Tuesday 30 April 2019

Common Issues trial judgment: Alan Bates and James Hartley interview

Alan Bates outside court on 15 March 2019
If you are a follower of the Post Office Horizon story, you may have noticed Alan Bates, lead claimant in Bates and others v Post Office, and founder of the Justice for Subpostmasters' Alliance, doesn't give very many interviews.

As far as I am aware, until recently, Alan Bates had given just one solitary broadcast interview - to Taro Naw, the now-defunct Welsh-language investigative documentary programme, back in 2009.

This has always been a source of annoyance to me, partly because Mr Bates was a very good interviewee on Taro Naw and would probably have made a valuable contribution to a number of programmes since. I also think had he been more vocal down the years, this would be a bigger story than it is.

Anyway, on 15 March 2019, the day the Common Issues trial judgment came out, Alan Bates did give some media interviews. In fact, he held a press conference outside the High Court's Rolls Building alongside James Hartley, a litigation partner at Freeths, the claimants' solicitors.

There follows a tidied-up transcript of the one-to-one interviews the two men gave me, and at the bottom of this blog post, links to all the media reports that were published on the day. First things first:

Alan Bates - lead claimant and founder, Justice for Subpostmasters' Alliance

"NW: That's a pretty hefty judgment you're holding in your arms there.... your initial reactions and responses to it?

AB: Stunning, absolutely delighted. We couldn't be happier for the whole group. I mean, we've all been working for this for years. But now we're actually there. I'm so pleased with it.

NW: You've been campaigning for what... definitely more than a decade... this is the first time you have been legally vindicated in your campaign. It must be a big moment for you.

AB: It is but it's taken us this long to get here, unfortunately. It's been slowly, slowly, stage by stage, step by step, until we've had enough evidence and managed to find the support of a legal team that would take it to court for us.

NW: I know you haven't had long to go through the judgment. Are there any things that you would particularly pick out as being significant to you?

AB: The culture of secrecy that Post Office has, and how they stonewall everybody, not just ourselves but also the MPs over the years. There's an awful lot of truth in this document in there. And as it comes out over the following weeks, I think people will be shocked to hear what's been going on.

NW: The whole cost of this litigation is being essentially borne on the Post Office side by the taxpayer. It's a taxpayer-owned organization. Why have they been so determined to fight you and shut your claim down?

AB: Because they don't want people to know what's been going on. It's a disorganized organization that's very poorly led and it has been for donkey's years. And all they try and do is cover up their mistakes. They try and keep things hidden from people. And they are absolutely desperate for us [sic] to discuss anything to do with their computer or IT systems.

NW: Paula Vennells [Post Office CEO from 2012 - 2019] has left before the music started, hasn't she? What's your take on her leadership of the Post Office and her exit from the job shortly before this judgment?

AB: I have to wonder, is she gone before she was pushed? But you know, I don't know that but she might just be moving on to bigger and better things. But I mean, I think it's very good for Post Office, she's going at this time and I hope they bring somebody in that actually clears out the house and starts afresh. And we'd be delighted to help any way we can along the way.

NW: Many people will not know what this story is. It's bubbled under for many, many years, occasionally raising its head in the media. But there will be people watching your interview who just have no idea what the claimants have been through. Could you just give us an idea of what some of your fellow claimants have been through?

AB: Well, people have been made bankrupt, they've been driven through the courts, they've finished up in prison. And mainly it's because, at the end of the day, it's due to a contract that's very poorly worded. It's been shown in court that it doesn't have a lot of legs to stand on legally. And it's... being held liable or responsible for losses that they've been generated by a system which they've got very little control over.

NW: So what does today's judgment mean for them?

AB: I think it's a new day for that. It's a new dawning. And I think from here we go from strength to strength.

NW: Is this a turning point?

AB: It is a turning point because we've now actually had something through the courts that the courts agreed with us about what we've done. And we'll just carry on with that as the cases progress.

NW: I realize you can't say much more because this is an ongoing trial, at the moment. This is a long, slow process.... Is it taking it out of you?

AB: Well, it does but you know, it's a full-time job in theory for myself nowadays, and I'm so engrossed with it. And I couldn't put it down even if I wanted to. It's just too many people involved, it affects too many people. And at the end of the day, we will get justice for them all.

NW: There are a subset of the claimants who have criminal convictions against their name, largely due to the way the contracts was enforced. What does today's judgment on the contract mean for them?

AB: I don't know. You'd have to ask the CCRC, the Criminal Cases Review Commission where their cases are now being looked at by them. But I'm absolutely certain that the CCRC will be studying this judgment in great detail.

NW: The MPs who have supported the claimants for a large portion of your campaign found that they were unable to make progress with the Post Office. The Post Office is supposedly controlled by the business ministry. What do you make of the dynamic that is going on at the very highest levels at the legislature?

AB: My feeling is that the Post Office executive have been doing private briefings to the ministers over the year every time these matters have been raised with them. And have given them all sorts of assurances which now they're starting to find they aren't true. Now, the Post Office has stonewalled MPs year in, year out, at its select committees and at all sorts of other events in there. And they haven't responded, I think honestly and transparently throughout all of this. And I hope now that the MPs will take up the battle once more and actually bring Post Office to account for what it's done.

NW: What would you like to the government to do?

AB: I want the government to call it in, I want the committees to actually pull the executive in. I want an independent inquiry into the whole thing. But we'll carry on with our court cases because we're not stopping now. We've been going long enough. We're quite happy to carry on. And we're going to show in court what Post Office has been doing, as we have already in the previous trial.

NW: At the moment, we got Horizon trial ongoing and then finally...well, not finally... later on this year, we may have a third trial which will actually look into whether or not the Post Office were concealing issues from individual sub-postmasters. If that goes in your favor, what should happen to individual Post Office employees who are part of this culture that you were describing?

AB: Well, we'll have to wait for the trials to take place, obviously. And very much in those cases, we'll be looking to our legal experts to advise us along the way. I can't really answer that much further.

NW: Okay. The final question then. To what extent is Paula Vennells culpable for the way the Post Office has been behaving?

AB: Well, I think you only have to look back at some of the transcripts of the BIS [Business Innovation and Skills select committee] hearing, for example, when she was told by the MPs who were questioning her at the time, the buck stops with you, Paula. And that's where it lies. And it was down to her to... She's been at the helm throughout all this time and we very much held her responsible and now she's leaving. So I don't... I mean, she's leaving now. I don't know why. But I mean, I think it's a fortuitous time for her to go if she is going."

James Hartley outside court on 15 March 2019
James Hartley - litigation partner, Freeths solicitors

"NW: Tell me then about the significance of today's judgment.

JH: This is significant, Nick, for a number of reasons. First of all, obviously for the group, it's a very, very significant watershed for this group of claimants who've been fighting this for years now. So from their perspective, they're finally being listened to, and they're finally watching Post Office being held accountable. So it's enormously significant to these claimants. Secondly, it's significant on a legal footing, in a sense that we now have a judgment of the High Court, which sets out very clearly what Post Office's contractual obligations have always been, which are wide-ranging. And that includes an obligation and duty for them to act with good faith and transparency and cooperation with these claimants. And if it's found that Post Office haven't done that over the years, then they will be in breach of contract, and they will be responsible for damages. So significant on a legal footing.

NW: What does it mean for the individual claimants, many of whom have been left tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket by the way they've been treated contractually by the Post Office?

JH: Well, what this means is that, as I say, their particular situations are now being listened to and looked at. So ultimately, if breaches are confirmed, breach of contracts are confirmed, then they will be entitled to compensation. Which won't put right what's been done but it will help them.

NW: So the significance of this judgment is that it sets out exactly what the nature of the contract was. And it's largely the way that the claimants were stating that it should have been.

JH: Correct. The other significant point about this judgment as well as the findings by the court as to how some of these claimants have been treated, and also the references to Post Office's culture of secrecy. So not only has the judge found that a number of these claimants have been treated oppressively but the judge has, as I say, referred to this culture of secrecy, which is a significant issue in this case, and there will be more on that in future trials.

NW: So we're in the middle of a trial right now. Just give us a sense of scale of what's going on in this litigation and how it fits into the campaign that the claimants have been running for goodness knows how many years already?

JH: Well, the scale of the litigation is we've got over 550 claimants. And as you, I think, mentioned earlier on, Nick, there has been need to deploy a large legal team that has been working flat out, producing witness statements, reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents at enormous cost. And enormous time has been imposed by these claimants as well. So the cost is significant. And that was pretty necessary because the Post Office has continued to defend this case for years and years.

NW: The judge has some very harsh comments to make about the credibility of the Post Office witnesses. What are your comments on that?

JH: We agree with his comments. The cross-examination of those witnesses did highlight the fact that they seem to find it impossible to avoid their evidence being tailored to the interests of Post Office. That was the observation made or finding made by the judge. So we absolutely agree with the judges' comments and the judgments on that. And it doesn't surprise us because we have been, of course, reviewing documents that have been produced over many years where I'd say we have a good idea or a very good idea as to what the true facts are.

NW: To what extent is today's judgment historic? This campaign has been running for the best part of two decades now. And as far as I'm aware, no legal finding has ever been made against the Post Office in all the different iterations of ways this has reached court.

JH: I think it is historic. And as I say, I think it's historic because of the subject matter of the litigation, because of the amount of time it's been ongoing, and because we are dealing with a state-owned entity with very, very significant question marks now over their culture and how they're operated. So the phrase miscarriage of justice has been used a lot. And I think that that is a very appropriate phrase to use, particularly when one considers the work that's going on by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the CCRC, who are looking into whether or not the 20 or 30 convictions, criminal convictions of postmasters should be appealed on the basis they're unsafe. So again, there is a link between this case in the High Court and the work of CCRC. And I think if one looks at that in the round, then yes, one gets to the conclusion that this is a significant and historic judgment.

NW: Final question, there were some severe criticisms made of the evidence of one of the Post Office directors, Angela van den Bogerd, for her evidence in the first trial. She is due to be cross-examined next week. Does anything that is in this judgment have any bearing on what is happening in the ongoing trial?

JH: It doesn't necessarily have any direct bearing on what the judge will decide at the next trial because he will base his decision on evidence that he hears in the next trial. However, observations in the judgments regarding the impact on the weight that the court will put on her evidence. Because the judge has indicated that by reason of the way she gave evidence in the last trial, they will need to be documentary evidence supporting what she says. So that could well impact on the weight that is given to her evidence in the next trial."

Post Office response

The Post Office refused all requests for interviews on the day the judgment was handed down (as they have done all but once in my ten years of covering this story), but they did release the following statement, from Post Office Chairman Tim Parker:

"We take this judgment and its criticisms of Post Office very seriously.

“While the culture and practices of the business have improved in many ways over the years, the Judge’s comments are a forceful reminder to us that we must always continue to do better.  We have taken his criticisms on board and will take action throughout our organisation.

Our postmasters are the backbone of our business, and our first priority will be to consider the points raised about the management of our contractual relationships and how we could improve them.

We will make sure that problems brought to our attention by postmasters are investigated even more quickly and transparently.

In addition, we will further improve communications with postmasters, as well as the training and support they receive.

We note that the judgment highlights the ways our Network Transformation Programme improved procedures for incoming postmasters since 2011. The vast majority of those running post offices do so without problems and we can reassure the millions of customers who use our services every week that this judgment, focusing as it does on the interpretation of contracts with postmasters, will not affect their ability to do so.

Post Office will continue to defend the overall litigation, which has been underway since April 2016 and is scheduled to continue through four trials until at least March 2020.

This judgment from the first trial is long and detailed and we will take time to consider it fully.

There are, however, areas around the interpretation of our contracts where the Judge’s conclusions differ from what we expected from a legal standpoint and we are therefore seriously considering an appeal on certain legal interpretations.”

Further reading:

The Common Issues trial judgment
A quick fisking of the Common Issues trial judgment
"He did it" - report written on the day of Common Issues trial judgment for this blog.
Post Office response to the judgment
Post Office video response to the judgment - needs to be seen to be believed
NFSP response to the judgment
My take on the NFSP's pasting in the judgment

Some on-the-day press/tv/radio reports:

ITV News: "Landmark court ruling in favour of Subpostmasters"

Channel 4 News: "Subpostmasters win court battle against Post Office"

Sky News: "Hundreds of Subpostmasters win landmark case"

Sky News (again): "Bankruptcy and jail: why we sued the Post Office"

FT: "Sub-postmasters win legal victory against Post Office" (paywalled)

Daily Mail: "Subpostmasters hail High Court Victory"

Daily Mail (again): "Emphatic victory as 550 ex-Subpostmasters win High Court battle"

Computer Weekly: "Subpostmasters achieve stunning victory against Post Office in Horizon case"

The Register: "Blighty's most trusted brand? Yeah, you wish, judge tells Post Office"

If an outlet/publication wrote something about the judgment on the day and I haven't listed it, please send me the link (via the contact form on this webpage) and I'll add it with thanks.


Please feel free to forward the link to this blog post. The more people who read it, the more people find out about what is the biggest trial going through the UK courts right now.

Please also consider a donation to keep the postofficetrial.com website going by choosing an amount and clicking the button at the bottom of this post. Contributors who donate £20 or more will be added to this secret email list. Thanks!

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Friday 26 April 2019

“I am ready to take any action against the Post Office,”

It's always good to get another perspective on things, and I wish I could persuade more people with inside and additional knowledge of this story to contribute, even anonymously (*raises eyebrows, stares hard at growing number of Post Office staff who read this blog*).

I am also very pleased to welcome guest bloggers to this parish and I am delighted fellow hack Jack Courtez has contributed a piece.
Jack Courtez

Jack has reported on technology and food retailing for five years and is now responsible for news and investigations at Retail Newsagent (RN) and Retail Express under the Better Retailing umbrella. Jack has a much clearer direct line to serving Subpostmasters than I do and the things that stood out for me in what he writes below is the cultural acceptance of Subpostmasters that they are going to lose money through Horizon without being able to effectively challenge or control it. He's clearly got his ear to the ground, and I am very grateful to him for this piece. In Jack's words - here is what he has to say:

"Like many outsiders, my first reaction to the Horizon claims was disbelief. How could an institution like the Post Office be responsible for so much damage to so many over nearly two decades?

In 2017 I visited former Subpostmaster and shop owner Tracey Merritt, who faced threats, imprisonment and bankruptcy over unexplained losses with her Horizon system. The interview lasted more than an hour. Her account was thorough, consistent and delivered with complete conviction. I left convinced that there had been a severe miscarriage of justice.

Learning the history of the Horizon case, I felt the ongoing trials would surely result in the vindication of so many current and former subpostmasters accused of misconduct.

I’d joined Newtrade – a publishing house dedicated to supporting independent retailers through print titles such as RN and Retail Express – only five months before my interview with Tracey. Our publications reach every single Post Office location with a newspaper delivery subscription, and we speak with subpostmasters on a daily basis.

When I mention the Horizon claims, there are some Subpostmasters who believe those involved either made accounting errors and failed to identify them, or intentionally sought to deceive the Post Office.

A more common response is that making good unexplained deficits from their own pockets is an unwelcome and unspoken cost of doing business as a Subpostmaster. Especially as challenging these discrepancies is viewed as an exhausting and often unproductive task. The arbitrary presentation of transaction corrections doesn’t help.

However, as we continued to cover the case, and even uncovered instances of attempted misuse of Government funding by the Post Office in relation to the trials, the number of letters, calls and emails I received from aggrieved subpostmasters I’d never previously heard from grew.

The publicity around the trial is a vital part of this, but so is the impact of the Post Office’s Network Transformation project.

Most of those who got in touch have lost less than £5,000, but some have lost tens of thousands of pounds. Many had previously viewed these smaller losses as a cost of doing business, but as Post Office margins have fallen, driven by Network Transformation, this cost, which was once merely unwelcome, became unacceptable.

Nearly all of those who got in touch have not applied to join the ongoing legal action, but many are now seeking to do so. “I am ready to take any action against the Post Office,” said one former Subpostmaster.

This influx of retailers with familiar accounts of Horizon issues suggests the thousand or so former and existing Subpostmasters who have registered an interest in joining the group litigation may be just the beginning.

It’s worth noting I’ve heard from many retailers who are completely satisfied with the Post Office. They say it drives footfall into their stores, provides a vital service to the community and an additional revenue stream. Many add that the new Network Transformation models such as Post Office services at the till rather than in a fortress has reduced their staffing costs.

I’ve also heard from sources within the Post Office that attitudes are changing. Whilst there is no admission they were liable for what the litigants claim, steps are being taken to address issues around the case, such as training, support and the Horizon system itself. The National Federation for SubPostmasters has said the Post Office is to invest £210m of its government subsidy in upgrading the Horizon computer system.

Any genuine steps by the Post Office to ensure no other subpostmaster has to go through what Tracey, and many others went through should be welcomed, even if it maintains publicly that it did nothing wrong. However, it will be too little too late for those who have lost businesses, their freedom or their loved ones. Considering the ‘existential’ threat the ongoing cases represent, these steps may also be too little, too late for the Post Office."

Thanks very much to Jack for his piece.

You can read more of Jack's work here:
The billion pound bill: Postmasters head to court
Post Office slams Horizon trial judge
Post Office tried to use government money to fund Horizon defence

If you want to contribute something about this story - please get in touch. You can be published under your name or anonymously. I will never betray a source. And I will not publish a word you send me without express permission. There are people at the Post Office (and the NFSP) who know what's been happening. Your testimony is important. Please get in touch. I am more than happy to publish every side of this story including anyone who wants to stand up for the Post Office. There must be someone. If you want to do it anonymously, no one will ever know who you are. You have my word.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please forward the link to anyone you think might be interested. The more people who read it, the more people find out about what is the biggest litigation going through the UK courts right now.

Please also consider a donation to keep the postofficetrial.com website going by choosing an amount and clicking the button at the bottom of this post. Contributors who donate £20 or more will be added to the secret email list. Thanks!

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Gary's story: "I balanced and it showed a loss of £32,000"

Gary in 2011
This is the story of Gary Brown, a claimant in the Bates and others v Post Office group litigation and former Subpostmaster at the village of Rawcliffe in East Yorkshire from 2000 - 2014. 

I've not met Gary, but he's been a regular and helpful secret emailer for the last six months. I've taken his testimony at face value. He tells me what follows is his honestly held recollection of events which corresponds to the sworn witness statement he sent to Freeths, the firm of soilicitors representing the Postmasters in the current High Court litigation:

"I left school in 1970 at 15 years of age with no qualifications at all. I trained to be a butcher with Dewhursts and was their youngest shop manager at the age of 17. I left to retrain as a paint sprayer.

I sprayed Chieftains, Challenger 1 and Challenger 2 main battle tanks plus many more armoured fighting vehicles for the British Army, The Royal Jordanian Army and The Shah of Iran. I was employed by the Royal Ordinance Factory in Leeds from 1976 to 1987 when we were taken over by Vickers Defence Systems.

In December 1999 I was made redundant and had no idea what I would do to support my family. I was married with two children so had to find something. That New Years Eve, of the new millennium, we stayed at a friends in the beautiful village of Rawcliffe, East Yorkshire.

During the evening, talked turned about my future when my friend told us the Village Post Office and shop was for sale. He thought it could be a viable proposition. This set my wife Maureen’s and my mind thinking about it. The property was set perfectly on the village green, with a large six-bedroom house above and to the rear of the shop. It was run by an elderly lady and the business was on its last legs. It was a typical old-fashioned Post Office and shop just what you would imagine a village Post Office would look like.

After much discussion and viewing the property we applied to a bank for finance. We were turned down not once but four times by different banks until The Co-op bank said yes. To raise the deposit we had to use the collateral on our house, redundancy money, cash in our insurances plus what little savings we had. We borrowed £90,000 and invested £30,000 of our own money.

Before we could proceed further we had to undergo an interview with the Post Office. This took place in Grimsby. So one day we headed off for the interview with the backing money of the bank and our retail forecast which Maureen and an accountant had sorted out.

"I was expecting some form of test"

The interview I can remember was fairly relaxed with a man and woman interviewing us, sorry I cannot remember the full names - the gent was called Andy. Towards the end of the interview I asked when I would find out if we had secured the post. I was told it should be about two weeks, but he said he could tell me I had been successful in my application and that the only thing the Post Office needed to know was that we wouldn’t go bust in the first two years. 

I was surprised the interview was so short and so relaxed for such an important position. I was expecting some form of test, especially maths. To be honest I was fearing a maths test as I hadn’t done any since at school and I was very weak on the subject. 

I was told before taking over the Post Office I would be sent on a Horizon training course, which never happened.  I made several phone calls to Andy leading up to my appointment about the training course but was always told it was getting sorted. 

The week before we took over the business I received a letter giving me the date of the course. It was 22 August 2000, the same date we were moving into the Post Office! To make things even more nervy I found out on the day we moved in that a trainer was not available! Fortunately a little later on I received a phone call from a trainer saying the Post Office had just contacted her to come to me. (I found out from her later that I was her last Postmaster to train as she was suppose to be retired).

I was to be given two weeks of training on the job which was cut short from what I remember by two bank holidays. The first day of my appointment was balancing day so after a nerve wrecking first day I had to try and take in balancing. My trainer was very thorough and went through everything (even though it was all going over my head), we finally finished our day at twenty to one in the morning. I had been working from 5am with no break and was absolutely shattered.

Overs and unders

One thing I remember most about the training was the ‘overs and unders tin.' I was told when balancing it was almost impossible to balance to the penny so if the balance was showing a positive the money, no matter how much, was to put in a tin of some sort and kept in a drawer. Then, when the system showed a negative, the money would be taken out and put back into the Post Office till.

I was very nervous about doing this as it didn’t seem right and spoke about my concern to the trainer. She assured me this was correct practice and all Postmasters did it. I found it strange, a large company working like this.
The unimproveable picture caption to this is "First class male."
After my two weeks of training I was given a sheet by my trainer informing me of how I had got on. I had done well on everything apart from navigating the Horizon system. She advised more training. This I got some months later from another lady. She was with me for 3 days. Her review of me was that I was just what the Post Office was looking for: polite, with good customer service but a bit weak on Horizon. It was no surprise to me as I had only done manual work before and had no knowledge at all of computers. 

As time went by I started to get a little more confident with Horizon but made lots of mistakes. I was forever phoning the Post Office Hell-Line (help line). When I could get through most of the advice wasn’t very good and nearly always made matters worse.

My ‘little tin’ started to come into use almost immediately, sometimes putting money in, sometimes out, most of the time though it was taking out until there was no more to take out.

You're the only one

Balancing started to turn into a nightmare showing sums missing ranging from a few pounds to thousands. I can remember one particular incident where I was exactly £1000 short. 

I phoned the helpline and they went through a few things. They said they knew the problem and explained to me what to do. I followed their instructions, tapped a few keys on the keypad and hey presto, the amount doubled in front of my eyes! The help line had no explanation but said the error should correct itself at the next balance. It didn’t and I lost £2000.

To keep this story short I won’t go into all the losses, not that I can recall them all, but suffice to say they happened on a regular basis in my 14 years as a Subpostmaster.  Our shop takings were rising week on week but we had no profits, as we were having to put money into the Post Office from our takings. 

On several occasions I phoned the Post Office for help in paying the money back from my wages which they agreed to. 

Each time I phoned them I always asked the same question “Is this only happening to me?” and the answer was always yes. 

I can remember saying to one lady on the phone “I must be thicker than I thought.” 

I really did think that. My confidence in my ability to run my business was on the floor. I felt stupid. But from what I have heard this was said to most Postmasters when they were seeking help.

When asking for financial help it was usually was followed up by a phone call from my contracts manager who always said that it was down to someone taking the money but for most of the time it was just my wife and myself working in the Post Office. I said point blank that this was impossible but was told in no uncertain terms that this was the only cause.

Sweary auditor

I asked my direct supervisor for help with my problems and eventually she got hold of a friend of hers who was an auditor for the PO to come to me and go through the office with a fine tooth-comb (he came as a favour to my supervisor, it was not official). 

The auditor stayed with me for five days and went through all of my paperwork. He sat beside me as I served, he watched me balance and could not find anything wrong. My paperwork was spot on, my serving the same, but the balancing while he was there was was (from memory) about £150 short. This went unexplained.

When monthly balancing came in things went from bad to worse, I hated balancing and felt sick every time I had to do it because I didn’t know what was going to show up. I was now living on my nerves. I used to love my work but now I wasn’t sleeping and I was working long hours to try and improve everything but to no avail. 

It got so that we were about £16,000 down, but then, early in 2014, I balanced and it showed a loss of around £32,000.

I knew then we couldn’t carry on any more. I phoned my NFSP rep who told me he couldn’t get to me till the Saturday evening but advised me to carry on.  The rep came at 6pm on the Saturday and left at about 10pm. He went through some of my paper work, but sadly confirmed the loss and told me not to open the Post Office again and he would contact our supervisor.

The auditors came in on the following Tuesday. I was terrified but I have to admit they were not the ogres I expected, but two gentlemen who spoke to me not like a criminal but as though I hadn’t done anything wrong.

They in fact tried to cheer me up telling me I would laugh about it in a few months. Nice words but not true. They confirmed the figure was about £32,000 missing. 

On leaving one of them said to me: “Take this security screen down and sell something which will make you some money. The Post Office is f****d” 

Those were his exact words. They both shook my hand and wished me the best for the future.  I thought it odd at the time how they spoke to me but now thinking back I suspect they knew I hadn’t taken the money and they knew of some troubles with the Horizon system.

Accused of stealing

On 22 Feb 2014, I was suspended from my job. The NFSP didn't help with my situation. In fact they were worse than useless. The rep advised me to resign from my position, which I did. I was also advised by the NFSP to put the house/business up for sale asap to try and pacify the Post Office to show that I was committed to paying back the money as soon as possible, because if I didn’t and was threatened with prosecution, I could go to prison for two years. 
The now defunct Rawcliffe Post Office today
This sent shockwaves through my wife and myself. I had never been in trouble before never even a speeding or parking ticket now I could be jailed for something I had not done!

We contacted several estate agents and chose the one we trusted the most. He valued our property and business at £350,000. 

I asked him if it would sell quickly he said it could take a while at the price but that is what it was worth. I explained that I needed it selling as quickly as possible: “within days”.

Maureen said he seemed shocked at that but we reiterated it had to be as soon as possible. After thinking about it for a few minutes he came back with £250,000 to escape stamp duty.

It worked and within a couple of days the property had sold. The sale dragged on due to the buyers' mortgage provider, but at least I could contact the Post Office to tell them they could have their money as soon as we exchanged contracts. 

Some weeks later I was telephoned by internal investigations and was told I was to be interviewed under caution but they had no where to conduct the interview. I suggested them coming to my house and conduct it. This offer was accepted.

The interview was carried out in a spare room upstairs in our house.

Once again I was surprised at the friendliness of the two gents that came. The interview did have its fierce moments. One of them directly accused me of theft on more than one occasion. When my union rep tried to talk he told him to be quiet and the rep never spoke again. It wasn’t a very nice experience but I felt it could have been a lot worse. I got the feeling again that the two men believed me. After a thorough search of the house, there was light-hearted banter with the two Post Office men and the union rep. I certainly didn’t feel like any banter of any sort and left them to it.

I didn't take any legal advice. In my naivety I thought the NFSP would look after me! I wrote to my MP Andrew Percy after I left service who contacted Paula Vennells, the head of the Post Office at the time. Mr Percy's advice was to get a solicitor.

I burst into tears

I was later contacted by my contracts manager Andy Carpenter and told that the Post Office was not going to prosecute me. That was such a relief. I burst into tears while talking to him. Andy sounded supportive and caring if that is the right word. He wished me luck.

We closed our shop in May 2014 due to lack of custom. We now had no income at all and were hoping for the house sale to go through quickly. 

It dragged on and on until a few days before we were about to sign contracts our estate agent phoned and told us that if we didn’t drop the price by another £25,000 the buyers were pulling out of the sale.

After discussing it with Maureen we thought we had no option than to reduce the price once again. I was getting regular phone calls from the PO asking how the sale was going and when could they expect their money back. These calls continued even up to the day of completion.  

So we sold our six bedroom house on a village green (prime location for housing in the village) for £225.000. Bargain!

We now live in a two bedroom cottage just down the road from the Post Office which is now somebody's home. The effect it has had on my wife and myself is drastic. I was diagnosed with depression and now live with Fybromyalgia, ME and Bells Palsy - illnesses thought to be brought on by our experience. I have been on many painkillers including Fentanyl and Pregabalin but none work so I have now ditched them. I am taking so many tablets a day I have lost count of how many I take. My depression is the same but the Fybro and ME are getting worse.

We have lost the house we loved, our business, my health, my reputation and good name but we feel as though we haven’t been affected as much as some ex postmasters who have lost their lives, been imprisoned, marriage break-ups all caused by a company who knew what was going on but have blamed hard-working men and women.

From taking over the Post Office till this day it has been one long nightmare. Why I didn't get out sooner I will never understand. Shame on the bosses at the Post Office."

Thanks to Gary for the time he took to write this. 

For more stories of people who say their lives have been ruined by contact with the Post Office, please click here.

If you have a story to tell  or just want to get in touch, please use the contact form on this website.


Please forward the link to anyone you think might be interested. The more people who read it, the more people find out about what is the biggest litigation going through the UK courts right now.

Please also consider a donation to keep the postofficetrial.com website going by choosing an amount and clicking the button at the bottom of this post. Contributors who donate £20 or more will be added to the secret email list. Thanks!

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

Accounts 3: Sterling Works

A slightly off-centre and very yellow-looking fiver
This is my third set of "accounts" for this crowdfunded project (see Talking Turkey and Money Money Money for the first two).

Most days I work on this story I charge £250 against the crowdfund pot. This covers my time and all my expenses. The majority of charging days are spent in court, though not all. If I can do the work in my own time, without charging, I do.

As of today I have received £8397 via the kickstarter campaign and £4874.79 via the paypal tip jar. Both these totals are net of the fees taken by kickstarter and paypal hence the reason they are not clean round numbers. The total sum I have therefore been entrusted with by kickstarter backers and tip jar contributors is £13,271.79

At the time of my last tally-up on 10 March 2019, I had spent £5250. Since then I have worked a further 16 days at £250, which is £4000.

So the amount of money left in the pot is:

£13,271.79 - £9250 = £4021.74

or 16 days more work.

Which is actually quite encouraging.

We have nine more days of the Horizon trial at the High Court to go, plus what I imagine will be a maximum of two days in the Court of Appeal following the appeal of the recusal application (if it is granted). Add a day for the Horizon trial judgment (which I'm not expecting until September) and we have a total of 12 days work, leaving me four non-trial days to work on this story, if I need it.

We are in good shape. I hope you think your money is being spent both carefully and productively.

The future

In the twelve months starting September 2019 there are two trials scheduled, plus likely more shenanigans at the Appeal Court. The Post Office has already expressed its intention to appeal the Common Issues judgment, and we can probably expect the Horizon trial judgment to be appealed too.

At a guess that means that from September I will need to find the money to cover between 30 and 40 court days, with, say, six non-court days to mop everything up - so up to around £11,500 all in. It is my intention to go on something of a fundraising drive once the Horizon trial judgment has been handed down. I realise it's not always possible to keep going back to the well, but once a year seems reasonable.

I expect the litigation to end up in the Supreme Court, which means there may be another fundraising drive in Sep 2020 and we're all still here reading this website in 2021.


I am very grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project in the smallest or largest way. Your support has allowed me to put important information and documentation into the public domain, available to anyone who wants to read it for free.

For those of you who have contributed more than £20 - I hope you find the secret emails worthwhile (if you haven't signed up to the secret emails, you get them twice a day on court days and on merit on non-court days. They're quite gossipy and occasionally irreverent, but hopefully always useful).

Finally, I hope every supporter feels proud of the contribution you are making to open justice, public service journalism and a wider awareness of the plight of the Subpostmasters caught up in all this. I feel privileged to have a front row seat to it all, and I remind myself of that every day. Thank you.


Please forward the link to anyone you think might be interested. The more people who read this blog post, the more people find out about what is the biggest litigation going through the UK courts right now.

Please also consider a donation to keep the postofficetrial.com website going by choosing an amount and clicking the button at the bottom of this post. Contributors who donate £20 or more will be added to the secret email list. Thanks!

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Tuesday 16 April 2019

The Next Chapter

This is the first of what will likely be many documents produced by the Court of Appeal pertaining to the Bates v Post Office group litigation.

It is a remarkably swift decision issued the day after the Post Office lodged its request for permission to appeal the recusal application judgment. It orders: "there be no stay of the Horizon trial or any of the other directions made by Fraser J; the stay of the Horizon trial to be revisited only if permission to appeal is given on the Recusal Appeal"

This suggests as part of its application (lodged on 11 April) to seek permission to appeal the recusal judgment, the Post Office urged the Horizon trial be stayed whilst the decision on whether to give permission to appeal is made.

The Court of Appeal decided, in that regard at least, the Post Office can do one.

Reboarding the Horizon Trial Express

The Horizon trial has been adjourned (save one isolated morning of evidence) since 21 March. It was originally due to have concluded this week.

The recusal application was was made without warning just as two weeks of Horizon trial factual evidence was coming to a close. The claimants' QC Patrick Green described this as an attempt to "derail" proceedings. In his judgment, Mr Justice Fraser wondered if "the Post Office had taken their chance on how the evidence of fact in the Horizon Issues trial unfolded by waiting until the last day of that evidence before issuing the recusal application."

Now we at least know the Appeal Court is not immediately going to biff the trial's scheduled 4 June resumption.

The big mystery is the grounds on which the Post Office is seeking permission to appeal.

In court last week, after the judge refused to recuse himself, Lord Grabiner for the Post Office told him:

"this is a suitable case for permission to be granted to the Court of Appeal. I have to demonstrate that there is a real prospect of success. In my respectful submission, there is one."

The judge asked if he would like to offer the court anything in support of this submission. Lord Grabiner couldn't, or wouldn't, or in any effect didn't, which leaves us a little bit in the dark.

I have heard it suggested the entire reason for the recusal application was to stop the Horizon trial before the expert evidence was heard because it was going to be so damning. I have a feeling it is going to be so complex nothing newsworthy will come of it. That said, I am no IT expert and it doesn't really matter whether it's newsworthy or not. It matters what the judge thinks, and the same day J Fraser received the recusal application, he was comfortably discussing lines of ORACLE code with Fujitsu's chief Horizon architect. This suggests that if there is some complex and damning evidence which is going to come out, his Lordship is going to spot it.

First and last night of the show

The Court of Appeal has six weeks before the Horizon trial is due to resume. I have no idea how quickly its wheels grind (though the above order is encouraging). Ideally it will decide whether or not to give permission to appeal the recusal judgment before the end of April and, if it decides to grant permission, it will both hear the appeal and make a judgment on it before the end of May.

That way, if the appeal fails, the Horizon Trial Express stays on track for its June re-start. If the appeal succeeds, the rest of the trial still might be able to go ahead as scheduled with a different judge who may be waiting in the wings.

Don't forgot the Post Office, as part of its original recusal application, wanted the first two weeks of the Horizon trial binned and re-heard by a different judge, but J Fraser has already said that doing so: "could potentially give the Post Office an enormous advantage", citing a previous Appeal Court judgment:

"The trial is not a dress rehearsal. It is the first and last night of the show"

In the light of this it's hard to see the Horizon trial being re-started from scratch whoever ends up managing it.

From the Post Office's perspective, this litigation isn't going well. The judgment of the Common Issues trial has put it in a very bad position ahead of future breach trials. I personally thought the Horizon trial wasn't that revelatory, but given the Post Office is throwing everything possible at stopping it from happening, maybe I've missed something.


Actually I've just had a look back at the first two weeks of evidence from the Horizon trial and there is quite a lot that has come out - serious error after serious error, evidence Subpostmasters were likely held responsible for losses caused by bungling IT engineers and the distinct possibility evidence supplied by Fujitsu used to prosecute Subpostmasters could be unsafe.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please forward the link to anyone you think might be interested. The more people who read it, the more people find out about what is the biggest litigation going through the UK courts right now.

Please also consider a donation to keep the postofficetrial.com website going by choosing an amount and clicking the button at the bottom of this post. Contributors who donate £20 or more will be added to the secret email list. Thanks!

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Thursday 11 April 2019

Horizon trial: day 12 transcript

This is the final day of factual evidence in the Horizon trial. The penultimate day of factual evidence in the Horizon trial is day 8. This is because, as you will see from the housekeeping at the beginning of today's transcript, the judge has decided that the recusal application hearings should be bundled into the Horizon trial. Day 9 was a hearing which dealt with the processing of the recusal application, Day 10 was the recusal hearing and Day 11 of the Horizon trial was the day the recusal judgment was handed down. The judge did not give his reasons for including the recusal process in the dates of the Horizon trial, but I suspect he has them.

What follows is the cross-examination of Steve Parker, Head of Post Office Application Support at Fujitsu. Mr Parker worked at Fujitsu when the Panorama whistleblower and claimants' witness Richard Roll was there. Most of his first two witness statements are concerned with debunking Mr Roll's claims about his time at Horizon and what he did while he was there. His third witness statement is a reflection on points raised by the claimants' independent IT expert Jason Coyne.

I have uploaded all three witness statements, you can read them here.

The second part of the hearing below is taken up with trying to sort out the dates for the remainder of the Horizon trial to be heard - four days spent cross-examining Mr Coyne and then three days cross-examining the Post Office's independent IT expert Dr Worden. There are a further two days set aside for closing submissions.

From what I can make out below, the plan is for the rest of the Horizon trial to play out as follows:

4 - 7 June: cross-examination of Jason Coyne
11 - 13 June: cross-examination of Dr Worden
1 and 2 July: closing submissions

Here's the transcript! Enjoy.

                                        Thursday, 11 April 2019
   (10.30 am)
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Good morning.  Just before we start,
       a very minor admin point, the various hearings that have
       been taking place since 21 March on the transcript seem
       for some reason to adopt a different sort of numbering
       and start again at 1A.  They should just be numbered Day
       10, Day 11, etc, continuing on from the 21st, so I just
       thought I would make that point so as to avoid any
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Is your Lordship indicating that the
       recusal application should be treated as part of this
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I think it should, actually.  I think it
       should.  It's just a question of numbering really that's
       all.  Opus sent me an email about it, I answered it, and
       then they seemed to adopt a different sort of numbering
       so I just thought I would mention it first thing.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Your Lordship will be aware that there
       is two-and-a-quarter hours left on the claimant's clock.
           The Post Office' intention would be to call two
       witnesses, namely Mr Parker and Mr Membery.
       Your Lordship will be aware of Mr Membery's illness.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And I think I said in the recusal
       judgment that it wasn't necessarily expected he would be
       available immediately.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Well, I can tell your Lordship that he
       is not well enough to give evidence here today.
       My Lord, in those circumstances, and I have to say I
       hadn't picked up what your Lordship had said in
       your Lordship's judgment, my instructing solicitors have
       given notice of their intention to rely on Mr Membery's
       witness statement as hearsay evidence.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Understood.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  And my learned friend's team have, if
       I may say so, very sensibly and kindly indicated that
       they are willing to extend time for that to have been
       done, for notice to have been given under CPR33.2.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, he was in a particular situation
       which requires a degree of sympathy.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Yes.  So, my Lord, for the purposes of
       today, I will just be calling Mr Parker.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Understood.  Thank you very much.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  And I do call Mr Parker.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Have a seat, Mr Parker.
                   STEPHEN PAUL PARKER (Sworn)
            Direct Examination by MR DE GARR ROBINSON
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Thank you.  Mr Parker, there should be
       a bundle of documents in front of you there.
   A   Yes?
   Q   Could I ask you to go to tab 11 of that bundle?
   A   Yes?
   Q   Is that your first witness statement?
   A   The first page is a correction to, but the following
       page is, yes.
   Q   If you turn to the second page is that your name and
       address at the top?
   A   It is.
   Q   If you go to the last page, is that your signature?
   A   It is.
   Q   So is that your first witness statement?
   A   Yes.
   Q   If you could look at the correction page at the front of
       that tab, is that a -- there is one correction here, I
       believe.  Is that a correction you wish to make to your
       witness statement?
   A   It is, yes.
   Q   And there is a correction to a document reference.  Was
       that a typo?
   A   It was indeed, yes.
   Q   If I could then ask you to go to tab 12 of the same
       bundle, I apprehend there is going to be a corrections
       document, and then over the page there will be another
       witness statement?
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   There is your name and address and at the back of that
       witness statement, is that your signature again?
   A   It is.
   Q   There is a corrections page.  Do you see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   Two corrections there.  Are those two corrections you
       wish to make?
   A   They are.
   Q   And for the reference it's -- for the Magnum reference
       of the corrections, it's {E2/17/1}.
           The first correction, there is a change to paragraph
       29, a reference to a phrase, "In Legacy Horizon".  If we
       could go to page 10 of your witness statement,
       {E2/12/10} you will see what the change is from.  Do you
       see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   It is a change from, "While Mr Roll was employed by
       Fujitsu".  Do you see that?
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   Now, why is that change needed?
   A   That change was actually needed because I applied the
       wrong name to the wrong timescale to the document.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just before you move on, so the
       correction on 29 is that -- does that paragraph end
       after, "Legacy Horizon", full stop?
   A   Yes it does.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It does, so I need to delete the --
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  "While Mr Roll was employed by
       Fujitsu".  My Lord, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  At the bottom of the same page you
       will see there is a footnote, a list of Peaks.  If you
       go back to the corrections page you will see that there
       is {E2/17/1}, to one of the Peaks in the footnote.
       Could you explain why that change is needed?
   A   When it was transcribed one of the Peak references was
       doubled up and one was missed as a result of that.
   Q   Thank you.  Then if we could go forward to tab 13,
       again, is there a corrections page?
   A   Yes there is.
   Q   If you go past that page you will see, is this your
       third witness statement?
   A   Yes it is.
   Q   And is it your signature at the end of that witness
       statement?  {E2/13/1}?
   A   Yes it is.
   Q   And then if you could look at the corrections page
       {E2/13/16} there are two corrections indicated on the
       page.  Are these the corrections you wish to make?
   A   They are.
   Q   The first one is to paragraph 18. The original text
       reads, "The wording of PC0146096 implies", and that is
       changed to, "The wording of PC0146066 of which PC0146094
       was a clone implies".
   A   Yes.
   Q   Could you explain what the purpose of that change is?
   A   The original reference in there referenced the clone
       Peak which is not the useful one.  It's the Peak it was
       being cloned from, which contains the -- needed the
       information we actually need.
   Q   And then paragraph 19, if we could -- you will see
       that -- paragraph 19 of the corrections document -- it
       sets out -- I think the first sentence of paragraph 19,
       and then it suggests two changes to that sentence.  You
       will see there is text added and there is text deleted.
       First of all, perhaps you could explain what the purpose
       of the deletion is.
   A   Again, it's a timescale thing.
   Q   Is it the same -- is it reflecting the correction that
       you made to your previous witness statement?
   A   Yes it is.
   Q   And then the additional text, could you explain what the
       additional text is therefore?
   A   The additional text -- yes -- because it makes it
       clearer, that the information presented there was
       a result of the searches which wasn't actually made
       clear in the first wording.
   Q   Thank you, Mr Parker.
           Subject to those corrections, and to some
       corrections made in your later statements to your
       earlier statements, do you confirm that these statements
       are true to the best of your knowledge, recollection and
   A   I do, yes.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Thank you.  If you could wait there?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr de Garr Robinson, I don't have
       a sheet and you don't have to give me one now, but
       I don't have the corrections to the third witness
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, yes, I do have a copy. I can
       hand that up now.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And can I just check, I will check
       directly with Mr Parker -- the last correction to
       paragraph 19 which is still on the screen which is to
       your paragraph 19 of your third statement --
   A   Yes?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Can you go to the actual paragraph of
       your statement?  I understand the strike-through because
       that is shown on the correction.  Have you got paragraph
   A   I have now, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes?  If you go over the page, "While
       Richard Roll was employed by Post Office", is struck
       through.  Is that last sentence, should that still be
       there {E2/11/4} or is that -- you don't deal with that
       in your correction.
   A   The sentence saying, "Of the six circumstances listed"?
   A   That should still be there.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That should remain.  I thought it
       should.  I just wanted to check.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  I notice that Mr Parker doesn't have
       a screen.  I have only just noticed.
   MR GREEN:  We have only just noticed as well.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  Now that you mention it, I have
       only just noticed and it's rather important.  Just bear
       with me just one second.  He obviously has to have
       a screen.
                  (Discussion regarding screen)
           I will rise for five minutes.  It's going to be
       exactly five minutes.  It's not going to be any longer
       than that.  All right.  Mr Parker, I'm sorry about this,
       one of those things that happens, because you started
       giving your evidence you are not allowed to talk to
       anyone about the case.  Obviously your evidence is going
       to be over this morning, so that's not going to apply
       for any lengthy period of time but we are going to need
       five minutes to get you a screen.
   (10.40 am)
                         (A short break)
   (10.45 am)
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  Do you have a screen?
   A   I have got a screen.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Does it have anything on it?
   A   It does.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Excellent.  Right.  Mr Green?
   MR GREEN:  Mine has gone away a bit.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It might be safer to move your lectern
       towards the screen rather than moving the screen towards
                  Cross-examination by MR GREEN
   MR GREEN:  Mr Parker, just to clarify, we have got your
       first witness statement which is 16 November 2018, at
       {E2/11/1}.  Then we have got your second witness
       statement of 29 January 2019 {E2/12/1}; yes.
   A   Yes.
   Q   Then we have got your third witness statement of 28
       February 2019 {E2/13/1}, and both the second and the
       third witness statements were making some amendments to
       prior witness statements; yes?
   A   Yes.  Indeed.
   Q   Then we have got the list of corrections at {E2/16/1},
       if we go down, I think it's page 4 {E2/16/4} which are
       the corrections that were produced prior to the
       beginning of the week where you were supposed to give
   A   Yes.
   Q   And then yesterday we got {E2/17/1} which are the
       corrections that you were assisting his Lordship with
       a moment ago.
           Was one of the reasons why there was a need for
       a number of corrections that you have had to rely quite
       heavily on some of your colleagues to help you with
       information you have been providing to the court?  Is
       that fair?
   A   That was only one of the reasons.
   Q   What were the other reasons?
   A   Are -- my understanding -- my first statement, my
       understanding of some of the information Mr Roll put on
       his statement was imperfect because some of it was
       a little bit vague and it is a result, sometimes, of
       refining our knowledge based on looking further into
       things which happened fifteen years ago.
   Q   And which there was no clear available knowledge on
       prior to you looking into?
   A   Correct.
   Q   Can I just try to trace through an example of how these
       witness statements hang together by reference -- let's
       take the thing that his Lordship was asking you about
       a moment ago.  Let's look at paragraph 19 of your third
       witness statement {E2/13/4} please.  At the moment I'm
       just trying to understand how these hang together.
           Paragraph 19 of your third witness statement you
            "The vast majority of server injections would not
       have been to inject transaction data.  In paragraph 29
       of my second witness statement I listed the
       circumstances in which data was injected into a counter
       in Legacy Horizon ..."
           Just pause there for a moment.  So you are actually
       referring back to paragraph 29 in that paragraph, aren't
   A   I am, yes.
   Q   So let's go back to paragraph 29, and we have got that
       in your second witness statement at page {E2/12/10}.
       There you talk about one of your colleagues having done
       some searches.
   A   Yes.
   Q   Pick search terms that were used in that particular
   A   Yes.
   Q   And then --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Hold on just one second.  Which page
       should we be on?
   MR GREEN:  Page 10 my Lord, paragraph 29.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  Thank you very much.
   MR GREEN:  You say:
           "At my request, my colleague John Simpkins (Senior
       Consultant), carried out a search of the incident
       management system for incidents which required injecting
       data into the counter ...", etc, giving examples of the
       search terms that were used on that occasion?
   A   Yes.
   Q   Then you say:
           "From the results I can determine that this was only
       carried out in the following circumstances ..."
           And then the words that we have to remember to
       forget, as it were, are, " ... while Mr Roll was
       employed by Fujitsu".
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   Now, if we -- it might be helpful for you to look at the
       paper ones, because it is difficult to do it on the
       screen, but if we can look at the correction, please, at
       {E2/16/4} on the screen, and then -- so what you are
       doing to paragraph 29 in the corrections is you are
       expanding the period that you are talking about.
   A   That's right.  I am.  Yes.
   Q   From Mr Roll's employment you are going much wider to
       say the whole of Legacy Horizon?
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   And then if we look at paragraph 19, and we look at
       {E2/17/1} please, you are actually -- you appear to be
       saying that you are confining what's being said in that
       paragraph to what was found as a result of the searches
       in that paragraph, not, "These are all the ones that
       happened in the whole of Legacy Horizon".
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   So one is -- so the paragraph 29 is expanding it to the
       whole of Legacy Horizon?
   A   That's correct, yes.
   Q   But paragraph 29 is confining this to only the searches
       described in paragraph 29.
   A   Correct.  Yes.
   Q   And what's the real reason for that change?
   A   Because, again, the timescale that I put on it in the
       statement was incorrect.  Yes.
   Q   Okay, well, pausing there, there are two points.  Let's
       ignore the change in timescale from Richard Roll to the
       whole of Legacy Horizon.  You explained to the court
       this morning, in relation to this change here, where you
       say -- you add the words, "Found as a result of the
       searches described in that paragraph" --
   A   Yes?
   Q   -- you said that was just to make it clearer,
       effectively, what you were referring to.
   A   Correct.  Yes.
   Q   Now, do you know the real reason why that's been changed
       to say that?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, is that a fair question?
   MR GREEN:  Well, I'm just going to ask it and see what
       answer --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, let's just hold on one second.
       Asking him what the real reason is a fair question, so
       you can put it again.  Well, so far as he knows.
   MR GREEN:  Do you know what the real reason for making that
       change is?
   A   This is the change where we strike out, "Whilst Richard
       Roll was employed" --
   MR GREEN:  No.  Sorry?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Both of you, if you speak over each
       other it doesn't go on the transcript, all right?
       Mr Green?
   MR GREEN:  No, the change I'm asking about is the addition
       of the words, "Found as a result of the searches",
       described in that paragraph.  Why is that being changed
   A   Because I felt that made it clearer that the information
       presented there was a result of the searches and not --
       and the exact search terms used, because it was an
       expansion of the previous search terms used.  Does
       that ...
   Q   Can you explain that again very carefully?
   A   So when the -- the first time that we sought to gather
       this information, a certain set of search terms were
       used when searching the incident management system.  My
       colleague, who is very, very diligent, decided upon some
       additional search terms afterwards, and that's what this
       second bit reflects, that he found extra search terms
       and some extra incidents relevant to the court and what
       we are trying to say there.
   Q   And, well, as we are on the point, let's just quickly
       bring up {H253} please?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Can I just ask, when you are giving your
       evidence generally, if you could try and firstly explain
       what you yourself did and then if you need to go on and
       explain -- because you have used the word, "We",
       a couple of times and it just makes it confusing to know
       what's your direct evidence and what's been done by
       somebody else.
   A   Yes, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I'm not saying don't tell us what other
       people did but just make it clear which was you
       individually and which was other people.
   A   Okay my Lord.  Thank you.
   MR GREEN:  Now, this is {H/253/1}.  This is a letter from
       Womble's dated 20 March 2019.  That is the day before
       you are due to give evidence, so we are in the middle of
       cross-examining, and this letter is sent while we are in
       court.  It says:
           "We understand from Fujitsu that the SS C has been
       carrying out further work to identify any Peaks that
       show transactions being injected into the counter in
       Legacy Horizon in addition to those referred to in
       paragraphs 29 and 30 of Mr Parker's second statement.
       On Monday ..."
           So this is Wednesday:
           "On Monday we learned that an SSC technician has:
       Searched for all KELs that mentioned RiposteMessageFile,
       Ripostemport and RiposteMessage"; correct?
   A   Correct, yes.
   Q   "Collated the responsive KEL references ... re-searched
       the Peak system for any Peaks which contained those KEL
       references; and identified ..."
           Some further Peaks.
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   You haven't amended paragraph 29 of your second witness
       statement and corrected it to include those Peaks or an
       explanation in paragraph 29 of that search having been
       undertaken, have you?
   A   Can I refer to that?  So in my second statement ...
   Q   Yes.  Look at {E2/12/10}.
   A   I can do that on paper, but yes, okay.  So paragraph 29
       of that one?
   Q   Yes.
   A   Yes?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Are you looking at the paper copy?
   A   I'm looking at the paper copy.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Can we retain on the common screen the
       document at {H/253/1} please?  Right.
           Mr Green?
   MR GREEN:  There are a number of points which arise in
       relation to that letter.  The first is that different
       search terms have been used.
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   For example.
           In this search the RiposteImport command has been
       searched for, which is the directly applicable one for
       injecting data; yes?
   A   RiposteImport is one of the ways of injecting data, yes.
   Q   And if we look at your paragraph 29, that was not one of
       the search terms that was used when that search was
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   So the real reason that the amendment that was made to
       paragraph 19 to somehow cater for the fact, without
       actually saying it out loud that additional searches had
       been done, and additional results had been done that you
       hadn't dealt with in your statement?
   A   These are additional to the searches from my original
       statement, yes.
   Q   We all know that.  We know that they are not in there
       and we know that they are additional because they were
       provided the night before you were due to be
       cross-examined, or the day before you were due to be
   A   Yes.
   Q   The question I'm asking you is the fact that those
       searches had been done, that's the real reason for the
       change in your third statement, isn't it?  I think you
       have effectively accepted that already.
   A   I must admit I'm not clear on your point, but --
   Q   Well, let's have a look one last time.
   A   -- I accept that we have added in extra search items to
       give us more information.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I wonder if we could do two things.
       Mr Green, when you are saying, "The real reason",
       I think you need to specify or particularise what, in
       fact, the witness either did or didn't do or what the
       witness either understands or doesn't is the real
       reason, because that phrase is open to --
   MR GREEN:  I understand my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:   -- a little bit of misinterpretation,
   MR GREEN:  My Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And, Mr Parker, in that last answer you
       used the first person plural again and said, "We".
   A   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I wonder if you could just remember what
       I said earlier on.
   A   Apologies.  Yes, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You don't need to apologise, it is
       understandable if you work in a corporate environment,
       you are used to doing that.
   A   Yes.  Indeed.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But it's your evidence and you are the
       person being cross-examined, so ...
           Right.  Mr Green?
   MR GREEN:  Was it your idea to make the corrections in the
       statement?  Your third witness statement.
   A   I notified the legal team that Mr Simpkins had done some
       more work and as a result of that we changed -- we --
       this letter was actually generated.
   Q   And you didn't think it was important to correct
       paragraph 29 of your second witness statement accurately
       to reflect the situation as it would have been on the
       day you were due to give evidence, or indeed today?
   A   That wasn't a choice I made personally.  I was advised
       that we generated this letter.
   Q   Can I ask on a different point, just so we understand
       what the effect of the combination of these statements
           If we look, please, at {E2/11/3}?
           Now, you will see there paragraph 11.  This is your
       first witness statement and this is where you were --
       your witness statement was commenting on Mr Roll's
       statement; yes?
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   And Mr Roll had given evidence about what Fujitsu was
       able to do if terms of its powers; yes?
   A   Yes.
   Q   And what could be done?
   A   Yes.
   Q   And you have subsequently accepted, I think, that you
       needed to modify your first witness statement in respect
       of that?
   A   Yes.
   Q   So let's look at paragraph 11, because we don't have one
       consolidated witness statement explaining what your
       evidence is now.  We have to infer it from five
       different documents, don't we.
   A   Yes.  We do, yes.
   Q   Okay, so let's look at paragraph 11 and look at the end
       of paragraph 11.  You say there:
           "As I explain below, those suggestions are incorrect
       and Mr Roll's account of Fujitsu's actions and powers is
       inaccurate and misleading".
   A   Yes.
   Q   Now, when you took the oath and then said you believed
       your witness statements to be true --
   A   Yes?
   Q   -- what were you saying to the court about that
       sentence?  Could you just explain it please?
   A   In that paragraph I am trying to make the point that the
       suggestion that we frequently changed branch transaction
       data without informing the branches that such actions
       were being actually taken is not correct. "Frequently",
       is a subjective term but I would not have described the
       rate at which we were changing branch transaction data
       as, "Frequently".
   Q   Well, pausing there, your position in your first witness
       statement was, at least in one material respect that you
       have now changed your position on, that Fujitsu couldn't
       do it at all, and you have accepted that in the light of
       Mr Roll's, as you say, clarification, you would now
       accept that Fujitsu did have powers which, in your first
       statement, you didn't accept that it did have.  That's
       fair, isn't it?
   A   I'm not aware of where I have said that we never changed
       branch transaction data.
   Q   Well, you have said -- you have answered about the part
       of the paragraph I specifically didn't ask you about,
       and the part of the paragraph I did specifically ask you
       about is the last line where you say:
           "As I explain below, those suggestions are incorrect
       and Mr Roll's account of Fujitsu's actions and powers is
       inaccurate and misleading".
   A   Yes.
   Q   Now, given the change of your evidence in your later
       statements about the ability remotely to access and
       inject transaction data, can you explain to the court
       what you were saying you believed about that sentence?
       What should the court now read for those words in the
       light of the three statements that it has before it?
   A   If I take the last sentence in isolation, which is what
       I think you are asking me to do, then I don't understand
       how I apply it, because I am -- I have been simply
       trying to say there that the frequency was not high, and
       that we would always involve the SubPostmaster wherever
       possible if that sort of action was actually being
       taken.  That's what I'm trying to say by that.
   Q   Well, pausing there, can you focus on the word,
       "Powers", in that line?  Do you see that?
   A   Sorry, for the word, "Powers"?  Yes.  Okay.
   Q   Yes?  Let's not talk about actions, how frequently it
       was done or not?
   A   Okay.  Yes?
   Q   Because what you said about Mr Roll was his evidence
       about Fujitsu's actions which could be the frequency,
       but powers was also misleading.  If we just go
       through -- just for a moment we will go forward, I'm
       only going to ask you this one more time, but to give
       you context, let's have a look at {E2/12/9} please.  By
       way of example you say at paragraph 27:
           "In paragraph 20 of Roll 2, Mr Roll describes
       a process by which transactions could be inserted via
       individual branch counters by using the correspondence
       server to piggy back through the gateway.  He has not
       previously made this point clear.  Now that he has,
       following a discussion with colleagues who performed
       such actions I can confirm that this was possible".
           So you weren't in a position to say that this was
       possible before, and you didn't say it was possible
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   You didn't say that Fujitsu had that power before, did
       you, in your first witness statement?  And you accept
       that it does now?
   A   I accept that Fujitsu has always had that power.
       I think it was a case of the phrasing of my original
       statements in relation to the point I was trying to get
       over there.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Did you know that Fujitsu had that
       power --
   A   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:   -- just wait for the question.
   A   Sorry.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  When you signed your first witness
   A   Yes.
   A   I did, yes.
   MR GREEN:  Let's step back for a moment and just look at
       your role.  You say in paragraph 7 of your first witness
       statement at {E2/11/2}, paragraph 7, you say, at the end
       of that statement:
           "Although I didn't have the formal title, I acted as
       the Deputy Manager to the SSC as a whole".
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   Now, Mr Roll didn't remember it exactly that way.  How
       could people tell that you were acting as the Deputy
       Manager of -- to the SSC?
   A   They could tell by the fact that I would stand in for
       the manager in his absence.  I would also make decisions
       on approving actions for him and other operational
       decisions in general.
   Q   You say at paragraph 7.1 you were responsible for the
       management of incidents between December 2009 and 2010?
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   Through the whole support process?
   A   That's correct.
   Q   So a detailed knowledge of that?
   A   Yes.
   Q   And 7.2 in March 2010 you became the manager of SSC and
       was responsible for the provision of third line
       application support to the Post Office account,
       including the management of the staff working on the
       account, so you well understand what third line support
   A   I do, yes.
   Q   Is that fair?
   A   I do, yes.
   Q   Would you agree with the description that Mr de Garr
       Robinson gave to Mr Roll of you being part of the super
       elite and Mr Roll being part of the elite?  Would you
       regard yourself as being part of the super elite in that
   A   I wouldn't have used that wording but in any support
       group there are people of varying skills.
   Q   Because the impression -- I mean I understand the answer
       you have just given to his Lordship is that you knew
       when you did your first witness statement that it was
       possible to piggy back in the way that we have seen
       Mr Roll suggesting, but you didn't mention it.  I'm
       going to suggest to you that you gave your evidence from
       the position of not being terribly well informed about
       what could or could not be done.  Is that right or
   A   That would be wrong.  It can be difficult to remember
       exactly what was being done 15 years ago in detail, but
       in general terms I am confident of the information I
   Q   Apart from not mentioning something that you knew about
       when you did your first witness statement.
   A   Yes.
   Q   Now, just in terms of the role of third line support,
       there are -- the support function of third line support
       has got the -- there is the software support centre
       which is SSC, isn't there?
   A   That's correct, yes.
   Q   And then there is Management System Support which is
       a separate group?
   A   Yes.  That is also correct, yes.
   Q   And you were in SSC and so was Mr Roll?
   A   That's correct, yes.
   Q   So the evidence you are giving is about SSC?
   A   It is, yes.
   Q   You would expect third line support staff to undertake
       in-depth investigations into incidents, wouldn't you?
   A   I would expect staff within the SSC to be covering both
       second line and third line roles and having varying
       skills.  Some of those staff would undertake in-depth
   Q   Let's just clarify.  Mr Roll's evidence was consistent
       with an expectation that third line support would
       undertake in-depth investigation into incidents.  Do you
       agree with that?
   A   I agree that that is one of the roles of the third line
       group, yes.
   Q   And they would have detailed knowledge of the system
       based on documentation and source code inspection,
       wouldn't they?
   A   The detail of the knowledge would vary person to the
   Q   But the third line support role, they would be expected
       to have detailed knowledge of the system, based on both
       documentation and the inspection of source code.
   A   For some members of staff that would be true, yes.
   Q   I'm suggesting for all members.
   A   No.  I couldn't -- could not agree with that.
   Q   And I'm suggesting that definitely for Mr Roll.
   A   I couldn't agree with that either.
   Q   Okay.
           They would also be trained on not only the operating
       systems but also the commercial off-the-shelf packages
       that underlie the application?
   A   That is correct.  Yes.
   Q   And the coding languages used within the application?
   A   Some of them, yes.
   Q   No, all of them.
   A   No, some of them.
   Q   Okay, and they were also expected, weren't they, to
       train themselves by examining support guides, design
       documentation and so forth for the components of the end
       user application?
   A   That is correct, yes.
   Q   And they would also have access to development and
       package management tools to allow the production of
       specialised diagnostic code, scripts and support tools.
   A   That is correct, yes.
   Q   Are you beginning to recognise this?  Let's have a look
       at {F/823/19}.  This is Fujitsu's own document, and look
       at page {F/823/19} please.  Paragraph 5, and it spells
       out what third line support are supposed to do?
   A   It does indeed.
   Q   I have basically just been reading this out to you.
   A   Yes indeed.
   Q   Some of it you agreed with and some of it you disagreed
       with and some of it you partially disagreed with?
   A   That is correct in the context of individual people
       within the group, yes.
   Q   So you would expect them, I think you would accept, to
       undertake in-depth investigation into incidents; yes?
   A   I would expect that of certain members of staff.  The
       skill level varied amongst the members of staff and the
       skills of each staff member on individual subjects it
   Q   Well, Mr Roll was conscientious.
   A   Yes he is.  I would agree with that.
   Q   Skilled?
   A   He is scaled, yes.
   Q   Experienced?
   A   He is, yes.
   Q   And you gave him a personal reference?
   A   That's correct, yes.
   Q   Your witness statement slightly tends to underplay his
       involvement and skill level, doesn't it?
   A   My witness statement was an accurate reflection of my
       view of Mr Roll's skills.
   Q   And the answers you were giving until you began to
       recognised what was being read to you, were slightly
       underplaying what third line support did, weren't they?
   A   No.  What -- there is a varying degree of skills and
       actual knowledge within the group.  Not everybody cannot
       know everything about all aspects of the actual system.
       Skills would actually vary, knowledge would vary.  We
       would have, and do have, specialists in different areas.
   Q   Let's move forward if we may, please.
           Now, Mr Roll's recollection of what he was doing was
       challenged in cross-examination.  Were you here for
   A   Yes I was, yes.
   Q   And it was challenged on the basis of the spreadsheet
       which you exhibited to your witness statement.  Yes?
   A   That was part of it, yes, indeed.
   Q   Because it's in your witness statement, first witness
       statement, paragraph 28, which is at {E2/11/8}.  You
           "Between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2004 ... the
       SSC received a total of 27,005 calls, meaning that on
       average 563 calls per month were dealt with over this 4
       year period.  This is shown by a spreadsheet prepared by
       a team in the SSC which appears at ... SPP 1".
           Now, let's pause there.  Who was in the team?
   A   To produce that information there were at least two
       other people within my team who helped me to produce the
       basic stats.  I analysed the stats into the summary that
       you see there.
   Q   Well, let's take it in stages.
   A   Yes, by all means.
   Q   Who were the people that you are referring to that did
       that exercise?
   A   Two of my colleagues, John Simpkins and Mark Wright.
   Q   And they are organised and work as a team?
   A   They are part of my team.
   Q   Would they normally work together as a team?
   A   They would two of the senior people within the group so
       yes, they often do.
   Q   Okay.  Let's look, please, if we may, at {F/1839/1}.
       Was there any reason why you didn't say who they were?
   A   No particular reason, no.  I mean, I produced the
       summary and the pivot tables in that document.  I just
       didn't do the searches to produce the raw data.
   Q   Well, let's have a look, if we may.  So we have got
       {F1/839/1} and we are going to look at the tab at the
       bottom which is called, "RR Peak Live by Category".
       It's just across there.  Could we make that a little bit
       bigger please?  Could you scroll up to the top?  If you
       could hold down the control button on the keyboard and
       roll the mouse forward it will just expand a little bit.
       We can just see what the categories are.
   A   I do, yes.
   Q   So your evidence about what Mr Roll was doing was based
       largely on this spreadsheet, wasn't it?
   A   It was based largely on this spreadsheet but also my
       recollection of the work that Mr Roll completed.
   Q   I mean, you sounded a little bit hazy earlier on about
       things that had happened a long time ago.  This
       spreadsheet you regard as important to get done, so that
       it would refresh your memory.  Is that right?
   A   I thought it was important to get this done to give the
       court accurate -- more like accurate information to
       support my recollection.
   Q   Because the accuracy of the information is very
       important, isn't it.
   A   The accuracy is important, yes.
   Q   It is very important.
   A   It is very important.  Yes.
   Q   That wasn't intended to be a controversial question,
       Mr Parker.
           Now, in paragraph 36 of your witness statement, if
       we can just give this context, it's at {E2/11/9}, you
           "I disagree with Mr Roll's suggestion that much of
       the work being carried out by the SSC while he was
       employed could be described as firefighting coding
       problems in the Horizon system. There were times when
       the SSC was very busy, for example networking problems
       causing application issues across the whole estate and
       data centre outages.  But there were only rare
       circumstances where a coding issue had an estate wide
       impact and, in those instances, Mr Roll would have been
       involved in executing avoidance actions to mitigate
       impact to the estate ..."
           There was still a need, wasn't there, as we have
       seen in the description of third line support, to
       address coding issues even if they are not having an
       estate wide impact?
   A   That is true, yes.
   Q   And if we look at paragraph 40 {E2/11/10} you say:
           "With that in mind, the final response codes that
       were allocated to incidents (ie Peaks) reported to SSC
       between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2004 were as
       follows ..."
           And you set them out, and you got those from the
       spreadsheet that we have just been looking at?
   A   I did, yes.
   Q   And this was the basis upon which Mr Roll's evidence was
       directly challenged, and this was put to him, and he
       accepted that the figures that he was being shown didn't
       reflect his recollection as he remembered it.
   A   Sorry, did you say, "Did", or, "Didn't"?
   Q   Did not.  Sorry, I may have misspoken there.  He
       accepted very fairly that the figures that he was being
       shown didn't reflect the situation as he remembered it?
   A   As he remembered it, indeed, yes.
   Q   Yes.  So let's go back to {F/1839/1} please?  It's the
       one we had open.  That's very helpful.  Thank you.  Can
       we go back to that tab?  That's it.
           So what you have done in your -- in the spreadsheet
       is the closure categories, which is a code given by the
       operators when a Peak is closed by number --
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   -- have been recorded in column A?
   A   Yes.
   Q   The associated description has been recorded in column
   A   That's correct.
   Q   And the overall count recorded in column C.
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   Yes?  And then Mr Roll's count where he is expressly
       mentioned --
   A   Yes.
   Q   -- as having been involved is in column D; yes?
   A   I would describe it not as expressly mentioned.  Richard
       Roll would have been the person who put the final
       response on, not necessarily mentioned in.
   Q   So it's only where he put a final response on?
   A   Correct.  Yes.
   Q   So lots of other ones where he may have done that?
   A   Generally no.  The person who puts the final response on
       is the technician who has been most involved in
       completing that work.
   Q   But you could be involved in lots of Peaks where you are
       not the person looking into them trying to help, where
       you are not the person who is the final person who signs
   A   That would be a much -- a very small incidence.
   Q   Well, we will have a look at that in a minute, but let's
       have a look at what you have chosen to put at column E.
       Now, is that your heading at column E?
   A   It is, yes.
   Q   So who did columns A and B and C?
   A   A, B and C were just established as a pivot of the main
       data.  I'm fairly sure I did that myself.
   Q   Okay. So you did a pivot table of the main underlying
   A   Yes.
   Q   Fine, and then column D.  Who did that?  Who went
       through and decided whether it was an RR count or not?
   A   The RR count, as I remember it, was based on the
       original extract from the database and it would be
       whether or not Mr Roll put the final response on that
   Q   I understand that --
   A   So the original database --
   Q   Who did it?
   A    -- I see, so the original database extract was done by
       John Simpkins as an sql search on the database.
   Q   And then potential software error.  Who decided --
   A   That was me.
   Q   That's you, and then you have done the columns all the
       way off to the right have you?
   A   I have, yes.
   Q   And so, "Potential software", is your description?
   A   That's right.  Yes.
   Q   And you have only included four categories of those?
   A   I have, yes.
   Q   59, 60 and 61?
   A   Yes.
   Q   And 74?
   A   Yes.
   Q   So as an example of one of the ones you have excluded,
       70, you have excluded that one?
   A   Avoidance action, I have.
   Q   And you have excluded, "Administrative Response"?
   A   I have, yes.
   Q   And, "Solicited Known Error"?
   A   That's correct.
   Q   Yes.  Okay.  That's your decision, not Mr Simpkin's or
       anyone else?
   A   It was mine, yes.
   Q   Because you wanted to give an accurate impression to the
   A   That's what I was actually seeking to do, yes.
   Q   And you are very familiar with these codes and what they
   A   "Very", would be a bit strong.  I am familiar with them,
   Q   If you wanted to give an accurate impression to the
       court did you check with anyone before you decided on
       those categories or did you just have a little bit of
       a go yourself?
   A   I did those based on my own experience.
   Q   Did you check with anyone?
   A   No I didn't.
   Q   Okay.  In fact, in your statement you actually go a sort
       of step further and say that the potential software
       error we have in column E, even that doesn't mean there
       actually was one, because it could be something as
       trivial as the use of, "KG", or something like that.
   A   It could be a trivial problem indeed, yes.
   Q   Yes, so even where you have plucked out, I think, four
       times in his entire career where he was involved in
       a potential software error on that analysis, even those
       might not actually be one?  That's your point?
   A   That is possible.  It was actually 29 showing there, not
       four.  I think you just said, "Four".
   Q   Sorry, the four we see there, you are right, the total,
       if we go all the way up --
   A   Sorry, you mean the four different categories?
   Q   Yes.
   A   Apologies.  Yes.
   Q   I could have made it clearer.  That's my fault.
           You would accept, wouldn't you, that some software
       errors may look like user errors.
   A   At first analysis I think that is possible.  Generally
       though, when you see a pattern of repeating user errors
       you then immediately think, well, there must be more to
   Q   Yes.
   A   But yes, some could, yes.  Agreed.
   Q   It's unlikely that people will suddenly be careless in
       the same way --
   A   Correct.
   Q   -- from out of nowhere.
   A   Correct.
   Q   Now, let's have a look, if we may, please, at category
       68 please.  You have got that in that line there.  Could
       you just tell the court what you understand that
   A   "Administrative Response", was used when -- in a number
       of situations when there was no work to be done, you
       would use, "Admin Response".  When there was no
       technical work to be done you would use it.  It would
       also be used when no other closure category was
   Q   Okay.  Well, it was specifically not to be used as
       a catch-all for, "Unable to decide which category to
   A   That would be fair.
   Q   The reason it's fair, I think, is because if we look at
       F -- we will keep that available as it is if we may --
       but if we look briefly at {F/823/24}, albeit a 2011
       document, we can see there, "Administrative Response",
       at 9.1.9:
           "Only to be used for closing calls which cannot be
       closed in a legitimate category for 'administrative'
       reasons -- eg incident incorrect changed by the
       system ... test calls; mis-routes; double escalates;
       unintended escalates, etc".
           So it is an Administrative Response, isn't it?
   A   I would agree with those, yes.
   Q   What it is not to be used for, as we see there
       expressly, it is not to be used as a catch-all for,
       "Unable to decide which category to use".
   A   It does say that indeed, yes.
   Q   Now, let's have a look, if we may, at {F/16/1} please?
       We need to look at the second page of this because
       that's where it actually begins, the text begins on
       {F/16/2}.  It's Peak 0027887 and it's given a category
       B, "Business restricted".  That is a serious category,
       isn't it?
   A   It's one of the more serious categories, yes.
   Q   Because it only goes up to A.
   A   A through E, yes.
   Q   So this is the second-highest category?
   A   It is.
   Q   We have seen this one before during the trial, you have
       probably been in court when it has been mentioned, it is
       the one where there is a balance bought forward on week
       12 of £1 million, over £1 million -- £1,082,544.32 --
       that subsequent doubles; yes?
   A   Yes.
   Q   It's very serious.  It is described in the summary as,
       "Receipts and payments mis-balance"; yes?
   A   It is indeed, yes.
   Q   And then if we look on page {F/16/3} of that please, you
       can see the doubling in the bottom box, the bottom
       yellow box.
   A   Yes.
   Q   To £2.279 million?
   A   Yes.
   Q   Then it says:
           "The discrepancy was therefore 1,082,540.28.  This
       was due a known software error which has no been
   A   That's correct.
   Q   Now let's assume in your favour that that was, "Has now
       been resolved"; yes?
   A   I don't know but --
   Q   Or, "Not been resolved".  We don't know.
   A   It must be either, "Now", or, "Not", I would think, yes.
   Q   If we go to page 8 please {F/16/8} we can see in the
       bottom box of 13 October a number of different
       investigations into different periods, periods 9, 10 and
       11 and 12 and 13.
   A   Yes.
   Q   And at the bottom we can see that there is an agreement
       at least with Mike Crowshaw's explanation of the
       imbalances in periods 10 and 11 which were due to
       a stock transfer of  £12,000 which was not settled
       correctly to the presence of a corrupt DLL file on the
       PC involved.
   A   That's what the notes say, indeed.
   Q   And there are various different aspects they are also
       investigating.  They are concerned they may not have
       sufficient evidence; yes?
   A   Yes.
   Q   Over the page, if we see at {F/16/9}, insufficient
       evidence at the top, then further data provided, yellow
       box at the bottom, halfway down:
           "I have obtained new evidence ..."
           There are ten different people working on this Peak.
       That's not uncommon, is it?
   A   Those extra people working on the Peak are in the
       Development group and not the SSC but I would agree
       there were multiple people working on this Peak, yes.
   Q   And if we go to page {F/16/11} there is a target release
       halfway down, set to M1 to reflect the categorisation.
   A   Reflecting the release when this might be fixed at, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Where are you looking?
   MR GREEN:  Sorry, halfway down my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Which colour?
   MR GREEN:  In the yellow box, July 2000, 11.03.
   MR GREEN:  If we go over the page {F/16/12}, some surprise
       being expressed at the bottom of the page that it only
       had six counter 32 transactions.  Counter 32
       transactions are transactions that had not been done by
       the SubPostmaster or assistants, aren't they?
   A   Without looking at the original data I cannot be sure
       what that notation means.  I could assume that 32 was
       the identifier used for central correspondence servers
       and not the counters.
   Q   Yes.
   A   That's all I can sensibly say without looking at the
       original data and not actually knowing why that
       particular note has been made.
   Q   Well, that was what the significance of 32 was, wasn't
   A   I don't know --
   Q   Normally.
   A   -- in this case.  32 is the identifier used for
       correspondence server main data centre server messages.
       Whether that's what was meant here I don't know.
   Q   Okay.  Then you will see on {F/16/13}, a third of the
       way down:
           "I see this is a very old problem ..."
           July '99:
           " ... there have been many ... updates ... may I
       suggest we discontinue investigation of this particular
       problem ..."
           Just underneath that you will see the defect cause,
       three lines up from the bottom, updated to
       development -- code?
   A   Sorry, where are you?  Three lines up from the bottom?
       Sorry, of the top box?
   Q   Of the top box.  You see that?
   A   Yes.  Got that.
   Q   You have got, "Code", and then in the box below:
           "Closing call on the basis of insufficient evidence.
       As this is such an old call I have not contacted the
       call originator.  I suggest that this call remains
           Do you see why there is an exclamation mark there?
   A   I don't know.
   Q   And then we see it is categorised as Category 68,
       Administrative Response?
   A   It has been closed that way, indeed.
   Q   And it's right, isn't it, that that would have involved
       people looking into code and trying to find out what had
       gone wrong and trying to trace the underlying cause of
       the incident.
   A   In the example that we see there, the Development group
       were doing that work, yes.
   Q   Yes, and the person in SSC would have been looking into
       it too?
   A   I don't know to what extent Microsure was involved in
       looking into code on this particular incident.
   Q   You don't know that, but that's quite likely to have
       been done, isn't it?
   A   I cannot say.
   Q   Okay.  Let's have a look at another one?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, before you go on, categorising
       that in your spreadsheet you took from the category that
       had been identified in the Peak.  Is that right?
       "Administrative Response".
   A   The spreadsheet reflects the final response used in each
       Peak, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  Right.
   MR GREEN:  Let's look, please, at {F/1326/1}.  You will see
       in the -- halfway down you will see:
           "Up to 10 unnecessary reconciliation errors each
       week, requiring calls to be raised and checks made.
       Could obscure genuine issues"; yes?
   A   That's -- yes.  Got that, yes.
   Q   It is a description of what we are dealing with?
   A   Yes.
   Q   It is assigned category C, non-critical?
   A   It is indeed, yes.
   Q   Just look in the yellow box --
   A   The first yellow box?
   Q   Yes.
   A   Yes?
   Q   11 March:
           "Please note (in capitals) this call has an 8 hour
   A   That's correct, yes.
   Q   Service Level Agreement?
   A   Yes.
   Q   So it had to be closed within that time; yes, to comply
       with the SLA?
   A   The MSU had to respond to it within that time, yes.
   Q   Okay.
           If we go over the page, {F/1326/2}, if we look in
       the -- Anne~Chambers gets involved. She is involved, it
       seems -- appears in a lot of these. Does she still work
       at Fujitsu?
   A   No she doesn't, no.
   Q   When did she leave?
   A   I cannot be very accurate -- three, four years ago she
   Q   Okay.  Looking at the top of page 2:
           "After investigating the specific incidence I will
       use this call to investigate the sudden increase in
       zero-value state 4 reconciliation calls -- something
       must have changed somewhere. DRS data currently goes
       back to 11 December".
           So that's rather the point you were making about
       when you get a pattern it's important to investigate it
   A   It is indeed, yes.
   Q   If we go to page {F/1326/3} please, and we look at the
       bottom box of that, Anne~Chambers, she is in SSC?
   A   That's right, she is.
   Q   And she is investigating this?
   A   That's right.
   Q   She says:
           "I finally have a theory as to what is happening,
       and I think it must be connected to a BAL change ...
           That's the Branch Access Layer?
   A   It is.
   Q   "... made in release 11.7 which went live on 8
           See that?
   A   I do.
   Q   And if we go down to the penultimate paragraph:
           "It is these unsettled transactions, where the C0
       has reached TES prior to settlement, which are giving
       the reconciliation errors ... I have made various checks
       of TES timestamps before and after the upgrade which
       support the scenario.  Please can development check what
       went into R11.47 which has changed the behaviour.
       Related to failure to read recovery data?"
           You can see there, "PC0234448 was fixed to change
       the behaviour but I think it went live at an earlier
       release?"; yes?
   A   Indeed that's what it says, yes.
   Q   So there are ten people working on this Peak as well --
       over ten actually?
   A   Where are the -- I will have to take your word for that.
   Q   There are more than ten different names people dealing
       with it?
   A   That is a slightly dangerous assumption because some of
       those people will have been admin people transferring
       things round, but --
   Q   Okay.
   A   -- that would only account for one or two.
   Q   Okay.
           Let's look at page {F/1326/4} please.  To be fair,
       Anne~Chambers is driving this?
   A   From the SSC perspective, indeed, yes.
   Q   And halfway down:
           "A new business impact has been added:  Up to 10
       unnecessary reconciliation errors each week, requiring
       calls to be raised and checks made.  Could obscure
       genuine issues".
           That appears to be the source of what we saw at the
   A   It does.
   Q   And if we look at the bottom of the page in the yellow
       box, Anilkumar Malipatil is Anilkumar in SSC or this
   A   No, that would be a member of the Development Team.
   Q   Okay.  He says:
           "This Peak is the regression of the Peak PC0234448";
   A   Indeed he does, yes.
   Q   And underneath he has put:
           "Category 41 -- product error diagnosed"?
   A   He does indeed, yes.
   Q   The reason he does that is because there has been
       a regression to a problem that had previously happened
       as a result of a subsequent software release not having
       caught a fix?
   A   That's the note that the developer has made, yes.
   Q   And if we look on page {F/1326/5} please, towards the
       bottom of the first blue box, penultimate paragraph:
           "Risks (of releasing and of not releasing proposed
       fix):  Without this fix, there will be possibilities of
       system errors at counter and while doing reversal
       transaction"; yes?
   A   That's what it says indeed.
   Q   So that would go into the decision to do the fix or not,
       and then if we go forward to page {F/1326/9} please, we
       look at the very bottom there, so we have got
       Mr Boston -- who is he, three up from the bottom?
   A   I'm trying to -- John Boston had various roles that were
       mainly administrative.  I don't know what role he held
       in September '16.
   Q   Because up to that point we can see it is being
       categorised as category 60; yes?
   A   Yes.
   Q   And final -- and there is a fix that has been released
       to live because we can see that above in the yellow box,
       just over halfway down.
   A   Yes?
   Q   It says:
           "Fix been released.  SW fix available to call
           Then let's have a look at how it's closed out by
       Jason Muir:
           "Now seeing minimal if any zero state 4
       transactions. Closing Peak is complete..."
           Oh.  It has become 68 suddenly.
   A   That's how Jason who has closed it -- Jason is a member
       of the management support unit.
   Q   Mm-hmm, so that is one where everyone has been working
       on the code trying to develop a fix, been released into
       live, and it is closed Administrative Response?
   A   That is what has happened in this case, yes.
   Q   If it wasn't so serious to challenge Mr Roll's
       recollection on the basis of this -- all these
       categories, some of these categorisations are almost
       comical, aren't they, Mr Parker?
   A   I wouldn't describe them as such.  I think I do say in
       my witness statement that they are the subjective view
       of the person doing the closure.  I would go on to say
       that they were not -- I accept they were not always
       right, but in the most cases they were right.
   Q   Well, that's not accepted, for the avoidance of any
           You also say that there was no review -- after you
       said in your statement that they were subjective, you
       also say there was no review undertaken to ensure
       consistency or appropriate categorisation?
   A   That's correct, yes.
   Q   It's not very robust, is it?
   A   The codes are used to generally assess the workload.  As
       long as they are mainly correct they support that
   Q   But there is no way of checking whether they are mainly
       correct, as you have fairly pointed out in your witness
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   Rebut the question: not very robust, is it?
   A   Depends on the purpose.  I would -- the purpose they
       were used for was to actually assess the workloads.
       They were not expected to be 100 per cent accurate.
   Q   But accuracy is important for you to have any fair view
       of what's actually being thrown up by the system, isn't
   A   Accuracy is important, yes.  These were used to assess
       the workload, not for any forensic purpose.
   Q   And we also know that the proper management -- just as
       an aside -- the proper management system wasn't brought
       in either.  We covered that with Mr Godeseth, you were
       here for that?
   A   Yes.
   Q   So there was no problem management system brought in,
       notwithstanding it was internally recommended, and so
       all you're left with is this system of looking at the
       codes and seeing how they have been categorised on
   A   I'm sorry, I don't understand the correlation between
       response codes and the problem management system.
   Q   Because the problem management system was going to track
       what sort of problems were being encountered into
       a structured way so that an overall monitoring of the
       system could be done, and give an idea and feedback of
       where the problems lay, and that was not brought in and
       that appears to have been a deliberate decision.  We
       covered it with Mr Godeseth and you were here.  So I'm
       saying in the absence of that, all we are left with,
       data-wise, are these codes, and I have got an entire
       file -- I'm not going to be able to go through all of
       them with you -- but I'm going to keep going through
       them and I'm going to show you how all of these have
       been closed, including all the big categories that
       Mr Roll did, so I'm going to ask you now; do you accept
       that it was unsatisfactory not to have a proper system
       in place to ensure these codes were accurately
   A   For the purpose for which I was using them I cannot
       accept that.  They were used as a general guide to the
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  When you say, "Purpose", you mean the
       purpose when you were doing your job at the time, not
       the purpose in compiling your spreadsheet for the
       witness statement?
   A   Yes.  Correct.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Because you have used them -- I think
       you have been quite fair, you have used them for your
       spreadsheet but you have taken the way that the person
       categorised them, you haven't made a separate
       categorisation of your own.
   A   That's correct.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  If you are going to start going through
       your file we will need a five-minute break for the --
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, shall we take that now?  We have got
       quite a lot to cover, so ...
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  Now, you do only have two hours.
   MR GREEN:  I understand that, my Lord, that's why I'm going
       at some pace.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And some of it, if I may, with
       respect --
   MR GREEN:  Was a bit long?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, it also verged quite a long way
       into prior submission before you actually put the
       question.  It's really about evidence, not arguing the
       case.  So shall we have the five-minute break now?
   MR GREEN:  By all means.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  Mr Parker you get a five-minute
       break, I encourage you to leave the witness box, move
       around, stretch your legs, we will come back in at two
       minutes to twelve.
   (11.55 am)
                         (A short break)
   (12.02 pm)
   MR GREEN:  Mr Parker, on the basis that you haven't reviewed
       any of these Peaks to look at their content, and you
       have merely relied on the codes that have been
       allocated -- yes?  Is that right?
   A   Indeed that's correct, yes.
   Q   So I'm just going to put some example ones to you to
       save time.
   A   Thank you.
   Q   Let's look at Code 62 which is, "No Fault in Product".
   A   Yes.
   Q   We will take an example at -- well, first of all can you
       just tell the court what you think that means?  What
       does, "No Fault in Product", mean?
   A   I would probably be better to refer to the document,
       but, "No Fault in Product", would generally be used
       where we cannot identify a software fault in the
       particular piece of the application being looked at.
   Q   Did you go back to the document before you allocated the
       figures in the table on F/1839 to the ones that had
       potential software error?
   A   I did.  I reviewed it.
   Q   Did you?  You actually went back to this document?
   A   I reviewed the content of it, yes.
   Q   When you say, "Reviewed" --
   A   I read through it once more.  Some of those category
       codes are not ones that I -- when I was a technician --
       would have used on a regular basis because they were
       development codes, so it was necessary for me to refresh
       my memory.
   Q   Okay.  Well, let's be fair to you.  Let's go to
       {F/823/23}.  We are going to look at Code 62 which is
       9.1.3, "No fault in product".
   A   Yes.
   Q   It indicates that:
           "The product is working to specification.  No
       changes are required in software code, scripts,
       hardware, documentation, work instructions or training
       plans.  Really indicates that the previous lines of
       support have completely miss-diagnosed the problem".
   A   That's what it says indeed, yes.
   Q   Is that -- did you read that one?
   A   Yes.  I would have read that one.
   Q   Well, "Would have", and, "Did", are different, aren't
   A   I did read that one, yes.
   Q   Okay.  Let's look, if we may, now, please, at {F/97/1}.
       This is a phantom transaction one.  We have also seen
       this one before.  You can see in the, "Call status", at
       the top, "Closed -- no fault in product".  Do you see
   A   I do.
   Q   We can see that -- if you come down just below -- it is
       about the fifth line down, 14.04.01 at 12.55:
           "Information:  PM ... wishing to complaint about
       ongoing system problems. PM had previous complaint open.
       That PM was under impression correctly that it would
       only be closed with his permission".
           Now, pausing there, the Postmaster was right about
       that.  They should be closed to the SubPostmaster's
       permission, shouldn't they?
   A   That would be a Help Desk process, so I would think so,
   Q   Is that something you actually know about or are you
   A   That is something I do not have personal experience of.
       I would expect that to be part of the Help Desk process.
   Q   Okay:
           "PM very unhappy about this".
           Now, if we go down to about three-quarters of the
       way down that page you will see 17.0 4.01, 9.48, and the
       word, "Contacted".
   A   I have got that, yes.
   Q   "I have left a message on Ki Barnes' voicemail as the PM
       is now complaining about her.  I was speaking to her
       about the last complaint call and we both feel that this
       PM is complaining unjustly.  She has been in contact
       with him and I feel he is complaining because the
       feedback has been advising it is user error whereas the
       PM thinks it's software".
   A   That's the notes, indeed.
   Q   So that's sort of suggesting that they have given the
       feedback to the SPM that it is user error and the SPM is
       a bit distressed and cross about it?
   A   Suggest that, yes.
   Q   Okay, and there are a number of further entries.  I will
       give you an example of one if we go to page {F/97/2}.
       You can see at the bottom of that page in the yellow
       box, half way down:
            "The system is still playing up in that the screen
       is hanging in the middle of transactions -- PM did
       transaction ... but left office for 1 hour -- when he
       came back the monitor had 141 first-class stamps on
       screen totalling £38.07", see that?
   A   Yes.  I see that.
   Q   You would accept that that is not how the system is
       supposed to work.  Is that fair?
   A   That's fair.
   Q   If we go over the page, please, to page {F/97/3}.  At
       the top:
           "I have advised that problem may be due to
       environmental issue. May be investigated as such" --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Where are you reading?
   MR GREEN:  Sorry, the top yellow box.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You mean the top yellow box?
   MR GREEN:  I'm so sorry, top yellow box.  Do you see that,
       "Possibility of hand-held radios or x-ray machinery, or
       is it more likely a software problem", and then {F/97/4}
       over the page, halfway down, just a bit less than
       halfway down, the letters, "PM would like to add current
   A   Just below the bold text, isn't it.  Yes.
   Q   "PM would like to add to the current complaint that
       transactions are currently appearing and disappearing on
       screen and also the PM's counter printer has not been
       working either.  PM had a message on screen stating to
       abort transaction, then the screen froze and timed out.
       When logged back in, the transaction was not on screen.
       PM re-booted the printer, and a receipt for this
       transaction was printed.  Now the printer won't print
       any receipts whatsoever for any transaction.  This is an
       ongoing problem".
           That's not how the system is supposed to work, is
   A   It's not, no.
   Q   And if you look a little bit below that it says:
           "Information:  PM feels that the system is
       unreliable.  PM cannot trust this system".
   A   That's what's said, yes, indeed.
   Q   And if the PM's experience was as recorded, which you
       don't know about, that's not an unfair reaction, is it?
   A   No.  It's not.
   Q   And if we go to page {F/97/5} --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just before you do, go back to {F/97/4}.
       You see towards the bottom there is an entry, 1 May
       10.56?  It's been 20 lines up.
   A   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Do you see that one?  Underneath it
       says, "Information:  ROMEC".  Do you see what ROMEC do?
   A   Engineering. They were the hardware engineering team.
       They also did Environmental Surveys.
   MR GREEN:  If we go over the page to page {F/97/5} and look
       at the bottom, we have got -- there is -- just -- 3 May
       2001, 15.34:
           "Information:  ROMEC have been to the site and done
       all that they can do.  There is no more UK SS2 can do
       for this site"; yes?
   A   Indeed.
   Q   And just below that:
           "Ki Barnes has called in.  I am unsure as to what to
       do with this call now.  ROMEC have been to site and
       state that they have actually seen the phantom
       transactions, so it is not just the PM's word now".
   A   That's what it says, indeed.
   Q   "They've fitted suppressors to the kit but the PM is
       still having problems. As yet there's been no recurrence
       to the phantom transactions but there still may be
       problems".  Do you see that?
   A   I do, yes.
   Q   So there we have got third party witnessing of the
       problem by ROMEC, haven't we?
   A   We have, yes.
   Q   If we go to page {F/97/7} please:
           "I now have pressing evidence to suggest that
       unwanted peripheral input is occurring, the likely
       source being the screen.  This has been seen at old
       Isleworth ..."
           This is in the yellow box at the bottom.
   A   Yes, I have got it.
   Q   Do you have that:
           "And warn with OI being the best site. When the PM
       has been asked to leave the screen on overnight I have
       observed system activity corresponding to screen presses
       happening with no corresponding evidence of either
       routine system activity or human interference.  The way
       forward now is to correlate this with Microtouch
       complied monitoring software and to this ends Wendy is
       arranging for installation of the kit on Friday ..."
           And so forth.  Do you see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   So that's further evidence there, and then if we go to
       page {F/97/9} please, the bottom of page 9 --
   A   Yes?
   Q   "Phantom transactions have not been proven in
       circumstances which preclude user error".
   A   Indeed.
   Q   "In all cases where these have occurred a user error
       related cause can be attributed to the phenomenon"?
   A   That is what it says, indeed.
   Q   So the -- go over the page if we may {F/97/10}:
           "I'm therefore closing this call as no fault in
   A   That's correct.
   Q   Is that no fault in the system as a whole or no fault in
       the Fujitsu software or no fault in either?  What does
       that mean?
   A   I would interpret that as being no fault in the
       application software.
   Q   But it is something that people would have been trying
       to work out and investigate from all perspectives.
   A   There was a lot of work going on there, indeed.
   Q   Yes, and those perspectives would also have included
       trying to see if there was any underlying software
       cause, as well as hardware.
   A   Yes.
   Q   And if we go, please, to {F/100.1/1}, that is Peak
   A   This is a different one I assume from the previous one;
   Q   Yes, and this is priority status B, and that is
       a relatively high status, as we have established?
   A   That's right.
   Q   And it's closed, "No Fault in Product", and it looks as
       if -- it says here:
           "PM reports he has been having phantom transactions
       continually for months ..."
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You have really got to tell us where you
       are on the page.
   MR GREEN:  I'm so sorry -- at the top my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  At the very top?  Yes.
   MR GREEN:  Very top. Still persisting, and then, "Advice",
       just a little bit further down:
           "Advice:  PM reports that 2 resistance monitors were
       sent out but only 1 was replaced as 1 was faulty.  The
       resistance monitor that was replaced is causing the
           Then if we go down towards the bottom of that blue
       box you will see, "Information", in the left-hand
       Marcher under 25 July '01, 10.35:
           "This office has been identified as a problem office
       and as such is being monitored.  Wendy Kerrigan has
       asked SSC/Development for Performance Monitoring at this
       outlet.  I suggest this goes to SSC possibly for the
       attention of Pat Carroll as he is dealing with phantom
           Who was Pat Carroll?
   A   Pat Carroll was one of the senior technicians within the
   MR GREEN:  Was he elite or super elite in my learned
       friend's jargon?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, that's not really -- the witness
       has already said he didn't agree with, "Super elite",
       and, "Elite", and he doesn't know what Mr de Garr
       Robinson is doing when he is categorising people.
   MR GREEN:  Was he at your level of seniority or close to it
       or was he similar to Mr Roll?  Where was he.
   A   He was above Mr Roll, a similar level to myself at that
   Q   So it was quite a serious issue, having phantom
       transactions, wasn't it?
   A   It would be, yes.
   Q   And thence the category B priority?
   A   That -- yes.  That's true, yes.
   Q   And if we look at page 2 of that {F/100.1/2} we have got
       5 September 2001 in the yellow box, the lower yellow
           "Following a significant amount of monitoring we
       have been unable to definitively link any
       equipment/environmental issues to any particular event.
       There have been incidents which showed a possible
       correlation between system activity and phantom
       transactions.  These pointed to a touch screen problem
       and as a result the screen was replaced with a resistive
       model.  As this produced no measurable improvement it
       has to be assumed that the problems were user related".
           That's closed, "No Fault in Product"?
   A   It is indeed, yes.
   Q   And if we go, please, to {F/174/1} this is a KEL which
       2000-2004 we can see.  Do you see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   And it is items appearing on stack without being
       selected.  That is essentially phantom transactions.  An
       example of phantom transactions?
   A   It could be indeed, yes.
   Q   Symptoms:
           "There have been several calls over the last few
       months where Postmasters have reported phantom sales.
       Items appear by themselves for which the PM has not
       pressed an Icon.  These may be individual items or
       several of the same item.  Sometimes when no one has
       been near the screen items may appear".
           Now, pausing there, your point earlier is when you
       get a pattern of these things happening you have to take
       notice that it might be system issue?
   A   We would do, yes.
   Q   Problem:  Since the system cannot put items on the stack
       without being told to, the desktop must be receiving
       specific requests to sell the items in question.  In the
       cases I have looked at I could only conclude that either
       the screen or the keyboard has been generating key
       sequences.  A more recent case revealed that the cable
       between the screen and the base unit was the root
           Then we see, "Solution -- ATOS":
           "In the first instance send an engineer with
       a recommendation to replace both the keyboard and the
       screen.  (Also check whether there is a problem with the
       screen cable)".
           There are detailed instructions then in terms of
       evidence for Pat Carroll to deal with environmental
       issues, so would your answer to the previous -- on the
       previous Peak be the same that where it is No Fault in
       Product what has been recorded is the conclusion is it
       doesn't appear to be a software issue, whatever else it
       may be?
   A   It would, yes.
   Q   And if we now have a look, please, at {F/718/1} --
       sorry, yes, F/718 -- now, we are turning here to
       Code~70, "Avoidance action supplied".  Could you tell
       the court what you understand that to be?
   A   It could be classified as an actual work round we have
       advised on some action to be taken to avoid the symptoms
       that have been described.
   Q   Well, let's pause there.  Do you accept it is to be used
       where there is a fault in the product?
   A   Not necessarily.
   Q   Well, let's have a look at {F/823/24} to see what the
       document that you recently considered says.  What we are
       looking for here is avoidance action supplied, and
       the -- it's actually over the page, if you have got page
       24 there, it's 9.1.10, and the word, "Is", which I
       emphasised in my intonation, is in capitals?
   A   It is indeed.
   Q   So the correct answer to that question would have been,
   A   It would indeed.
   Q   And you now accept that?
   A   I do.
   Q   Okay.  So having done that, can we go back to {F/718/1}
       please?  And this has only been given a priority of C.
       Do you see that?
   A   Yes I do.
   Q   It is non-critical?
   A   Yes.  Yes I do.
   Q   And the Service Level Agreements treat priority Level A
       and B to the other priorities, don't they?
   A   We don't have SLAs we have OLAs but yes, there are
       different operational timescales to them, yes.
   Q   And it is also stricter for compliance with priority A
       and B than it is for --
   A   It is, yes.
   Q   -- the consequences are different, aren't they?
   A   The consequences are different.  The actual operational
       timescale which we are expected to respond to is lower
       as you go up the priorities from E to A.
   Q   Yes, and there are liquidated damages thresholds for the
       engineer's service and resolution of calls at the Help
       Desk for priority A calls and priority B calls, but
       there aren't for priority C calls in the same way.
       That's fair, isn't it?
   A   I believe that was the case.
   Q   Okay.
           So as soon as something is priority A or B it means
       that those liquidated damages provisions are in play,
       but if it's C they are not in play.
   A   They would be in play for the hardware side but not if
       it's a software fault.
   Q   Okay.  Let's have a look.  {F/718/1}.  This we can see
       has Avoidance Action Supplied at the top; yes?
   A   Yes indeed, yes.
   Q   Which we have seen is to be used where there is a fault
       in the product.
   A   Yes.
   Q   And if we go down to the yellow becomes and under the
       double tram lines you will see:
           "PM states that he has rolled over but the system is
       telling him that he hasn't -- PM states that he is in
       balance period 7 and he states he is getting the message
       'wrong trading period MSG 31318 office balancing
   A   Yes.
   Q   You will see in the log line below:
           "Non-zero trading position ... on rollover of branch
       by user WMC002 to trading period 8".
           Do you see the problem?
   A   I do.
   Q   So this is a type of payments mismatch issue, isn't it.
   A   I would be hesitant to classify it as that.  All I can
       say is it's an office balancing error.  That's all I can
       see there.
   Q   Well, just give me a second.  (Pause)
           Let's go forward, if we may, to page {F/718/2}.  If
       we look at the bottom yellow box please, Cheryl Card.
       Who is she?
   A   She is a member of the SSC.
   Q   And who is Lorraine Elliott?
   A   She was the SSC administrator at that time.
   Q   And Sheryl card in the bottom yellow box, 27 September
       2010, 15:  16:
            "The problem occurred on 15/09/20 when stock unit
       02 rolled over.  This was originally reported, as per
       KEL, BALLANTJL759Q, in call PC0204537 ... but for some
       reason the call was closed without being investigated.
       There is a known problem with the use of the Cancel
       button during the stock unit rollover.  This is fully
       described in KEL WRIGHTM33145J".
           Do you recognise that KEL number?
   A   I don't, no.
   Q   But that is the payments mismatch number, isn't it?
   A   I did not recognise it as such.  Without seeing it ...
   Q   Okay, because you didn't look at any of these before you
       gave your evidence and compiled the spreadsheet?
   A   No I didn't, no.
   Q   And if we go to page {F/718/3}, top of the page --
       I think someone may want to say something?
   MR GREEN:  Apparently not.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Or not yet.
   MR GREEN:  Top of the page on page 3:
           "As agreed routing to Gareth Jenkins as at bus apps
       desk for advice on how to correct the differences"?
   A   That's right.  Yes.
   Q   Next yellow box down:
            "The branch accounts will need be corrected ..."
   A   Yes.
   Q   And advice about how to do that, and if we just go to
       page {F/718/7} please, if we look at the severity in the
       blue box at the top of the page, it says, "Critical",
       doesn't it?
   A   Yes it does.
   Q   Yes. "Severity:  Critical", but we saw that the Peak
       incident management system records it as non-critical?
   A   It recorded it as C I believe, didn't it?
   Q   C is non-critical.  The definition of C is,
   A   Yes.  Correct.
   Q   Then at the bottom of that page in the yellow box:
            "The software issue that caused the discrepancy is
       being monitored and all instances are being reported
       directly to POL duty manager with all the relevant
       figures and reports.  I have confirmed that this issue
       at this office has already been reported through.  P O L
       will get in touch with PM regarding any remedial
       actions.  Closing call ...  Call type category 70 ...
       avoidance action supplied"?
   A   Indeed.
   Q   So there has been pretty detailed investigation of
       what's going on and what's gone wrong and it's closed as
       Avoidance Action Supplied because that's where there is,
       by definition a fault with the system?
   A   Indeed.
   Q   So it would be fair to say that a fair categorisation,
       if you had read the definition of, "Avoidance Action",
       as you say, a fair categorisation on your spreadsheet
       would have included that code, wouldn't it, for
       potential software errors?
   A   That code, in my experience, has not always been used
       purely for potential software errors, and that's why I
       categorised it in a different way from that in the
       document.  That's the best I can -- you know.  Avoidance
       Action Supplied has not always been used purely for
       a software fault.
   Q   Well, there are two layers of chaos.  One is the way
       that categories are assigned.  Do you agree with that?
   A   I agree that they are not checked after use.
   Q   And that they are highly subjective?
   A   And that they are very subjective, yes.
   Q   And the second point is that when you were compiling
       your witness statement you went a bit off piste and
       departed from the definition that you say you read.  Is
       that fair?
   A   It's fair to say that I used the definition my
       experience dictated rather than that in the document.
   Q   You didn't think that was important it make clear to the
   A   I forgot that that was exactly what I had done in that
       circumstance when I prepared that a few months ago.
   Q   Mr Parker, I will give you an opportunity to consider
       this.  Is the truth of the matter that when you
       looked -- well, is the truth of the matter that you had
       not specifically looked at the words of the Avoidance
       Action Supplied definition and you went with
       recollection without considering the tension between the
       definition and your recollection?
   A   I read the details in that document to refresh my memory
       and allocated the codes based on my experience and the
   Q   Well, in that case, it appears you have taken
       a deliberate decision to exclude a category which you
       knew included a fault with the product from Potential
       Software Error column.  Is that what you did?
   A   What I did was I used my experience to put that in what
       I believed to be the right category heading for it.
   Q   So it was a deliberate decision to depart from the
       definition in the documentation we have looked at and
       record it as not having even the potential for
       a software error?  Is that your evidence?
   A   My evidence is that my experience is that it is used
       more times when it is outside a software fault than
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I wonder if you could put the question
       a third time.
   MR GREEN:  Was it a deliberate decision to depart from the
       express words that you had looked at carefully -- or
       looked at?
   A   Yes.  It was.
   Q   Why did you think that was an appropriate thing to do
       when giving your witness statement knowing that you were
       challenging Mr Roll's recollection by doing so?
   A   Because my -- that was the value and the way it was used
       based on my own experience, so I felt that was a fair
       way to define it.
   Q   Let's look and consider your experience.
           What we have seen so far on this example is that
       your experience conflicts not only with the content of
       this example, but with the definition in the policy
   A   It conflicts with the definition, certainly, yes, and
       this particular example.
   Q   I suggest to you that Mr Roll's recollection of what he
       was doing is correct in the light of what we have seen
       so far, isn't it?
   A   I stand by the original use of that spreadsheet.  It is
       used to classify, in general, the workload that the
       support units do, and that's the way I used it when
       I was trying to classify Mr Roll's work.
   Q   Okay.  Well, let's have a look at {F/93/1} then please.
       Again, this is actually priority B, business restricted;
   A   Indeed, yes.
   Q   And it is closed for Avoidance Action Supplied?
   A   Yes.
   Q   "PM reports she had a discrepancy of a gain ..."
           And then it runs out.  If we look at the top of the
       blue box, please, 15 March 2001:
           "PM reports she had a discrepancy of a gain, so she
       rolled everything over, and then redeclared her cash,
       and adjusted her stock then tried to roll over again by
       going to Balance report F6".
           If we go down a little bit further in relation to
       further advice:
           "PM reports that after she had rolled over stock
       unit and office she redeclared her cash".
           Then underneath that:
           "When it got to the print, preview and exit screen
       she chose preview like she always does but then it
       printed off final balance instead of the trial balance
       like the PM wanted.  Now she is in CAP01, period 01,
       instead of CAP52 of the previous year.  Business period
       2.  Period 2.  PM believes this is a software issue.
       Search KEL couldn't find a reference." Yes?
   A   Indeed it does, yes.
   Q   Now if what the PM was saying was happening the system
       was not working as it should, was it?
   A   That's true, yes.
   Q   If we go down a little bit further you can see that just
       to rule out a calibration error on the screen they
       checked calibration.
   A   Yes.
   Q   And the PM says calibration is fine, not out of
       alignment, because that was an issue that sometimes
       happened, wasn't it?
   A   There were screen calibration issues, yes.
   Q   And if we go over the page, please {F/93/2}, in the blue
       box, if you come down underneath 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, it
           "I believe and also PM confirmed that the 'preview'
       button had been pressed for the second time which may
       have resulted in final balance printout and SU roll to
       CA P1".
           So that's your point about when there is a pattern
       you have to take it seriously?
   A   Mm-hmm.
   Q   And then it refers to two other Peaks.  Do you see
   A   I do.
   Q   And a KEL, PSTEED34T?
   A   That's right, yes.
   Q   "I've advised PM not to press preview or print button
       which may cause this type of problem again. PO now have
       stock unit 1 CAP ahead of office and therefore PM need
       to contact NBSC and seek help on what to do on Wednesday
       before rollover"; yes?
   A   Yes indeed.
   Q   So the Postmaster has been left to deal with the
       consequence for rollover with the help of the NBSC?
   A   Indeed that's what those notes say, yes.
   Q   Then at the bottom of page 2, "Have looked at ..."
           In the blue box, Martin McConnell.  Who is he?
   A   Martin McConnell was a developer I believe.
   Q   In the penultimate yellow box he tried to reproduce the
       scenario, putting the system under load and so forth?
   A   Yes.
   Q   And found he couldn't.
   A   Yes.
   Q   Not sure what to suggest.  He says:
           "Have looked at the PS log, also this does not
       reveal any unexpected impulses from other applications.
       Spent a few days on this as has Alex Kaiser (in previous
       incarnations of this problem)".
           There had previously been examples of it. Who is
       Alex Kaiser?
   A   I don't know.
   Q   "I have no choice but to pass back as insufficient
       evidence but would ask that EDSC keeps an eye out to see
       if any patterns arise or any sign of the problem
       actually being reproduced at will".
           Insufficient evidence there and then if we go to
       page {F/93/3}:
           "Have looked at the PS log".
           Got the same message again and then it's actually
       categorised as Avoidance Action Supplied.
   A   It is.
   Q   Yes?  Which is correct where there is a fault in the
       system, as we have seen.
   A   According to the documentation, that's correct.
   Q   And if we look at the two Peaks that it refers to --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just before you do that, on {F/93/3},
       Mr Parker, where it says:
           "Clearly we need to keep an eye on this type of
       situation, the systems we have tried to reproduce on
       contains adding all bug fixes ..."
           Do you read that as meaning the systems on which
       they are trying to replicate the problem?
   A   Yes I do.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is that the same as the expression,
       "Test rig", that has been used in other areas?
   A   Not necessarily.  I would think so. I mean, all I read
       that to mean was that they weren't sure because the
       version of software on the systems they were trying it
       on were not the same as what's out in the --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  In the field?
   A    -- in the field, yes.  That's how I would read it.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr Green, back to you.
   MR GREEN:  I'm most grateful.
           If we just look briefly at the -- there are two
       other Peaks, I'm not sure I have got time to deal with
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Remember you need to leave time for
   MR GREEN:  My Lord yes.
           Can we just briefly, please, look at {F/589/1}?  You
       will see this is non-critical and closed with Solicited
       Known Error.  Do you see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   That is a problem of duplicated pouches, as you see
       underneath the two tram lines.
   A   Yes.
   Q   And the amount that was renned in twice was £25,000.
   A   That's what the notes says, yes.
   Q   It's pretty serious for the SubPostmaster?
   A   I would think so, yes.
   Q   But category priority is C, non-critical?
   A   That's correct.
   Q   And at {F/589/3} if you look down the penultimate blue
       box, 5 March 2010, 12.33:
           "POL have been informed of the error. Hopefully
       they'll issue a TC to correct loss at the branch. The
       underlying problem caused by using previous button
       during or just after scanning pouch barcodes, is still
       under investigation".
           It is closed as Solicited Known Error?
   A   That's correct.
   Q   If we look, just going forward for a moment to
       {F/1156/1} we can see there again C, non-critical,
       closed, No Fault in Product, P doing cash declarations
       every now and again has a major loss, and you can see in
       the yellow box towards the bottom underneath, "Log",
       about three-quarters of the way down:
           "PM has had cash declaration problem throughout the
       year and it losing a lot every now and again".
           Do you see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   "He 'phoned up helpline told him can't of declared
       properly.  He states that he losses £2,000 then jumps
       suddenly to £4,000, one point they lost £8,000 and is
       always losing money. PM stated that he has three post
       offices, only happens on this site", and then about
       five, six lines up from the bottom:
           "Done a declaration this morning and had a £6,000
       also.  It shows no error message when doing it.  No
       report prints out only print-out of cash declarations".
           Pausing there, if the PM is correctly reporting
       that, then that would be very serious for the
       Postmistress or Postmaster, wouldn't it?
   A   If it is being correctly reported, yes.
   Q   And it would not be the system working as it should.
   A   If we attribute it as a system fault, yes.
   Q   Let's go forward, please, just to {F/66/1}, this is Peak
       0055964.  It is a receipt and payments mismatch.  Do you
       see that?  The summary?
   A   Yes I do.
   Q   Classified as non-critical, and you can see that in the
       top of the blue box at -- on 13 October 2000, "PM is
       doing a trial cash account and it is saying receipts and
       payments don't match".  Do you see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   And at the bottom of that blue box, if you go up a few
       lines in that last big paragraph you will see on the
       right-hand side:
           "PM appears to have dealt with her losses and gains
       correctly for week 28 by putting into susp account
       unable to trace mismatch"; yes?
   A   Yes.
   Q   If we go over the page to page 2 please {F/66/2} in the
       blue box we can see that the Regional Network Manager is
       still not happy, the second blue box down, halfway down:
           "RNM still not happy. His PO is closed and PM wants
       to balance".
   A   Yes.
   Q   Now, this is still only being given a non-critical
       priority.  Why is that?  Category C?
   A   I can only assume that whoever was looking at it didn't
       see fit to actually change it.
   Q   What should it have been?  A B?
   A   I would probably have classified that as B, yes.
   Q   And if we read on in that box you will see:
           "STA advised me to call EDSC to find out how long it
       would take to action and resolve a call.  EDSC said they
       were dealing with it now and they will speak to me asap.
       Spoke to SMC. They said PM was informed incorrectly.  He
       was told the problem would be resolved by the end of
       today but it is only C priority and is only just being
       looked into".
           So classifying it as a C priority rather than a B
       will have an impact on how speedily it's looked into,
       won't it.
   A   Certainly B priorities would be looked into before Cs.
       It does not imply that we would deliberately wait
       a period of time before looking at a C.
   Q   Okay.  Let's look at the bottom of page 2, penultimate
       box which is a yellow one, 18 October 2000.  Last line
       of that:
           "Advised PM that third line are investigating the
       mismatch problem".
           See that?
   A   Sorry, you have lost me.
   Q   In the yellow box at the bottom?
   A   The 14.52 one?
   Q   Yes.  That's it?
   A   Yes?
   Q   Last sentence, so second-last line on the right.
   A   "Advised PM that third line" -- yes. Got you. Yes.
   Q   "Third line are investigating the mismatch problem".
           That's the sort of thing that third line support
       would look into, isn't it?
   A   Well, generally no.  If we are describing a discrepancy
       here, discrepancies are a part of the operational
       running of the Post Office, and it would be the NBSC who
       would normally deal with that kind of thing.  It would
       only come to the third line support group if there was
       a reason to believe it was a software fault.
   Q   Let's have a look -- help you out on that.
   A   Okay.
   Q   Look at page {F/66/3}.  Bottom blue -- penultimate blue
       box.  Se what's going on, just before halfway down:
           "I'm not sure how much of this is down to invalid
       measures and counter measures but clearly what should
       NOT have happened no matter how much the user tries, is
       the system resulting in a cash account mis-balance"?
   A   Yes.
   Q   So it does appear to be a software issue, doesn't it.
   A   It does indeed.  That is a developer putting in that
       update as well.  Yes.
   Q   So that's pretty helpful, and then if we look over the
       page on page {F/66/4} and they say, in the yellow box:
           "We have done the necessary paperwork for this.
       Development have already corrected this particular
       fault, with the opening figures and it will be fixed at
           What is CI4?
   A   CI4 is a release of the system.
   Q   Okay, great, and that is closed as, "Reconciliation
   A   That's correct, yes.
   Q   Category 90?
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I don't think you are going to have time
       to do any more of these.
   MR GREEN:  I'm not going to do any more of those, my Lord,
       I'm cutting it there because -- not least because the
       witness accepts that he didn't go through them before he
       gave his witness statement.
           Just briefly, if I may, Mr Parker, in relation to --
       just go back for a moment in relation to the injection
       of transaction data, in your witness statement at
       paragraph 22 on page 5, that's {E2/11/5} I will just be
       very brief on this if I may, but your evidence to the
       court was that you knew about the ability to access
       remotely when you gave this witness statement.
   A   Yes.
   Q   And you knew about the ability to do so by piggy backing
       rather than using the correspondence server.  That's
       what you told the court.
   A   Yes.  Go on.  Yes.
   Q   Well, is that true or not?
   A   It is true, yes.
   Q   So you did know about that when you gave your January
   A   I knew that we could insert transactions at the
       correspondence servers, and it was my belief that that
       is what we did.
   Q   Did you or did you not know when you made your January
       statement that you could insert by piggy backing rather
       than through the correspondence server?
   A   If by, "Piggy backing", we mean going on to the counter
       and doing it from there, no, I wasn't aware at that
       stage.  It was only when we started to investigate in
       order to provide the evidence that colleagues told me,
       well, yes, we did it occasionally at the counter, and we
       then investigated more to classify that.
   Q   Who were the colleagues who told you that?
   A   I think it was John Simpkins, I think.
   Q   Any others?  Because that's only one and you said,
       "Colleagues", and you say, "Colleagues", in your witness
       statement as well.
   A   I checked it again with another one who I believe was a
       gentleman named Dave Seddon and he said, "Yes, I do
       remember doing that".
   Q   Did you check with anyone else?
   A   By that stage we were starting to look into classifying
       it so I didn't need to check further because we were
       actually producing Peak references where I could see it
       being done.
   Q   Okay, well, the last topic, if I may, very briefly, just
       to look at the back of your witness statement where you
       did a table, it's at {E2/11/23}.  There are three
       particular things I want to ask you about.  First of
       all, who put this together?
   A   We were given a list of references and various members
       of the team would analyse them and give back the
   Q   Who gave you the list of references?
   A   I think it was the legal team.
   Q   Okay, and who in the team analysed them and gave the
   A   I had a spreadsheet reflecting it but I can't remember
       all the names for you.  It will be --
   Q   Can you remember anyone?
   A   I remember John Simpkins, Mark Wright, Dave Seddon.  I
       believe there was at least one other.
   Q   Was there any reason why you didn't put the names in the
       witness statement?
   A   Didn't see it as being relevant.  They were all members
       of my team and I rely on my team to do the technical
   Q   Okay, and do you know where -- was it your understanding
       that the comments that they put in were their own
       comments or were they provided for them by someone else?
       Do you know?  What was your understanding?
   A   They were their own comments.
   Q   And did you check them at all or did you just accept
       them on trust from them?
   A   I read through them but I do trust my team to get the
       technical detail right.
   Q   Just very briefly, they comment on the issue of
       transaction corrections in various places.  Is that
       something you know about the system for or not?
   A   Is that something I know about the system for?  Sorry,
       I don't ...
   Q   Did you understand how Post Office decides to issue
       a TC, who does it and ...
   A   No, I don't.
   Q   Are your team familiar with that, or ...
   A   We are only familiar with the processing of them, not
       how they are actually generated.
   Q   If we look -- I was going to take you through the first
       few and then have a look at another one by example
       because we're short of time, if we look, please, at
       {E2/11/38}, now looking at that example, do you know --
       you are suggesting there that a -- do you see the
       response to Mr Coyne there?  In the, "Response to
       Mr Coyne", column?
   A   Got you, in the Fujitsu's comments, the first column of
       those two, yes.
   Q   Yes. You see a REN in reversal not particularly common
       transaction, prohibited later on.
   A   Yes.
   Q   Do you see that?
   A   I do.
   Q   Where has that come from?  Is that a member of your
   A   Of my team, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But you don't know, I imagine, on the
       face of this, which of those gentlemen.
   A   I don't my Lord, no.
   MR GREEN:  And if we look at -- would you give them any
       guidance as to how to do this or not?
   A   Other than getting them to read the context that the
       problems were described in, no.
   Q   Do you know if anyone gave them any guidance?
   A   Not aware of it, no.
   Q   And was it your idea to produce the table?
   A   What -- in this format?
   Q   Yes?
   A   I will be honest, I can't remember.  It seems like
       a logical format to do things in.  I'm not sure whether
       I generated it or not now.
   Q   Is there any reason -- well, did you -- do you know
       whether the team had a draft of Dr Worden's report in
       front of them before they filled in these comments?
   A   I don't know.  I don't think they did.  I think we just
       gave them Coyne's report for them to get the context.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You said, "We", again.
   A   Sorry, I gave them it, yes.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, in the circumstances I will deal with
       everything else by way of submissions.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  Mr de Garr Robinson?
              Re-examination by MR DE GARR ROBINSON
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Mr Parker, there were just a few
       questions.  At the beginning of your cross-examination
       some time was taken on the letter at {H/253/1}.  Perhaps
       we could look at that letter again.  You will recall
       that this is a letter written by WBD to Freeth's on 20
   A   Yes.
   Q   Which starts by saying:
           "We understand from Fujitsu that the SSC has been
       carrying out further work to identify any Peaks that
       show transactions being injected at the counter ..."
   A   That's correct.  Yes.
   Q   You have seen that letter before, earlier on.
           Could I ask, who is it who provided this
       intelligence to Post Office?
   A   I provided the intelligence.  It was provided to me by
       a member of my team.
   Q   I see, and were you aware or not aware or were you
       involved in the process by which this further work was
   A   I wasn't involved in it, no.  A member of my team -- the
       thought occurred to him that he could add some other
       search terms into the work that he had done previously.
   Q   And so what happened?  Did you then become aware --
   A   I did become aware. He came to me with the new data.
   Q   And what did you then do?
   A   I then informed the legal team.
   Q   Now -- and that then resulted in this letter.  You were
       asked a large number of questions which appeared to me
       at least to carry with it the implication that there was
       some attempt on your part to conceal the fact that this
       extra work had been done.  Would you care to comment on
       that suggestion?
   A   That suggestion would be wrong.  When I was aware of it
       and I had a chance to actually read it I sent it on to
       the legal team so that appropriate action could be
       taken.  I was actually quite pleased that a member of
       the team had taken it upon himself to get even more
       accurate data.
   Q   You were also asked a number of questions which I think
       were based upon the implication that in amending your
       witness statement, your third witness statement as you
       did, again, there was an attempt to conceal from someone
       the fact that this extra work had been done.  Would you
       care to comment on that?  I'm making what was implicit
       explicit.  Would you care to comment on that suggestion?
   A   I have, at no time, attempted to conceal anything.  I'm
       just trying to get the right data for the court which
       can be difficult sometimes when you are going back
       fifteen years.
   Q   Thank you, Mr Parker.  Just another few questions, if
       you will give me a moment.
           The majority of the time that was spent
       cross-examining you was spent in an effort to suggest
       that the spreadsheet that you put together analysing the
       output of the SSC during Mr Roll's involvement and the
       output of Mr Roll's during his employment by Fujitsu was
       misleading or unreliable or unrepresentative.  I would
       just like to raise that point squarely with you to give
       you an opportunity actually squarely to address the
       suggestion that that is the case.
   A   It's not unrepresentative.  We use -- although response
       codes can be subjective, they are our only reasonable
       way of judging our workload, and we use it for that
       purpose.  Since I was attempting to compare Mr Roll's
       workload with the workload of the unit as a whole, I
       felt that was a reasonable way of doing it.
   Q   It was put to you that accuracy was important.  Could I
       ask you to comment on the question whether you think
       there has been any lack of accuracy or any particular
       accuracy in the process that you attempted to do?
   A   I have been accurate with the data I have.  I accept
       that you may find a few Peaks where the response code
       does not tally with the document, but when you are
       talking about 220,000 Peaks I think human beings will
       make those errors.
   Q   In relation to particular Peaks you say you could point
       to a few Peaks, you were taken to a number of Peaks in
       which it was suggested that the categorisation was
       wrong, or the closure category was wrong.
   A   Yes.
   Q   It was suggested to you that -- I think with the
       implication that you should have looked at these Peaks
       before you gave your evidence.  Now, by my tally, most
       of the Peaks that Mr Green took you to were Peaks that
       related to a period during which Mr Roll was not
       employed.  Do you feel it would have been appropriate
       for you to look at Peaks outside that period for the
       purposes of analysing -- doing the analysis that you did
       in your spreadsheet?
   A   For the purposes of that analysis, no, and trying to --
       even for that analysis period, which was 27,000 Peaks, I
       couldn't possibly read all of them.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, I have no further questions.
       Thank you Mr Parker.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you very much.  Just give me one
       second.  I have a couple of questions.
           Now, in answering these questions, if you could
       avoid the first person plural --
   A   I understand my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:   -- and also the expression, "My team",
       because I find it easier if we can deal with names.  You
       have got on the screen {H/253/1} --
   A   Yes?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:   -- which Mr de Garr Robinson has just
       been asking you about now.  Am I right that the extra
       work that was being done was being done by Mr Simpkins?
   A   That's correct.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is that correct?
   A   That is.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is it the case you asked him to do that
       work or you just found out he was doing that work.
   A   I did not ask him to.  He did the original work and then
       came back to me some period afterwards and said, "I have
       just thought of this".
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  Now, when did he do that?
   A   I cannot be exact.  It was shortly before I gave it to
       the actual legal team because I would have looked at it,
       read it, and then passed it on.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, if we could avoid, "I would have",
       I would like to know what you can remember doing and if
       you can't, that's, of course, understandable.  Are we
       talking in the last couple of weeks or earlier than
   A   Last couple of weeks prior to 20 March when this was
   A   Yes, it would have been in that time period.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So it's some time -- and why want to put
       words into your mouth so if you can't remember --
   A   Understand.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:   -- it's some time in 2019?
   A   Oh yes.  Certainly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  After or before the start of the trial
       so far as you know?
   A   It was after the start.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  After the start of the trial.  And when
       did you decide that you wanted to make corrections to
       your third witness statement.
   A   I can't remember exactly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, after or before the start of the
   A   After.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  After the start of the trial?
   A   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Before this week.
   A   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  A couple of weeks ago?  Last Friday?  Or
       can't you remember?
   A   I'm sorry I can't.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  All right.  Any questions arising out of
       any of that?  No?  All right.  Thank you very much
       Mr Parker.  You can leave the witness box.
   A   Thank you.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Now, I think Mr de Garr Robinson, on the
       basis of Mr Membery, that's your evidence of fact
       finished.  Is that right?
           Now, we have to address the situation in respect of
       the remaining tranche of the Horizon trial, and I do
       recall that in the order that was produced the day
       before yesterday I said that we would do that at
       2 o'clock.  Is that likely to take very long and/or can
       it usefully be done now or would you like to come back?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord I think we might need to come back
       because there are quite a few consequential pathways to
       consider how they intermesh.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  All right.  Would it be inconvenient to
       come back at ten to two?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord no.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The reason for that is, and it is wholly
       unconnected with this case, there is a meeting I'm
       supposed to be at at the Ministry of Justice this
       afternoon.  It is a long meeting, it goes on for three
       hours, I can say wholly neutrally they are expecting me
       to be slightly late, but obviously if I could be less
       late than staggeringly late then that would be useful,
       so if we come back at ten to two and we will deal with
       the second -- and the features, I think, are any
       housekeeping, predominantly the dates for the experts
       and also there is the two days of closings.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is there anything else on that --
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord there is one more point to
       raise with your Lordship which is that Dr Worden has --
       it has occurred to Dr Worden there is a new way of
       looking at the Peaks and the OCPs, OCRs and MSCs in this
       case which, in his view shed considerable light on
       certain of the Horizon issues.  He feels it is his duty
       to inform your Lordship of that.  He has already
       informed Mr Coyne of that fact and it is only right that
       I should bring it to your Lordship's attention.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Thank you.  I think on the same subject,
       then, and given that the expert evidence isn't going to
       start until the 20th, I'm also minded, unless each of
       you seek to persuade me otherwise, to order another
       expert's meeting anyway.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Simply in terms of the date.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, that would be convenient.  What we did
       was we -- solicitors and counsel and experts liaised to
       find the window that everybody can do, and that is in
       the -- towards the end of June.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, we are going to deal with all of
       that at ten to two. I have said it is starting -- are
       you talking about the evidence in general?
   MR GREEN:  The expert evidence.  Two experts.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I have ordered that that is happening on
       20 May.  It's starting on 20 May.  We will revisit it if
       you are going to try to seek to persuade me to move that
       date at ten to two but you are going to find it very
       difficult.  We will address that at ten to two.
   (1.09 pm)
                      (Luncheon adjournment)
   (1.50 pm)
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, it may be the source of some confusion
       last time might be because we misunderstood
       your Lordship's order in the light of what your Lordship
       said orally at the recusal application hearing, because
       your Lordship --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Which bit of the order?
   MR GREEN:  Well, there are two provisions, paragraph 9
       and -- setting the dates for the expert evidence, and
       paragraph 3.  We had understood paragraph 3 to reflect
       the fact that your Lordship had graciously accepted that
       my commitments in the week prior to that would mean we
       wouldn't be able to resume before that, and when we
       looked at dates afterwards --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, you told me that you were in the
       Court of Appeal the week before that.
   MR GREEN:  Correct.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So my original intention in this order
       was to order that the expert evidence commenced on 13
       May and that couldn't happen for the reasons you
       explained on Tuesday.
   MR GREEN:  Precisely, we had understood that, and then
       your Lordship mentioned us coming back to deal with the
       relevant dates.  We don't need to look at the transcript
       but the -- paragraph 9, we understood as reflecting what
       your Lordship had said orally to us.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, you, I think -- well, two points,
       Mr Green.  Firstly, the Post Office Horizon issues team
       weren't here at all.
   MR GREEN:  Precisely.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And the recusal team had no instructions
       in respect of experts' availability, etc.
   MR GREEN:  Exactly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Secondly, you sought to give me
       submissions in an understandably fragmented way about
       what Mr Coyne's plans were.
   MR GREEN:  Indeed.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So I said, which is reflected in the
       order, we will start on the 20th, I don't want to
       supervise a one-sided tennis match in terms of diary, we
       will deal with that when we have finished the evidence
       of fact.
   MR GREEN:  Exactly, and so that's what --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And you interpreted that as meaning we
       are not going to have any experts until June, did you?
   MR GREEN:  We didn't interpret that as meaning that.  We
       interpreted that as the parties should go off,
       conscientiously consider who is available when and come
       back to the court with an informed answer which was what
       I was trying to return to the court with.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, bearing in mind the overriding
       point which I also made on Tuesday, which is this is
       a part heard trial --
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The Court of Appeal takes priority,
       Supreme Court takes priority.  Other than that it's part
       heard, we are getting on with it.
   MR GREEN:  But it's difficult to do without the experts
       present, so we have got --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  What do you mean, without the experts
       present now or at any point after Tuesday?
   MR GREEN:  No, no.  What we sought to do, my Lord, is find
       dates the experts can attend, are able to attend,
       because, for example, you know, by way of example,
       Mr Coyne's in a three-week hearing at the moment on
       a three-week trial.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, Mr Coyne would have been giving
       evidence in this trial at the moment.  If the recusal
       application --
   MR GREEN:  Going forward from the 1st --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Can we just start from some basic
       principles, all right?  If the recusal application had
       not been issued, Mr Coyne's evidence would have been
       last week.
   MR GREEN:  Exactly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And this week Dr Worden would have been
       giving evidence and I assume Mr Coyne would have been in
       court to listen to his cross-examination.
   MR GREEN:  Exactly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So the fact he is in a three-week
       trial --
   MR GREEN:  Sorry, I was looking ahead at the diary for the
       period we have identified.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But we are part heard.  This is a part
       heard trial.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord yes.  I agree, and not of our making.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, no, I know that.
   MR GREEN:  That's the difficulty, because we have
       obviously --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But this trial is not now going to
       embark on a jigsaw puzzle to fit around things that
       other people are intending to do in the future.  It is
       a part heard trial.
   MR GREEN:  It is, and we have got some immoveable problems.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well that is a different issue, but none
       of them, I assume, can relate to 20 May.
   MR GREEN:  Well they do my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You didn't mention them to me on
   MR GREEN:  What I understood had happened, it may be my --
       I'm sure it's my fault, what I understood had happened
       was your Lordship had announced a date when it was going
       to resume and I noticed immediately that I was in the
       Court of Appeal and your Lordship then very fairly
       observed, well, actually, rather than have a tennis
       match about dates, we will deal with that today.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  With one of the players not here.
   MR GREEN:  Exactly.  So that was -- and so we thought to
       help the court we must go off, carefully, find out when
       the experts are and are not available, and identify any
       Supreme Court or Court of Appeal cases that we have and
       also one member of my team has got four weeks of
       adoption leave which is not --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I know, but both -- right, Mr Green, I'm
       sorry, there has to be a balance struck between this.
       You have a team with more than one counsel and so does
       Mr de Garr Robinson.  It might be entirely
       understandably that on some of the days not all the
       counsel can be available for all the days.  What we need
       is the cross-examining counsel, the main counsel for the
       other side and the experts.  That's what we need in
       order to deal with the expert evidence.  If we start
       trying to fit together a matrix that includes the
       entirety of both full teams plus all the experts'
       commitments, we will still be dealing with this at the
       end of 2019.  That's not going to happen.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, we have found a window that is possible
       for everyone in June.
   MR GREEN:  At the end of June, as I understand it.  There
       may be some difficulty with my learned friend possibly
       having a holiday commitment at the end, but we have
       found a window when everyone can do it, because
       Ms Donnelly, for example, is the senior junior on my
       team and she has got four weeks of adoption leave in May
       which is --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You don't have to go into those sorts of
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, we are hesitant to be prejudiced on the
       claimant's side by something that is not of our making.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, all right.
   MR GREEN:  If there's no -- we will let your Lordship look
       at the dates --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I'm not going to look at the dates in
       this form I'm going to come on to the dates in a moment
       but that's our outline situation, is you are saying
       revisit paragraph 3 and the debate that was had in front
       of me by Mr Cavender and you, don't have the experts on
       20 May, put it off a month and approach it that way.
       That's the nub of it.
   MR GREEN:  Under paragraph 9 that's the --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I'm not saying that because it's in
       paragraph 3 rather than paragraph 9 I'm not going to do
       it, I'm just identifying what it is you are telling me.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, yes, because of difficulties with expert
       availability, counsel's availability.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  In other words, treat it as if it is not
       a part trial is what it comes down to.
   MR GREEN:  No my Lord because we are excluding things that
       are not in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, so
       with respect, I'm trying to comply with what
       your Lordship has said, and so we are just looking only
       at experts' availability and trials to which we are
       committed in the Court of Appeal or above, so that is
       the only -- I'm not trying to treat it as if it is not
       a part heard trial at all.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  All I think that that can be interpreted
       as is as follows; approaching it as though it is expert
       availability not taking account that it's part heard.
       Because the fact an expert is doing X, Y or Z, if he is
       in a part heard trial he should be dealing with his
       evidence in the part heard trial, should he not, as
       a higher priority?  Neither of them can be in the Court
       of Appeal or the Supreme Court because those courts
       adopt hear evidence.
   MR GREEN:  No.  I mean, Mr Coyne is on his son's 21st
       birthday holiday abroad between 22 May and 29 May.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  Well, okay.  Those are your
       outlines.  I'm going to hear from Mr de Garr Robinson.
   MR GREEN:  I've got various Supreme Court issues later.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right. Mr de Garr Robinson?  Admittedly
       you weren't here on Tuesday but I imagine --
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  I've read the transcript and in
       fairness to my learned friend I did read the transcript
       as containing an indication by your Lordship that the
       commencement date would be -- you indicated 20 May, but
       my understanding from the transcript was there would
       then be a full debate about that today, but that is
       a welcome piece of agreement between my learned friend
       and myself.
           My Lord, my concern -- I do not protest that my
       expert is unavailable on 20 May.  One of my juniors is
       briefed on something else, but I don't complain about
       that either, it's not the Court of Appeal or the Supreme
       Court.  My Lord, one issue I do pray in aid, however, is
       that if Mr Coyne is cross-examined on 20 May there will
       then be something like ten days' gap between the
       completion of his evidence, in fact more than ten days,
       and the commencement of Dr Worden's cross-examination.
       My Lord, that gives my learned friend a material
       advantage because -- particularly in a complicated case
       of this sort, it will be a real advantage to have ten or
       twelve days to meticulously plan a cross-examination
       based on answers given in cross-examination the week
       before.  My Lord, I'm anxious about that, and I would
       invite your Lordship not to split up the experts in that
       way, but as a matter of simple fairness, to have the two
       experts giving evidence back-to-back, and I would
       therefore suggest, respectfully, and of course it is
       a matter entirely for your Lordship, I do entirely
       acknowledge that we are part heard in a trial, but I
       would respectfully suggest that the cross-examination
       should start at the beginning of the following term.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, what Mr Green has told me means
       that Mr Coyne's examination -- cross-examination --
       couldn't be done in the week of the 20th because it
       sounds from what he told me as if there is only two days
       that week available before Mr Coyne is going off to do
       whatever it is he is doing, and you are entitled to four
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So he would not have access to his
       expert at all.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  That's when I'm supposed to be
       cross-examining him.  I'm not making my learned friend's
       submissions.  If your Lordship directs that the hearing
       resume on 20 May I apprehend that Mr Coyne will attend
       for cross-examination.  I might be wrong about that, but
       my simple submission to your Lordship is, as a matter of
       simple fairness to both parties, your Lordship should
       arrive at a period where the experts are giving evidence
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And that period, so far as you are
       concerned --
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, I would suggest that it
       starts -- Mr Coyne's cross-examination starts on
       Tuesday, 4 June.  That would involve your Lordship
       sitting for four days, that would involve your Lordship
       sitting on the Friday of that week.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, that's not an issue.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  And then Dr Worden giving evidence on
       the --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So that is a four-day week because it is
       vacation on the Monday.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Because term starts on the Tuesday.
       My Lord, Dr Worden giving evidence on 10 June for,
       I think, three days, I apprehend.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, it was three with a possibility of
       four because I proffered parity on number of days and
       Mr Green hadn't decided.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  And then, my Lord, I would
       respectfully suggest that it makes sense from bitter
       experience, it makes sense to have a week off to allow
       the closing submissions to be properly formulated, and
       then have oral submissions the week following, the
       week -- that would be the week beginning 24 June.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Just remind me -- that was going to be
       a day each?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So that is your projected suggested
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord yes.  It may accommodate
       Mr Coyne's problems as well, but as I say that is
       a matter for my learned friend, not for me.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  All right.  Just give me a second.
           Yes.  All right.  Mr Green?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, the only difficulty with that, there are
       two points, Mr Coyne's in a trial on 11 June for three
       days which will try and have to get adjourned or --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, in terms of --
   MR GREEN:   -- because it is a part heard trial.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  In a way I don't want to sound grand
       about this, but those sorts of problems are issues in
       that other trial.  They can't be issues for us.
   MR GREEN:  I understand my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Or for me.  It's not because I'm trying
       to throw my toys out of the pram and assume some
       superior position, but -- is that a High Court trial?
   MR GREEN:  I don't know.  It is in Newcastle so --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, so it can't -- well, district
       registry maximum.  Okay.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, I'm in the Supreme Court in the middle
       week that my learned friend wants us to be preparing our
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, I have got something to say about
       submissions anyway in a minute but you're int he Supreme
       Court the week of the 17th?
   MR GREEN:  Exactly, and so if we were able to have a time
       when I could devote time to the case that would be
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  How many days are you in the Supreme
   MR GREEN:  I am in the Supreme Court on the Wednesday and
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Wednesday the 19th and Thursday the
   MR GREEN:  Correct.  I have got one day after that.
       A Friday.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  I understand.  All right.  But
       other than Mr Coyne's appointment in Newcastle, so far
       as the evidence is concerned, Mr de Garr Robinson's
       suggestion will work?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, let's put closing submissions to
       one side.  The important thing -- well, there is a range
       of important things, but in order; the first most
       important thing is to complete the evidence.
   MR GREEN:  Indeed.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Are you going to require or want four
       days or are you still three possibly four?
   MR GREEN:  Well my Lord, given that on this plan we are
       going to sit on the Friday --
   MR GREEN:   -- if we were able to sit on the Tuesday,
       Wednesday, Thursday I would complete it in three.
   MR GREEN:  Just because that extra time may allow us to
       narrow what we have to challenge.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  That is understood.  Right.  Well, I'm
       going to deal with evidence first and then I'm going to
       come on to closing submissions.
           Paragraph -- can someone remind me of today's date?
       Is it the 11th?  Okay.  So unlike the order of the other
       day I would like some one of the counsel to draw this up
       and agree the wording.  Paragraph 3 of my order of 9
       April is varied so that the expert evidence is to
       commence on 4 June 2019 with Mr Coyne's evidence to be
       between 4 and 7 June inclusive and Dr Worden to be
       called on 11 June and his evidence to be between 11 and
       13 June inclusive.  Does that deal with the actual
           So that's expert evidence.
           Then the next issue is really closing submissions.
       Now, Mr de Garr Robinson, you suggested a week which is
       sensible.  You have heard what Mr Green is doing that
       week.  It seems to me closing submissions could be
       a little bit later than that.  I don't know if you have
       anything that you want to say about that.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, I would have no objections to having
       more time for written closings.  The closings might be
       shorter as a result.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  Well, that would be beneficial.
       So then if we move your suggestion a week and we could
       have closings on 1 and 2 July.  One day each.
           Mr Green, is that -- so that's moved it a week to
       reflect your Supreme Court activity.
   MR GREEN:  I'm grateful my Lord.  Very grateful for that.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  So are those dates all now quite
       clear?  Good.  Right.  So that's evidence.
   MR GREEN:  Would your Lordship want the closing submissions
       in on the Thursday before?  Or the Friday.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, I think the Thursday.  Thank you
       very much for mentioning that.  In fact, let's say in
       view of how long you will have had them, let's say noon
       on the Thursday.  Noon on Thursday the 22nd.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, would it be possible to have the
       following week because we are coming back on the 1st
       and --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Oh I'm sorry, did I say 22nd?  I meant
       27th. All right?
           So that deals with evidence, that deals with
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr de Garr Robinson?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, I need to address
       your Lordship on -- it is a matter of some awkwardness
       actually.  Dr Worden has recently realised that there is
       a new way of looking at the evidence in this case which,
       in his view, could greatly assist your Lordship, assist
       the court, in deciding Horizon issues 1, 12 and 13.
       This approach involves focusing on those Peaks OCRs,
       OCPs and MSCs which actually mention the FAD codes of
       one or more of the claimant branches.
           Just to explain, when Fujitsu did any authorised
       remote handling of data, to put it neutrally, which
       might affect branch accounts, they raised an OCP, OCR or
       MSC whose text was likely to include the six digit FAD
       code of the relevant branch.  So it's therefore possible
       to search all the OCPs, OCRs and MFCs with a view to
       finding all of those which mention the claimant branches
       during the relevant claimant's period of tenure.  This
       search yields a limited number of OCPs, OCRs and MSCs,
       and it's therefore possible to assess expert issues 12
       and 13, which is how often was remote access facility
       exercised and what effect did it have.  It is possible
       to assess those questions as they affect the claimants
       by examining that much smaller document set.  My Lord,
       that is the first exercise that he would like to
       undertake, and indeed he has embarked work on -- I think
       this week he has embarked work on that.
           Second, if a detected bug affected the accounts of
       any branch the Peak relating to that bug was likely to
       mention that branch's FAD code.  Typically, it will
       also -- it may also mention a sum of money.  It's
       therefore possible to search all the Peaks in the same
       way that I have just outlined, looking for Peaks which
       mention any claimant's FAD code during the relevant
       claimant's period of tenure, and again, this document
       could shed some light on Horizon Issue 1 to which extend
       is it likely that bugs have affected the relevant
           Now, Dr Worden has specifically asked me to offer
       his apologies to the parties and to the court that he
       didn't think of this before.  In fact, frankly, he is
       kicking himself that he didn't do so.  He believes that
       he and Mr Coyne would only need a short time to consider
       the relevant documents and to consider how it affects
       their views on those issues.  He wishes to discuss the
       documents with Mr Coyne with a view to agreeing what
       they do or do not show.
           My Lord, in the days since the recusal application
       was issued he started to consider how the new approach
       affects his views.  He believes on Issue 1 it allows the
       parties to make a much simpler analysis of the point,
       and he takes a similar view in relation to the remote
       access issues.  It makes, in his view, it possible for
       the experts to form a view as to how often remote access
       was exercised and what its likely effect was.
           It is Dr Worden's view that it is his duty under CPR
       Part 35 to inform the court of this change of view and
       to allow the court to consider whether or not it wishes
       to see it considered.  That belief is based, as
       your Lordship will be aware, on CPR35.3 which imposes
       a duty on experts to help the court on the matters
       within their expertise, whether or not they are
       instructed so to do.  My Lord, it's also based on
       CPR35 -- I should say the practice direction CPR35,
       paragraph 2.5, which requires experts to inform the
       court of any change of views.
           I should emphasise this -- none of this comes at the
       request or instigation of my client.  This has come from
       Dr Worden.  This is his idea.  My Lord, he wishes to
       discuss it with Mr Coyne in a further meeting between
       the experts, but of course it's -- it's only right that
       your Lordship should be aware of that.  I'm not making
       any application for permission to put in supplemental
       expert reports --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I don't think you have any supplemental
       experts' reports to apply for permission for, are you?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  I'm not making any kind of
       application, I'm simply sharing with your Lordship the
       view that has been expressed to me by Dr Worden.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But in order to -- I'm grateful for that
       and that's noted, but in order to make an application to
       put in supplementary expert evidence from Dr Worden you
       would need to have a supplementary expert report from
       Dr Worden, wouldn't you.  You can't apply for permission
       in the abstract.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Well my Lord I'm conscious of
       your Lordship's own judgment in the Imperial Chemical
       Industries case against Merrill Technology and
       your Lordship will have a much clearer recollection than
       I do of the criticisms you levelled at one of the
       experts for going off and doing an exercise on the basis
       of documents that he had, and for not engaging in
       a collaborative process with the other expert with
       a view to them jointly coming to a view as to whether it
       was beneficial and what it did or did not show.  I have
       brought a copy of that case here, but I apprehend
       your Lordship doesn't need to be reminded of it.
           My Lord, in those circumstances your Lordship may
       think it appropriate for that procedure, the procedure
       that your Lordship described in paragraph 158 of that
       judgment to be followed in this case, but as I say I'm
       not making any application to your Lordship.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, no.  I understand entirely the
       difference between a collaborative exercise explored by
       experts either jointly or singly, and a supplementary
       expert's report but I go back to the point that I have
       just mentioned.  In order to apply for permission to
       adduce extra expert evidence you would have to have
       a draft of the report for which you would be seeking
       permission, wouldn't you?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord not necessarily.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  You don't think so?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, I would submit not.  It would
       depend on the circumstances.  Often one would have such
       a report.  I'm conscious that in the ICI case
       your Lordship cited as a reason for not giving the
       relevant party permission to put in a report which they
       had prepared, that the experts hadn't gone through that
       collaborative process and I'm quite anxious to ensure
       that my expert doesn't fall into the same trap, if I can
       put it that way.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, depending on whichever point one
       reaches in terms of you actually make an application to
       put in a supplementary expert's report, that application
       will be dealt with as and when it's made, so I'm not
       dealing with that either positively or negatively at the
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Thank you.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  What I am going to do, which I think I
       explained to you just before the short adjournment, I am
       going to make an order for the experts to meet again.  I
       am not in any way going to proscribe or insist on the
       content or agenda of that meeting.  It's just an order
       for a further meeting.  What they explore, wish to
       explore, how it's done, etc, is solely a matter for
       them, but I'm going to make a direction in respect of
       a further meeting.
           Before I do that though, Mr de Garr Robinson, is
       there anything you want to add on this particular point?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, I don't have an application.
       I simply feel it is my duty to inform your Lordship
       of --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I understand.  I will just seek
       observations from Mr Green.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord --
   MR GREEN:  It's probably of the, "In any", variety.  The
       only observation is we are slightly concerned that this
       is a -- what is proposed is a slightly different
       iteration of what Dr Worden was already doing.  We were
       concerned he appeared to be doing in his existing
       reports, which is rather than giving evidence about the
       Horizon issues as formulated at CE1/1, which was
       generally and not by reference to all the individual
       claimants, how were these questions to be answered,
       instead, to invite your Lordship basically to enter into
       the sort of {C1/1/1} exercise to which such great
       exception was taken, we say albeit on a flawed premise,
       on the recusal application, namely to start going
       through individual SubPostmasters and invite
       your Lordship because FAD codes have not been included
       in Peaks, to conclude, without any disclosure from the
       claimant's cohort, other than the few people we have
       got, that they haven't actually happened and bounce us,
       and it's difficult to resist the temptation to think
       that if the factual premise upon which Dr Worden's
       report is based starts to fall away in factual evidence
       and you suddenly get, "I have come up with a completely
       new idea".
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, that is a different point.
   MR GREEN:  It is a different point but it's not one which we
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, all I intend to do so far as the
       experts -- and I will just tell you what the proposed
       direction is in terms so you can seek to -- well, make
       any observation before I actually make the order, I
       intend to order that at least one further meeting be
       held between the experts to seek further agreement on
       the Horizon issues by 4 o'clock on 3 May, so that gives
       them quite a long time to do it.  That's not saying they
       can only have one meeting, they might decide -- I
       suppose it ought to say, and if such agreement can be
       reached the production of a fifth agreed joint
       statement.  Do either of you have any observations on
       that order?  No?  It seems perfectly non-controversial.
       The only thing is it imposes a date but it's not a date
       on the imminent horizon.
           Right.  So that's the experts.  Anything else in
       terms of directions?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord is there any cut-off date by which any
       application for a supplemental statement should be made?
   MR GREEN:  No, so we will leave it open and deal with it if
       it comes?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I'm not generally persuaded cut-off
       dates are a good idea.  Any application will be -- any
       application will be made by either side for any further
       material and will be dealt with if or when they are
       issued in accordance with all the principles that are
       set down in the CPR.
           Right.  So as far as directions for resumption then,
       is that everything?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord I believe so.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  There is some minor assorted
       miscellany of housekeeping.  Mr de Garr Robinson, you
       were part of the way through a redactions review.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord I was, and this is a matter of
       great embarrassment to myself.  Coming back here today
       I have done -- I have gone through all of the documents
       except one, and there is still one outstanding and if
       I had known we were coming back today then that document
       would have been gone through already and I can't
       apologise enough.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And the results of the ones that you
       have gone through absent that one?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, your Lordship will recall --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I think you had done three.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  One has already been released.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Two documents involving claims to
       legal privilege, my Lord, in my judgment they are
       legally privileged.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, there is then a series of
       documents which have been redacted for confidence and
       irrelevance.  My Lord, in relation to those, the
       approach I'm adopting will involve the unredaction, as
       it were, of a number of extra passages, and in order to
       make things easier for everyone to see that there isn't
       any great concealment going on, what I'm currently
       minded to do is to unredact most of the headings, so one
       can see what is being dealt with in the parts that are
       still redacted.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  So whether that's strictly in
       accordance with the rules, I don't know, but that seems
       to me to be a helpful way of shedding light on what
       might otherwise be a matter for suspicion.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  All right.  I tell you what I'm going to
       do about this.  I'm going to order, and it will go in
       today's order, please, that the results of the review of
       redactions exercise undertaken by leading counsel for
       the Post Office in the Horizon issues trial to be
       identified in a letter from WBD to Freeth by ... and
       then you are going to suggest a date.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, seven days is ample time.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So by noon on the 18th. That's seven
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And then together with --
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  The relevant documents, insofar as --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:   -- open brackets, if any, close
       brackets, and then if there is any further actions or
       anything that is necessary to be taken they will flow
       after that.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord yes.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So today's order is going to have
       a provision in, and it's to be a letter.  All right?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Thank you my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  So that's an outstanding housekeeping
       matter which I had on my list.  Have you got any on your
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord no.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, there are a couple of dates which are at
       large, or potentially to be fixed.  Your Lordship may or
       may not want to deal with them today.  One is the costs
       of the common issues judgment which we had suggested 8
       May which was a date upon which we were going to be
       coming back for this trial, and your Lordship did have
       a window for it then.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes.  Well, because I was supposed to be
       hearing closing submissions.
   MR GREEN:  Precisely, so we're going to suggest common
       issues costs and the adjourned costs of the recusal
       application, namely as to basis and payment, whether it
       be summarily assessed or put off to assessment with
       a payment on account.  Those two costs issues --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  They need to be fixed.  You want them on
       the 8th?
   MR GREEN:  On the 8th.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I'm minded to do it some time the week
       of the 20th, to be honest.
   MR GREEN:  20th of?
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  May, like the 23rd.  That will be time
       estimate half a day, I imagine.
   MR GREEN:  Half a day.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Half a day.  Yes.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord, we can make ourselves available for
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr de Garr Robinson?  I imagine it won't
       be you, it will be the other team.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, it won't be me and so I'm
       speaking on instructions.  My Lord, my primary
       submission is your Lordship -- I would invite
       your Lordship not to make any listing of any matters of
       that sort until the appeal that will today be being
       issued in relation to recusal is dealt with.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, there is an application for --
       permission will be known about before then, won't it.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  I apprehended your Lordship would say
       that, hence the directions you have made in relation to
       the Horizon trial, and there I would simply submit that
       it makes a great deal of sense to fix a time by which
       point the Court of Appeal --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Well, that's why I chose the week of the
       20th. I tell you what I'm going to do.  I'm going to put
       liberty to apply in today's order, so that if and when
       there is any developments on the front you have just
       identified you can always come back.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The common issues costs won't be
       affected by the recusal application, prospects in the
       Court of Appeal, because that involves submissions that
       I think were lodged in writing on 29 March by both sides
       and the position of the Post Office was it was premature
       to make any order for costs because one wouldn't know
       who had won and that the Post Office had been partially
       successful in any event, both of which were identified
       by me in my recusal judgment as being correct, so that
       position won't change, whether I'm recused or not, and
       I will still have to deal with common issues costs
       because they wouldn't be dealt with by a new managing
       judge, they would have to be dealt with by me, but with
       liberty to apply if and when the recusal application
       were to have any life breathed into it by a grant of
       permission to appeal, well then that date can be readily
       refixed without anyone having to come back.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord I hear what your Lordship
       says.  Your Lordship will understand that's not my
       submission, but --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, no, I understand.  All right.  So
       today's order will be that the hearing of the
       application by the claimants for their costs on the
       common issues, together with associated matters -- well,
       actually forget, "Associated matters" -- application by
       the claimants for their costs on the common issues trial
       and the further order necessary on the costs recusal
       application under paragraph 8 of the order of 9 April
       will be dealt with on 23 May 2019, time estimate half
       a day, but at the bottom of the order, please, it will
       say, "Liberty to apply".
   MR GREEN:  My Lord then --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is that everything?
   MR GREEN:  No it isn't everything.  I'm sorry.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is that everything on the costs?
   MR GREEN:  Everything on the costs, yes it is.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Next point?
   MR GREEN:  And my Lord then the -- we have been obviously
       slightly thrown by the intervention and what's happened,
       and --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  The intervention?
   MR GREEN:  The recusal application.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Oh well ...
   MR GREEN:  It's because we are one team responding to the
       different streams coming at us, but there are directions
       for round 3 --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes there are.
   MR GREEN:   -- which start at any moment.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Yes they do.
   MR GREEN:  And we are going --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And which was set on the understanding
       that this trial would be over.
   MR GREEN:  Precisely, and we would invite your Lordship to
       vary the dates for those.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  Do you want to call them up on
       the common screen?
   MR GREEN:  Yes.  It's in the -- I can tell your Lordship
       what they are.  {C7/39/1}.  It's in the seventh CMC
       order, and in terms of sort of sequential progress we
       have got the -- at paragraph 4.1 {C7/39/2} we have got
       the IPOCs being pleaded on 15 May and we have thereafter
       got the individual defences, 17 June, 8 July.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  And you are asking for extensions to all
       those dates?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord yes and there is a sort of slight wrinkle
       in that where the round 3 issues relate to breach and/or
       the deliberate concealment --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  By, "Round 3", you mean further issues I
       think. We're called them, "Further issues".
   MR GREEN:  Sorry, further issues, relate to breach, that's
       dependent on the findings your Lordship has made in the
       common issues judgment, which the defendant has said
       it's going to appeal.
   MR GREEN:  And there is an asymmetry of impact of costs
       which are expended for the claimants.  We have
       a category of impact that the defendant doesn't have
       which, although we don't think that appeal will be
       successful, we have to be prudent in trying to manage
       the --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Understood.  So what is it you are
   MR GREEN:  So my Lord, we would invite your Lordship to stay
       the directions pending the determination --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  On the further issues trial?
   MR GREEN:   -- on the further issues trial, pending the
       determination of permission on their common issues
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Which has been mentioned by Lord
       Grabiner but hasn't actually been issued?
   MR GREEN:  No, and the date for that was meant to be 16 May
       and we wondered whether your Lordship might consider
       bringing that forward because of the impact only --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  No, I think what I will do is I will --
       how many directions are there following on from
       paragraph 4 of this order?
   MR GREEN:  Quite a lot.  The ones that are immediately
       important to cover the period when permission will be
       considered are effectively, I think, contained in
       paragraph 4 and there is a provision for budgets on 1
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Right.  So what you need, really, is
       that the directions in the seventh CMC order relating to
       the further issues trial from paragraph 4 onwards to be
       stayed --
   MR GREEN:  To be stayed pending the --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:   -- well, to be stayed, comma, that stay
       to be lifted upon seven days' notice in writing by
       either party.
   MR GREEN:  Indeed.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  When that stay is lifted, whenever it
       might be, then the court will revisit those directions.
   MR GREEN:  I'm most grateful my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Because it depends when the stay --
   MR GREEN:  Exactly.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  There is no point me going through now
       and giving a whole bunch of dates which are overtaken,
       and things might happen very quickly they might not, so
       I think that's what I will do.
           The thing I'm not going to do at the moment, or
       indeed at all but I haven't prejudged it, is change the
       dates for the further issues trial.
   MR GREEN:  My Lord we don't --
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  At the moment.
   MR GREEN:  Exactly.  Well, we will have to see.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  But that depends what happens.  It's
       something of a moveable feast.  Mr de Garr Robinson?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, the application made by my
       learned friend takes me somewhat by surprise.  It hasn't
       been shared with my instructing solicitors before that.
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  So what I can say is inevitably rather
       limited but my Lord I have been glancing over
       frantically while my learned friend was speaking.
       My Lord, in principle, the Post Office has no objection
       to a stay of the sort that has been proposed.  I would
       only refer your Lordship to the fact that the stay ought
       to include paragraph 3.4 of the order that I see on the
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Is that disclosure?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  Yes.  My Lord, that's all I can tell
       your Lordship now.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  It seems to me, whatever form of words
       the two of you settle, or the two groups of you settle
       on in the next hour or two, the principle is that dates
       that are looming upon the immediate horizon or the --
       I didn't mean a pun -- dates that are looming
       immediately for the further issues trial should not be
       seen as having to be complied with at the moment because
       they have been overtaken by events, so disclosure on
       further issues, IPOCs, any of the other directions that
       are supposed to be happening in May and early June
       sensibly have to be relieved in some way, either by
       moving them later or me just imposing a stay.
           I mean, I assume that that principle seems --
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  My Lord, I entirely see the force of
       that principle.  As I say, my instructions are not to
       oppose a direction of that sort.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  All right.  So that's what I will do
       then, and if it can as well -- I did say in my order say
       paragraph 4, Mr de Garr Robinson has pointed out it
       needs to include paragraph 3.4 which it obviously does.
       If there are any other paragraphs, I think the seventh
       CMC order is one of those specials that goes on for some
       pages, and if there are any others in there that I have
       missed, then doubtless you will sweep them up when you
       have a look at it.
           Right.  So is that all your housekeeping?
   MR GREEN:  My Lord that's all our housekeeping.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  Mr de Garr Robinson, I don't think you
       had anything?
   MR DE GARR ROBINSON:  I have nothing.
   MR JUSTICE FRASER:  I don't have any more.
           There is a point I have to draw to your attention.
       This court is no longer our court, as of now.  It will,
       I hope, become our court again when we come back in
       June, but that can't be guaranteed.  Obviously I will do
       my best, and thank you all very much and thank you, in
       particular, to Opus and I will see you all in June if
       not before.
   (2.34 pm)
            (Hearing adjourned to a date to be fixed)