  Yes, I have it in front of me.
   Q.  Is that your signature?
   A.  Yes, that is my signature.
   Q.  Subject to the clarification you have just given the
       court, are the contents of this statement true?
   A.  Yes.
   MR CAVENDER:  If you wait there, please, you will be asked
       some questions.
                  Cross-examination by MR GREEN
   MR GREEN:  Mr Trotter, when you wrote this witness statement
       were you aware that there was a recording of your
       interview that was still available?
   A.  I was aware there was a recording.
   Q.  Were you provided with a transcript of it before you
       made your witness statement?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Did you ask for it?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Let's look at the structure of your witness statement.
       Paragraph 5 on {C2/13/1}.  "Background":
           "I have been a contract advisor since 2006 ...
       responsible for interviewing applicants for the position
       of subpostmaster.  This statement focuses on the
       interview I conducted of one of the lead claimants,
       Ms Louise Dar on 9 December ..."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Pausing there, if you go to page {C2/13/4}, you do
       mention at paragraph 15 the second interview on 4 June,
       yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  The rest of the witness statement is devoted to the
       first interview, isn't it?
   A.  I believe so, yes.
   Q.  At paragraph 6 {C2/13/2} you say:
           "After refreshing my memory from disclosed
       documents, I can recall parts of the interview with
       Mrs Dar."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  That qualifies what you said in paragraph 5 on the
       previous page {C2/13/1}.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  If we look back at that.  Because in the last sentence,
       three lines up from the bottom, you say:
           "Around the time of Mrs Dar's interview, I was
       carrying out approximately 60 interviews per year and so
       it is difficult to recall the exact details of each
       interview."
   A.  Yes, that is absolutely correct.  Yes.
   Q.  Then at 7 {C2/13/2} you say:
           "Before the interview, Ms Dar's business plan was
       assessed by the finance team for its long-term
       viability."
           And you say, this is before the interview:
           "The business plan was not approved by the
       Post Office finance team and that was a key part of the
       interview."
           So in fact -- obviously your evidence now about why
       you didn't get on to the checklist comes as a surprise
       to us.
   A.  Right.
   Q.  But on the basis of what you are saying there, you knew
       going into the interview that the business plan was not
       approved by the Post Office finance team?
   A.  It was risk rated as medium risk.  It was highlighted as
       there being some areas of concern.
   Q.  You say there:
           "The business plan was not approved by the finance
       team ..."
           Is that wrong or right?
   A.  It was approved for the interview.
   Q.  Let's look again at paragraph 7:
           "The business plan was not approved by the
       Post Office finance team ..."
           Are you saying it was approved?
   A.  It was approved.  If it hadn't been approved the
       interview would not have taken place.
   Q.  Is that completely incorrect, then, that sentence?
   A.  It looks like it, yes.
   Q.  When did you first realise that was wrong?
   A.  Probably now.
   Q.  And is the reason that you only realise now because you
       have only recently had to come up with an explanation
       for why the recording doesn't record you going through
       the checklist?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Let's go through it carefully.  You say in paragraph 7:
           "I recall that Mrs Dar was really keen to have
       a Post Office and that she performed well at the
       interview, however I informed her that her application
       would fail because her business was not financially
       viable."
   A.  Her business plan was not financially viable, the
       proposition, what she was proposing.  I never said her
       business was unviable.  What she was proposing was
       an on-site application.  It was what she was actually
       proposing, not her business.  Her business was located
       at another -- it was actually located three doors along.
   Q.  So, in fact, the bottom line of 7 should read "her
       business plan was not financially viable", shouldn't it?
       Not "her business".  Right-hand side bottom --
   A.  Yes, I see it.  I am just going to read it.
           Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It should say "business plan"?
   A.  It should be "business plan", yes, sorry.
   MR GREEN:  And you knew it was not financially viable before
       the interview because the financial -- the finance team
       had not approved it?
   A.  The finance team had raised other concerns.  The
       concerns that I raised during the interview were
       different.
   Q.  What you are talking about there is financial viability?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  I am putting it to you that the finance team assessed
       its financial viability, didn't they?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Because we can see that is consistent with the first
       sentence of paragraph 7, can't we?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And I am putting to you that the finance team did not
       approve it because they did not believe it to be
       financially viable.  That is right, isn't it?
   A.  They did approve it for the interview.  The interview
       would not have taken place if they had not approved it
       for the interview.
   Q.  In fact what we see in the interview is a discussion of
       the business plan and you encouraging Mrs Dar to reapply
       with a changed business plan, don't we?
   A.  I didn't encourage her, I suggested.  I said -- you
       know, when we spoke about the business plan and she said
       "What are my options?" I said, "Well, you could actually
       look at running a post office from your premises".  That
       is what I said to her.
   Q.  Is it unfair for her to say she felt you encouraged her
       to reapply with a different business plan --
   A.  I think "encourage" is a strong word.
   Q.  So you would quarrel with "encourage"?
   A.  I think we spoke about it and she asked me her options.
   Q.  The word you used a moment ago was you "suggested" it,
       is that fair?
   A.  I said we spoke about it.
   Q.  The word you used a moment ago yourself --
   A.  -- if I said that, I said that, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You are both overspeaking and it makes
       it impossible for me to follow it.
           So Mr Green, you put the question.  Mr Trotter, you
       wait for that to finish and then, when you are
       answering, please, Mr Green, wait for the witness to
       finish.
   MR GREEN:  The word you used a moment ago was you
       "suggested" it, is that a fair description of what
       happened?
   A.  That is the word I used a minute ago.
   Q.  That's not the question I asked.  The question I asked
       was: the word you used a moment ago was that you
       "suggested" it.  Is that a fair description of what
       happened?
   A.  It may have been, yes.
   Q.  Why are you being evasive, Mr Trotter?
   A.  I am not being evasive.  If that is the word I used
       a minute ago then that is the word I used.  Okay.
   Q.  Is it because you feel awkward that your witness
       statement gave the impression that you would have
       followed a structured format for all interviews and then
       the tape shows that you didn't?  Is that what you feel
       anxious about?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Let's look at paragraph 8.  Your leading counsel asked
       you a question in-chief and he prefaced it, if we go
       back, we don't need to look at the transcript.  He said
       paragraph 8 deals with things you "normally" did.  And
       in fact your witness statement says "I always".
           Now, this was before you knew that the tape was
       available, isn't it, this witness statement?
   A.  It is always the structure that I followed.  There's a
       checklist in the file.
   Q.  And you knew when you signed this witness statement you
       would be giving the court the impression that that is
       what you did in Mrs Dar's interview, didn't you?
   A.  I didn't cover this during the interview, I covered it
       at a meeting following the interview.
   Q.  Look at the bottom of 8.3.3. {C2/13/2}
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  You are referring to an interview checklist and you say
       there:
           "I can see from the interview checklist that
       I informed Ms Dar that she would have liability for
       losses."
   A.  Uh-huh.
   Q.  So you are clearly trying to suggest to the court that
       you did follow the interview checklist, aren't you?
   A.  I followed the interview checklist during the second
       meeting.
   Q.  We will come to that.
   A.  Okay.
   Q.  That is not how this reads, you would accept that,
       wouldn't you?  This looks like the first interview
       because that is what you say is the focus of your
       witness statement, specifically.  And it looks like this
       is all supposed to describe what you would have done
       when you ticked off the interview checklist, correct?
   A.  This is what I did.
   Q.  When?
   A.  At the second meeting.
   Q.  We will come to that in a moment.  Let's go through it
       carefully.
           At paragraph 8 of your witness statement you say
       you:
           "... always followed a structured format for
       interviews."
           Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "I ran through an interview checklist ..."
           And that is exhibited?
   A.  Uh-huh.
   Q.  Pages 1 to 6, yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  What we get at {E5/35/1} is this document which is the
       one you exhibited, isn't it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  If we go over to the next page {E5/35/2}, we see the
       interview date of 9 December.  Over the page again
       {E5/35/3}, you have put some notes in there.  Were those
       put in before or after the interview?
   A.  I don't recall.
   Q.  Let's go over the page to page {E5/35/4}, please.  You
       have put some overall rationale notes in.  Would that
       have been put in afterwards, it looks like?
   A.  That would have been after, yes.
   Q.  And then over the page on {E5/35/5} we have a checklist
       haven't we, with contractual status?  With a tick there?
       That is correct, isn't it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  This is the file that relates to the first interview,
       isn't it?
   A.  I'm not sure.  Not from that checklist.
   Q.  Well --
   A.  It is undated so I'm not sure.
   Q.  This is all part of the document you exhibited before
       you knew there was a recording.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So it looks on the face of it as if it refers to the
       9 December, doesn't it?
   A.  It could do, yes.
   Q.  If we look at {E5/73/1}, please, do you see this
       checklist?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  This was a checklist which related to the first
       interview, wasn't it?
   A.  This was covered during the second meeting.
   Q.  Look at the second page, please {E5/73/2}.  You have
       signed that document there?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  With handwritten ticks.
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And the date of this document in disclosure is
       9 December which is the date of the first interview.  So
       you put those ticks in in relation to the first
       interview, didn't you?
   A.  I don't believe I did.
   Q.  Before you knew there was a recording that showed you
       didn't go through some of the items on there?
   A.  I believed there was a recording.
   Q.  But you didn't know that it was going to be made
       available, did you?
   A.  I believe there was a recording.
   Q.  You didn't know it was going to be made available, did
       you?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Can we go back, please, to the document at {E5/35/1}.
       And if we go forward, please, to {E5/112/2} we can see
       the second interview date further on in the same
       document.  Do you see the internal page numbers on the
       left, halfway down?  Page 8?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  You will see the interview date --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Which page are you on, sorry?
   MR GREEN:  {E5/112/2}.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Actual date 4 June, is that ...  Yes.
   MR GREEN:  And if we go over the page {E5/112/3}, you say:
           "... I undertook a further review on 4 June and it
       revealed Mrs Dar has grossly overstated staff costs and
       omitted to include income for tax credit.  Therefore
       after making adjustments it has put the business
       financially in a much stronger position with an approx
       gross profit of £16,648 which should be sufficient to
       cover any unforeseen costs."
           That was after the meeting you put that in, was it?
   A.  I can't remember exactly but it could have been, yes.
   Q.  Then if we go forward to the next page {E5/112/4}, you
       have the overall rationale again dealing with
       relocation.  And:
           "... the stronger proposal ... has now met the
       standard."
           That's in the penultimate line.
           "Full training will be required as Mrs Dar has no
       experience of running a Post Office branch."
           Then go over the page, please {E5/112/5} and at the
       top there is a box that says "Show/Hide Interview
       Checklist".  Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So we don't actually have an interview checklist on that
       copy, do we?  But it is right, isn't it, that that was
       also ticked for the second interview?
   A.  I don't know.  I can't remember.
   Q.  Look at {E5/15.1/1}.  If we go down, please, to page
       {E5/15.1/11} of that document, we see this is the full
       native file for the first interview which was requested
       on disclosure and we can see the ticks that you have
       seen in relation to the first interview.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Where -- yes, at the bottom.
   MR GREEN:  At the bottom.  And it says "Show/Hide Interview
       Checklist: Show".  Do you see that?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And then {E5/91.1/1}, this is the one for the second
       interview.  If we look at {E5/91.1/8}, there is the
       4 June date we saw earlier.
   A.  Uh-huh.
   Q.  And if we look at page {E5/91.1/11}, when you put "Show"
       on to the "Show/Hide Interview Checklist" for the second
       interview that is what we then see there?
   A.  Uh-huh.
   Q.  So in fact after requesting the native version of this
       document, one is able to see that the interview
       checklist was ticked in all places that you have got
       ticks there for both the first and second interview.
           The bottom line, Mr Trotter, is you didn't go
       through the checklist with Mrs Dar at the first
       interview, did you?
   A.  No.
   Q.  And you didn't go through it with her at the second
       interview either, did you?
   A.  I did, yes.
   Q.  The second interview was much more like an informal
       chat, wasn't it?
   A.  It was an informal chat to talk through the proposal for
       a second business plan, yes, that is correct.
   Q.  You didn't intend to make a formal assessment at that,
       did you?
   A.  Sorry, can you repeat the question.
   Q.  You didn't intend to make a formal -- a full assessment
       of her at that second meeting, did you?
   A.  What, in terms of the whole interview?  No, I didn't.
   Q.  Look at {E5/124/1}.  Below at the bottom of the page
       Wendy Grant to you, 28 May 2014:
           "Hi Brian.  I understand the business plan for
       Lenzie has been approved.  Can you please advise if you
       will be interviewing her personally or will a telephone
       call suffice."
           Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  This suggests, doesn't it, that Wendy Grant was aware of
       the fact that you weren't intending necessarily to do
       a full interview with her?
   A.  No, I don't think that was the case.
   Q.  Well, have a look above.  Your response:
           "Wendy.  It failed the first assessment and
       marginally passed the second check and was risk rated as
       high.  Therefore, my plan is to sit down [with] Louise
       next week to review the plan, it is not my intention to
       carry out a full assessment, however, I am not keen to
       sign off until it looks much better for POL."
   A.  A full assessment would have meant going through every
       competence area again.  That didn't mean not doing
       a full assessment of the plan.
   Q.  Can we look back at your witness statement at
       paragraph 8, please {C2/13/2}.  When did you first
       become aware that the recording of your first interview
       did not record you dealing with the items in the
       checklist?
   A.  It would have been after I put my witness statement in,
       yes.
   Q.  A couple of months ago, something like that?
   A.  It's hard to recall an exact date but, yes, it could
       have been a couple of months ago, yes.
   Q.  Did you not want to correct the impression in your
       witness statement that you had gone through it because
       you always did?
   A.  No.
   Q.  Did anyone ask you if you wanted to correct it?
   A.  Not that I recall, being honest, not that I recall.
   Q.  Let's look at some of the other points in your witness
       statement.  Paragraph 9, please {C2/13/3}.  The
       suggestion there that Mrs Dar expressed some concerns
       about taking over responsibility of the branch.  Do you
       accept now, having read the transcript, that she did
       have a few concerns, didn't she?  Been a bit hesitant
       about taking it on?
   A.  It didn't feel that way doing the interview, certainly.
       That is not the impression I got.  She was very keen.
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, if my learned friend is going to put
       particulars of the transcript I would rather he did that
       than some general impression over quite a long
       transcript of interview.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Let's take the witness to the actual
       passages.
   MR GREEN:  Look at {E5/74.2/2}.  If you look at the bottom
       box, Mrs Dar:
           "Yeah exactly and at the time we were only three or
       four months in to the shop and I was like 'nooo' and my
       husband was saying 'no, no we'll try and go for it' and
       I was like 'oh too early, too early'.  Which was
       probably right at the time.  I was just that bit
       hesitant because we were taking on, we started that from
       scratch anyway, Day-Today, as it was part of the
       hairdresser before but you never get that chance ..."
           So at that stage she was expressing that she had
       some previous hesitations about committing, wasn't she?
   A.  All I can say is that is not the impression she gave.
   Q.  Would you accept that it might be fair for her to say
       she did express some concerns or not?
   A.  Not.
   Q.  Let's look at {E5/74.2/11}.  Have you actually read this
       transcript?
   A.  Yes, I have.
   Q.  Carefully?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  At the bottom box of that she says:
           "Yeah so that's what my accountant was concerned
       about because he thought are you just getting occasional
       items or seasonal items and he said that won't be enough
       ..."
           So she was passing on concerns that her accountant
       had passed on to her, wasn't she?
   A.  Yes, she had mentioned that.  But I think that was
       acknowledged by the -- that I looked at her first
       business plan.  Because she was saying she was proposing
       to sell these new products or seasonal products and the
       whole plan was based on that.  But from memory, and
       I have re-read the transcription, from memory she didn't
       come across as being overly concerned.
   Q.  Then she was a bit concerned to ensure Post Office
       provided some training, wasn't she?  Do you remember
       that?
   A.  Because we went through -- again looking at the
       transcript, we talked about training quite a bit.  She
       spoke about it in her presentation and I spoke about it
       during the interview.  So, yes, it was covered quite
       a bit.  Again I didn't get the impression that she was
       concerned.
   Q.  Do you accept she expressed any concerns to you or not?
   A.  That is not how it felt.
   Q.  {E5/74.2/13}, please.  Bottom of the top box:
           "And the staff training just to make sure obviously,
       Post Office you would put us through is it seven days or
       10 days training initially?"
           She was seeking reassurance about that.
   A.  Sorry, I don't see that.
   Q.  That top box.  She was concerned to find out about
       the staff training, wasn't she?
   A.  At that point I would have clarified about the different
       modules, when she said that, and that is what I did in
       the next box, about the different modules.
   Q.  You were not prepared to accept you encouraged her to
       reapply earlier.
   A.  We spoke about it.  After we'd talked through her
       business plan we had what I would say was an open and
       frank conversation.
   Q.  Let's have a look, please, at {E5/74.2/21}.  The larger
       box just at the bottom half of the page:
           "No, it's okay."
           The right-hand side of the paragraph that starts
       after that:
           "It's not looking, as you know I'm being honest,
       it's not looking good at the moment from a financial
       point of view, unless we have something else or
       something different to tell me but it's not looking
       good."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  That is you being open to her about how it is looking?
   A.  Absolutely, yes.
   Q.  And then last but one box there:
           "Umm, we're looking for comfort here, right.  We're
       looking for comfort.  We need ... I need comfort.
       Actually at the end of the day it's me who is making the
       decision.  I need to be comfortable in my mind that
       there's going to be sufficient funds available or to
       draw down from to cover the fixed overheads."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  It's making clear to her what was necessary.
           Over the page {E5/74.2/22}, look at the two big
       boxes at the bottom, "BT".  You say:
           "And I'll have a conversation with Damion, but I
       just think that the obvious, okay there's space
       problems, but I just wonder, okay you might need to give
       up some space in your retail but the best analogy that I
       can put to you, right is that umm it's a CPN virtually
       you've got at the moment although you're trading under
       Day-Today."
   A.  Sorry, I think that is a typo.  I think it was CTN, like
       a newsagent's shop, but she was actually trading as
       a convenience store.
   Q.  Okay.  If you look below that:
           "But you know if that space there and you're selling
       cards in it and the Post Office suddenly came along and
       said well stop selling your cards and put a Post Office
       in here and we will give you £17K a year for it.  You
       have to think like that as well."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  Over the page {E5/74.2/23}, top of the page:
           "I am saying this Louise because I have been doing
       this for ten years."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  She took from that that you were experienced and you
       knew what you were talking about, didn't she?
   A.  I would say we were having a frank conversation.
   Q.  Do you agree she took from that that you knew what you
       were talking about?
   A.  She might have thought so, yes.
   Q.  And that was what you intended her to think because you
       mentioned your experience.
   A.  Yes, I did mention my experience, yes.
   Q.  And that was what you intended her to think, wasn't it?
   A.  I'm not sure.
   Q.  She says:
           "Exactly, you know best."
           And you say:
           "Right, right and I am just trying to advise
       you ..."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  That is what you were doing, wasn't it?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "... because you are the type of the person that we
       want, we need to be running a Post Office so the last
       thing I need to be saying here is right you've had
       a great interview but I've got to reject your
       application because of finances."
           So Post Office needed to be running a post office
       there, didn't it?
   A.  I think there was an opportunity for Louise to apply for
       the post office.  We already had a post office there.
   Q.  But the postmaster wanted to give it up?
   A.  Yes, but he could only leave on the condition he found
       a new agent.
   Q.  So he couldn't leave unless he found a new agent?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  So he was stuck running it until a new agent was found?
   A.  Well, he was running it, yes.  I wouldn't use the word
       "stuck".
   Q.  Below:
           "This is me being responsible here because it is my
       job as well but from a retailing point of view if you
       look at your shop and say okay we'll get something to
       [inaudible] but would it not be better having like two
       positions in there in the Post Office and generating
       that because one will complement the other because okay
       you're probably getting a lot of this footfall anyway in
       there but you know we would benefit from your footfall
       as well, you know."
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  At the bottom of the next box she says:
           "If we turn around and say we can make it work we
       can make it fit."
           Yes?  And you say:
           "Oh it works, that's what I am saying."
           Then there is your point about she is already paying
       rent and already paying rates?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And then she refers to zero-rated.
           If we go over the page {E5/74.2/24}, second one at
       the top:
           "For me that is what needs to happen here."
           Yes?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  "I'll lay it on the line, if I can get hold of him, I'll
       lay it on the line to Damion and say look Louise had
       a great interview but the big problem is finances.  How
       much, you know, how much detail have you looked in to."
           So she got the impression that you wanted her to
       reapply with the benefit of the advice that you had
       given her, didn't she?
   A.  I told her she was a very strong applicant and I made
       that clear in the voice recording that is in
       the transcription.  She was a very strong applicant.
       I made that clear.
   Q.  We have just been through you giving her advice about
       how she might change her --
   A.  We had an open and frank discussion.
   Q.  I may have taken that as far as I can but I will put it
       one last time: do you accept you advised her?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And in the course of that you encouraged her to reapply?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  The transcript records you as saying you worked
       hand-in-hand, and that is because that is the way it
       worked between Post Office and subpostmasters?
   A.  In the transcription -- in that context what I meant was
       the post office and the retail, both businesses work
       hand-in-hand.  That was made in that context.
   Q.  Not only did Mrs Dar say that you encouraged her to
       reapply, but she also suggested in her witness evidence,
       before she had heard the recording, that at the second
       interview the possibility of legal advice had been
       mentioned, but you conveyed the impression to her that
       that wouldn't necessarily -- it wouldn't be necessary
       because she could trust your word.
   A.  I don't recall saying that.
   Q.  I don't think she goes so far as to say that you said
       it.
   A.  Right.
   Q.  But she says that the general tone of the conversation
       in the second interview was very informal, is that fair?
   A.  Yes.
   Q.  And that she at least gained the impression that there
       was no pressing need at least for her to take any legal
       advice?
   A.  We didn't speak about it.  I don't recall speaking about
       it.
   Q.  At all?
   A.  At all.  No.
   Q.  So you wouldn't have told her to take legal advice?
   A.  No.  I know she was taking a lot of advice from her
       father, she did mention that.  That was the only,
       I guess, the only conversation that came up, that she
       was speaking to her father who had already run previous
       businesses and that sort of thing, so she was taking
       advice from him.
   Q.  Mr Trotter, isn't it fair to say that your paragraph 8
       {C2/13/2} gave the court the clear impression that you
       had run through the checklist in the first interview and
       that is now demonstrably not true?
   A.  I don't recall going through the checklist in the first
       interview.
   Q.  Why did you not make that absolutely clear when you were
       appearing to give evidence about the content of the
       first interview?
   A.  I can't answer that.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, no further questions.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Re-examination?
   MR CAVENDER:  I have one, my Lord.
                  Re-examination by MR CAVENDER
   MR CAVENDER:  Can we go to page {Day11/142:12} of today's
       transcript, please.  It's the point at the top of that
       page where it is said:
           "... I am putting to you that the finance team did
       not approve it because they did not believe it to be
       financially viable.  That is right, isn't it?"
           "Answer: They did approve it for the interview.  The
       interview would not have taken place if they had not
       approved it for the interview."
           That point.  In relation to that, can I take you to
       a document {E5/78/1}, please.  If you look at the bottom
       of these two emails, from yourself to Tracy:
           "Apologies for missing your call ..."
           Then you say:
           "The plan was approved by finance for interview,
       however, when I looked at the income and expenditure and
       did a review it became apparent that this business as
       an on-site transformation would present a significant
       risk ..."
           Does that help you answer my learned friend's
       questions about --
   A.  That is exactly what happened.
   MR CAVENDER:  Thank you very much.  No further questions.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I don't have any questions for you, but
       just before I tell you definitely I don't, I just want
       to ask counsel for a reference.
           I do recall seeing in I think it is an email,
       Mr Trotter internally saying that Mrs Dar would need
       a degree of training because she had never run
       a Post Office before.
   MR CAVENDER:  My learned friend referred you to that.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes, I thought so.  But then when
       I wanted to have a look at it, and I think it might be
       because one of the sub-documents isn't on my Opus index.
       Can you give me the reference for that, please.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, I think that is at ... I think it's the
       email chain at {E5/124/1}.  I think that might be it.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Let me have a quick look.  No,
       I don't think it is.
   MR GREEN:  Sorry.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is the one that I looked at and it
       didn't seem to be it.  That chain is in fact only two
       documents, two emails on a single page.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, I did take you to it.  It's my fault for
       not being able to find it quickly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, no, I just wanted to remind myself
       of what it said before I decided whether I was going to
       ask Mr Trotter a question.
   MR GREEN:  It might be {E5/85/1}.  I can't remember whether
       I went to that one.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, it isn't.  Not to worry.
           Mr Trotter, I'm not going to ask you a question
       about a document I can't find.
   A.  Okay.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I am sure the reference will come out in
       due course.  But thank you very much for coming in, you
       can now leave the witness box.
   A.  Thank you, my Lord.
                      (The witness withdrew)
                           Housekeeping
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Green, two things I would like you to
       do, please, before we get on to the wider logistics.
       Can you send me that reference at some point.  And there
       was also a document which you observed hadn't been put
       to Mr Carpenter in re-examination which you said dealt
       with precisely the point being explored and I would like
       the reference for that.
   MR GREEN:  It's {E6/128.1/1}, an email of 5 November 2014.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you very much.
           Then miscellaneous points from today.  There is
       a part on the [draft] transcript {Day11/81:16}, which
       has me saying "Okay" when actually it was the witness
       who said "Okay" in response to a point that I explained
       to him.  I wonder if that could be corrected.
           I have some specific points but the more general
       point is timetabling et cetera for closings.  I think
       they are being delivered orally next week, four days, is
       that right?
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You wanted as long as you could this
       week and I rather begrudgingly said it had to be
       Thursday afternoon/evening.  I am now in the position
       where I am doing two hearings in two other cases on
       Friday morning, so you can in fact have until noon on
       Friday, but that is on the strict understanding it is
       noon on Friday, please, which I know you will both
       observe.
           Can I have them both in Word, please, and also
       a hard copy hand-delivered here to the fourth floor to
       my clerk by noon on Friday.  I assume there won't be any
       more authorities but if there are, can it be in
       an agreed bundle, also hard copy.
           And the common issues.  I asked for a document that
       effectively redrafted them so it would be a sensible
       stand-alone document without reference to the pleadings.
       There are various pleading references in that document
       which you provided which I can just delete, and I have
       in fact deleted, but some of the issues still refer to
       paragraphs of the pleading by reference to what the
       issue is about and I need a list of common issues that
       doesn't do that.
           So instead of it saying, as in one of the cases it
       does:
           "If what is alleged at paragraphs 16.1 and 16.2 is
       found ..."
           That won't make sense to anyone reading it unless
       they have a copy of the pleadings.  So can you have
       another go?
   MR GREEN:  Certainly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Actually, rather than expressed as
       a soft request, please do have another go and, please,
       it has to be a stand-alone document.
   MR GREEN:  We will make it stand-alone.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And it doesn't need pleading references
       in, I have got pleading references coming out of my
       ears, but it has to be a comprehensible stand-alone
       document.
           I think I asked on Day 1, and again there was no
       hurry so it doesn't matter that it hasn't yet arrived.
       I don't think it has arrived, if it has, I have missed
       it.  I asked for a hard copy version of the actual
       contracts.  The modified SPMC and the TPC.
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, I think you'll have them in my -- you
       know I had my favourite bundle at the beginning?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Have I got them in there?
   MR CAVENDER:  Yes.  That contains all the contracts.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Does it?  Okay, I have got them then.
       I'm sorry about that.  Yes, it does.  Thank you very
       much.  I hadn't realised that.
           I don't want you to be given the impression
       I haven't been paying sufficient attention to your
       favourite bundle but I've been working from the screen.
           Then you will recall what I said last week about
       short statements of principle against the actual
       authorities.  Is there anything else that needs dealing
       with so far as logistical housekeeping is concerned?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, only one point on the authorities point.
       We have given some thought to how to lay that out.
       Happy to have more or less guidance, but what we had
       intended to do was basically have one sheet per
       authority, put the authority name at the top, identify
       the principles and identify what --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Common issues they go to.  That is fine.
       Please don't use tables.
   MR GREEN:  Just text.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just text.  Perfect.
           There is another point which has arisen today.
       Mrs Stockdale's interview.  Do I correctly understand
       that there is a recording of it but in some way it is
       said to be corrupted, is that correct?
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, that is my understanding.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  How far has that --
   MR CAVENDER:  It is encrypted, apparently, and we can't
       break the encryption.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It's a Post Office recording which has
       been encrypted at the time of recording?
   MR CAVENDER:  I would imagine so.
           Yes, I am being told yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Why would Post Office then need to break
       the encryption because it is Post Office's own
       recording?
   MR CAVENDER:  Presumably there is some access ...
           I am being told it is down to keys based on the
       gentleman's laptop which now has been lost and can't be
       got into.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  They may not be of enormous
       relevance to the wider group litigation but they could
       be of specific relevance to the Mrs Stockdale case, what
       was and wasn't said at the interview.
           I imagine, Mr Cavender, you will tell me you don't
       know, but do you know the degree to which any proper
       focus has been applied to solving the encryption?
   MR CAVENDER:  I don't know the extent ...
           I understand that it has been given to our technical
       providers, called Advanced Discovery.  They have tried
       and been unable to get into it.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  What date is this recording?
   MR CAVENDER:  When was the interview?  It is obviously an NT
       so it's relatively recent.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Was it 2013 or 2014?
   MR CAVENDER:  Something of that order, my Lord, certainly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The litigation started in 2016, I think.
       Is that right?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, December 2013 was the first interview
       for which we do have the transcript, so this one would
       be -- I'm sorry --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You are getting mixed up.
   MR GREEN:  I am.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You are getting mixed up with Mrs Dar.
       She had December 2013 --
   MR GREEN:  It is February 2014, the Mrs Stockdale one.
       Mrs Dar is December 2013, Mrs Stockdale is
       February 2014.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Cavender, I am minded to make
       an order requiring further steps to be taken to produce
       a transcript of that.
   MR CAVENDER:  What steps ...
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is what I am inviting a debate with
       you about.  My general experience of things like this
       is, and in a way it is just the IT equivalent of when
       there is a disclosure exploration going on, someone will
       say "There aren't any" or "It can't be done".  And then
       when there is a degree of the necessary focus brought to
       apply, one realises that actually it can be done.
           If it is an encryption, not a corruption, I simply
       with my knowledge of IT don't understand how that
       encryption can't be solved in some way.  Particularly if
       it is a Post Office recording, it seems a bit surprising
       on the face of it that that would be the case.
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, I can't possibly comment but I hear
       what your Lordship says.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So what I am going to do is I am going
       to draft an order along the lines of Post Office to
       instruct a specialist IT consultancy to provide
       a transcript of the interview of Mrs Stockdale.
       Can I have the date, please, that that interview
       happened?
   MR GREEN:  I think it is 5 February 2014.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And insofar as that recording is
       protected and/or encrypted, to take necessary or
       sufficient steps to bypass that, I'm going to go away
       and type this order up myself.  If a transcript is not
       available -- if production of a transcript is not
       available, then I am afraid it is going to be a witness
       statement explaining in reasonable detail why that is.
       And I am going to specify a relatively prompt timeframe
       in the order for this to happen so that at some point by
       early to mid-December there is either a transcript
       available or there is an explanation for why that can't
       be done.
           Is there anything you would like to say to persuade
       me either that that is a bad idea or that I should
       approach it differently?
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, I am in your hands.  This developed
       in the way it's described --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It just seems sensible to try again, it
       seems to me.  All right.  That is fairly
       straightforward.  Is there anything else outstanding
       from either of you?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, only to confirm that, for all sorts of
       reasons, including proportionality, we are not making
       an application to recall Mr Beal.  We have had some
       further documents.  There is a limit.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I agree.  There is one outstanding point
       on my little list.  There might be more than one.  Let
       me just check.  It's the production of a document that
       shows when that document was put on the NFSP website.
       I think last time, Mr Cavender, you were just able to
       say it was in 2015 and you hadn't found a document.
       I don't think you knew a date.
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, the position is, I think as you
       anticipated in your question, that there was -- there is
       an email referring to the date and a screenshot I think
       as well.  18 May 2015.  These are documents not in
       the bundle.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Have you got a copy to give me?
   MR CAVENDER:  It was produced yesterday.  We have a copy we
       can give to you.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Now or do you want to do it later?
   MR CAVENDER:  Now.  (Handed).
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Excellent.  Thank you very much.
   MR CAVENDER:  The screenshot is the last two pages.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is the screenshot of the MoU.
   MR CAVENDER:  Exactly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Who is Paul Simmonds?  Is he an NFSP
       person?
   MR CAVENDER:  He is the operations director of the NFSP.
       Now or ... (Pause).  He used to work for Post Office.
       He is now the operations director of the NFSP.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Do you know what date he moved from
       Post Office to NFSP?
   MR CAVENDER:  Probably between 18 months and two years ago.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Okay.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, there is one point in relation to the
       website.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  "The website" being ...?
   MR GREEN:  The NFSP website, which took us a bit by
       surprise.  At {G/81/1} there is the print-off of the
       "About Us" page.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Hold on.  Wait until it comes up.
   MR GREEN:  {G/81/1}.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  A print-off of the "About Us" page of
       the NFSP.
   MR GREEN:  If your Lordship looks at the bottom, you just
       see the date 12/10/2018.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes, underneath something that
       says "October 2018 Edition".
   MR GREEN:  Indeed.  If we go on to the next page {G/81/2},
       that is what was there then.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  "Then" being ...?
   MR GREEN:  In October 2018.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.
   MR GREEN:  If the Opus operator could very kindly bring up
       the "About Us" page as it is today.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Do you mean the live document?
   MR GREEN:  The live document.  Just Google --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The address is at the bottom.  It is
       www.nfsp.org.uk/about-us.  Is that the one you are
       talking about?
   MR GREEN:  Yes.  Your Lordship will see there is additional
       text now below:
           "No one can represent subpostmasters more
       effectively ..."
           There is additional text there that was not on the
       printed version in October.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.
   MR GREEN:  Which includes specifically the grant
       framework agreement.  Might it be possible for the court
       also to be provided, in the same way that this document
       was provided, with clarification as to when that was
       added.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is the NFSP, isn't it?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, the MoU I think --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  What date did you cross-examine Mr Beal?
   MR GREEN:  That was on the first day of cross-examination,
       so Friday a week ago.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, not Friday.
   MR GREEN:  Sorry, Thursday a week ago.  So it was
       15 November, Day 6.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And your --
   MR GREEN:  12 October was the print-out.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  12 October.  So at some point after
       12 October and possibly on or after 15 November the NFSP
       website has been changed to include that link.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, yes.  That is how it appears.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The point to which that goes being what?
   MR GREEN:  The evidence about openness in relation to that
       document which Mr Beal was cross-examined about.
       Mr Beal I think referred to this page in his witness
       statement.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Take me to that, please.
   MR GREEN:  {C2/2/10}.  It's footnote 2.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just give me a second.  "A copy is
       available on NFSP's website".  Right, understood.  And
       you are asking for disclosure of --
   MR GREEN:  The date when it was put up.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is ordering NFSP to do something
       and they are not a party.  But what I could do, or what
       I have the power to do, whether I am minded to exercise
       it or not, you can address me, is disclosure of any
       emails to, from or between Mr Beal and anyone at the
       NFSP in relation to the addition on that website of
       a link through to the grant agreement on or after
       12 October 2018.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And you are asking me to do that, are
       you?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, I am.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Because it goes to what?
   MR GREEN:  It goes to --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The entry in paragraph 45 of Mr Beal's
       witness statement?
   MR GREEN:  Indeed.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Cavender.
   MR CAVENDER:  My Lord, it is really up to you but this is
       quite a long way from some common issues relating to the
       interpretation of an agreement.  This is a footnote in
       a witness statement.  We can see what is on the website.
       We can see what is on the screenshot.  I don't quite
       know what point is being made here.  Whether it is an
       allegation of skulduggery or what, I am not sure, but it
       is what it is in terms of the print-out.  We can see
       what is on the -- the additional text.  The grant
       agreement, we have been through the emails leading up to
       it, and so it really is a lot of cost and expense over
       nothing.  But if your Lordship wants to order it, then
       we will look.  I don't think there will be anything, but
       if you think it is relevant and proportionate to have
       this investigation, then we will do it.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It is not an investigation, it is really
       just disclosure of some emails, if there are any, and
       you say you don't think there are any.  Although that
       may or may not turn out to be the case because obviously
       one doesn't know until one looks.  It is a relatively
       narrow period.  What is today's date?
   MR GREEN:  The 26th, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I am going to make it narrow and
       specific.  Post Office is to disclose copies of any
       emails to, from or which have been copied to Mr Beal
       from anyone at NFSP from 12 October 2018 to date, as in
       up to 26 November 2018, that in any way concern a change
       to the website nfsp.org.uk or any other addition to
       publicly available information that includes the grant
       agreement.  That is to be done by noon on Wednesday of
       next week, whatever date that is.
           There is an outstanding housekeeping point on
       publicly available information.  It is not for you,
       Mr Cavender.  It is something Mr Green was doing.  I got
       too modern a version of the Cabinet Office reference
       paper and I need the version that was extant at the
       time.
   MR GREEN:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is still outstanding.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, yes.  We are trying to get by time
       machine back.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You can do it however you want, but it
       is outstanding and I need it.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, we will do it.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I need it really by 4.30 pm on Tuesday.
   MR GREEN:  I am grateful.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Today's toing and froing has led to at
       least two orders, I think.  One is Mr Wallis'
       application, one is the one I have just made.
       I don't think I have made any others.  But they need to
       go in an order.  So if you could draw that up, agree the
       working of it with Mr Cavender and lodge it.  Actually
       there are three, because there is also the --
   MR GREEN:  Your Lordship's order.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  They are all my orders I think.
   MR GREEN:  The order that your Lordship --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The order about the recording.
   MR GREEN:  -- said you would type out yourself.  But we are
       happy to include that in ours, in the one we provide to
       the court --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  What I will do is I will just type
       a paragraph when I go back to my desk, I will do it
       straight away and I will copy it to both of you and that
       is to be incorporated in your orders.
           Anything else?  No.  Thank you all very much, in
       particular to those involved in timetabling the
       cross-examination of I think 20 witnesses and coming in
       bang on time, if not a little bit ahead, which is very
       difficult to do.
           Thank you all very much.  Monday of next week.
   (4.15 pm)
       (The court adjourned until Monday, 3 December 2018)
                              INDEX
   MR MICHAEL RICHARD HAWORTH (sworn) ..................10
       Examination-in-chief by MR CAVENDER .............10
       Cross-examination by MR GREEN ...................11
       Re-examination by MR CAVENDER ...................66
       Questions from MR JUSTICE FRASER ................71
       Further cross-examination by MR GREEN ...........75
   MR ANDREW PHILIP CARPENTER (sworn) ..................76
       Examination-in-chief by MR CAVENDER .............76
       Cross-examination by MR GREEN ...................77
       Re-examination by MR CAVENDER ..................120
       Questions from MR JUSTICE FRASER ...............125
       Further re-examination by MR CAVENDER ..........128
       Questions from MR JUSTICE FRASER ...............132
   MR BRIAN ALEXANDER TROTTER (sworn) .................135
       Examination-in-chief by MR CAVENDER ............135
       Cross-examination by MR GREEN ..................138
       Re-examination by MR CAVENDER ..................163
   Housekeeping .......................................165



Day 1 transcript - Wed 7 November - Opening arguments
Day 2 transcript - Thu 8 November - Claimants: Alan Bates, Pam Stubbs part 1
Day 3 transcript - Mon 12 November - Pam Stubbs part 2, Mohammad Sabir
Day 4 transcript - Tue 13 November - Naushad Abdulla, Liz Stockdale
Day 5 transcript - Wed 14 November - Louise Dar
Day 6 transcript - Thu 15 November - Post Office: Nick Beal, Paul Williams
Day 7 transcript - Mon 19 November - Sarah Rimmer, John Breeden, AvdB part 1
Day 8 transcript - Tue 20 November - AvdB part 2
Day 9 transcript - Wed 21 November - AvdB part 3, Timothy Dance, Helen Dickinson, Michael Shields part 1
Day 10 transcript - Thu 22 November - Michael Shields part 2, Elaine Ridge, David Longbottom, Michael Webb
Day 11 transcript - Mon 26 November - Michael Haworth, Andrew Carpenter, Brian Trotter





 

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