Wednesday 24 March 2021

Day 3 transcript: Court of Appeal - 42 Subpostmaster appellants

 This is the unperfected transcript from Court 4:

           1                                       Wednesday, 24 March 2021

           2   (10.30 am)

           3                           Housekeeping

           4   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Mr Stein, two preliminary matters,

           5       please, before we start your submissions.

           6           First there is an outstanding inquiry from yesterday

           7       about the figures for prosecutions, and no doubt that is

           8       being addressed.  We would be grateful to receive that.

           9   MR STEIN:  My understanding is that Ms Carey is dealing with

          10       that at the moment and is seeking agreement across

          11       the parties.

          12   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  That is very helpful.

          13           Secondly, just to issue a reminder about the wearing

          14       of masks by everyone, except those who either are

          15       speaking or are liable to have to speak at any moment.

          16           Thank you.

          17                 Submissions in reply by MR STEIN

          18   MR STEIN:  My Lord, in making these submissions this morning

          19       in reply to those put forward by Mr Altman, first of all

          20       in a moment I will make a couple of general responses

          21       but then I will go to the case of Tague to examine its

          22       usefulness within these proceedings, and finally I'll

          23       address the questions that have been raised by Mr Altman

          24       concerning Mr Clarke, the advices, and then briefly the

          25       way that we have described the Post Office and its


           1       actions as being that generally that comes under

           2       a heading of corporate malfeasance.

           3           First of all, Mr Altman, in what could be described

           4       as a spirited defence of the Post Office, has sought to

           5       compare the actions of the Post Office with that of the

           6       CPS, and at one stage was seeking to describe the

           7       position of the CPS as perhaps not having an in-depth

           8       knowledge of such matters as DNA or similar types of

           9       technical discussion.

          10           But the real difference between the CPS and the

          11       Post Office is that the CPS might be forgiven for not

          12       understanding its own funding arrangements.  It might be

          13       forgiven for not understanding how, in fact, money is

          14       brought into and spent within the organisation.  It

          15       might be forgiven for not understanding its own

          16       accounting systems.  It is much harder to forgive the

          17       Post Office.

          18           The Post Office is all about the management of its

          19       accounting systems.  It effectively is and has as its

          20       sole purpose what happens by way of financial

          21       transactions, their routing through the business and

          22       their reliability.

          23           The CPS and the Post Office are poles apart in their

          24       occupations.  The business of the Post Office was, as

          25       described, to act as a reliable channel for funds, money


           1       brought into it and taken out of the business, both for

           2       itself and also those people trusted to look after the

           3       sums of money coming into branches.

           4           Therefore reliability of the Horizon system was very

           5       much part of its business.  This is very different and

           6       a very different position to that of the CPS.

           7           Telling also, we suggest, was Mr Altman's attempt to

           8       describe what has happened over the 13 years of

           9       prosecutions.  In that difficulty that we all have as

          10       advocates sometimes, where we have to accept that

          11       something has gone wrong but we are seeking to limit how

          12       far we take that acceptance before the court, he has had

          13       to accept that the failures in disclosure over those so

          14       many years was serious.

          15           We need to remember and remind ourselves that this

          16       is 13+ years of failures of disclosure that has only

          17       latterly been accepted by the Post Office in the way

          18       that it has in accepting those matters and those appeals

          19       before this court.  That goes beyond what we suggest is

          20       Mr Altman's typification of this, as being serious.

          21       That, of itself, as Mr Moloney has set out in detail, is

          22       an affront to justice.

          23           Going forward from those remarks, may I take the

          24       court, please, to the case of Tague in bundle B, please,

          25       and page 444 is its starting point.


           1           The decision in Tague was given by

           2       Sir Brian Leveson, the President of the Queen's Bench

           3       Division.  Brief facts only:

           4           It concerned an application for extradition of

           5       an individual from Spain.  The basis of that application

           6       was that Mr Tague, through the trial itself -- before if

           7       I recall correctly His Honour Judge Roberts -- had

           8       absconded.  The team on his behalf representing him were

           9       able to continue and the trial reached a conclusion, and

          10       in absentia he was sentenced to 23 years imprisonment.

          11       That was an allegation arising out of an allegation of

          12       drugs and firearms.

          13           So the simple facts were: he absconded during trial

          14       and refused to come back.  Later on there was

          15       an application for extradition.  During the application

          16       for extradition -- and this was analysed by the court --

          17       it seems there were then questions as to exactly what

          18       had been put forward and what was meant.  In essence,

          19       what happened was that the application for extradition

          20       had been granted, as was the practice in Spain at the

          21       time.  I read from the headnote:

          22           "... on the condition that the offender would be

          23       entitled to a retrial on his return.  But in fact no

          24       such entitlement applied in the law of England

          25       and Wales."


           1           There was then a discussion before the court, and

           2       evidence provided as to who knew what within the

           3       National Crime Agency regarding what had been set out in

           4       the application and any supporting documentation.

           5           Witness evidence was provided that said that

           6       essentially these documents, once granted, the documents

           7       are then in truth not really examined.  Part of the

           8       reason for that is because they would have required

           9       translation at any particular time.

          10           So in short, the application for extradition from

          11       Spain of an individual who had absconded from a very

          12       serious case.  The position therefore that was being

          13       examined on behalf of the applicant by Mr Summers(?)

          14       Queens Counsel was whether that post-conviction

          15       behaviour -- in other words effectively, it seems, being

          16       suggested that the National Crime Agency had contributed

          17       to the impression given to the Spanish state that

          18       a trial would be granted to Mr Tague on return.

          19           So that background is how we then get to the

          20       consideration of whether this authority means anything

          21       to the question of: can post-conviction matters be taken

          22       into account?  Page 453, please, paragraph 34.

          23           Paragraph 34 sets out in very short terms the

          24       argument presented by Mr Summers.  On behalf of the NCA,

          25       Mr Cordwell accepted as follows:


           1           "Mr Peter Cordwell for the NCA, whilst challenging

           2       that it was appropriate to grant relief in this case,

           3       did accept that the authorities described in the concept

           4       of abuse of process were wide enough to cover misconduct

           5       post-trial, with the result that it was necessary to

           6       examine the case on that basis and on its merits."

           7           We then go to the part referred to by my learned

           8       friend Mr Altman at page 455, paragraph 43.  There had

           9       been an examination, starting in paragraph 37, of

          10       previous abuse of process cases which had in fact all

          11       concerned conduct which occurred prior to the conduct of

          12       a criminal trial.  So there had been some examination of

          13       this but, we suggest, and as we will see, very limited.

          14           Paragraph 43:

          15           "It is therefore not surprising that although

          16       Mr Summers points to the similarity between these cases

          17       and the present, both concerning extradition allegedly

          18       in breach of a foreign law, he accepted that applying

          19       the abuse of process to the present case would

          20       constitute an extension of the jurisdiction.  In short,

          21       he argues that public confidence in the criminal justice

          22       system generally justifies extending the second category

          23       of case beyond the trial, which is subject to judicial

          24       control, to post-conviction conduct, which is not.

          25           "Put another way, it entails a broader understanding


           1       of the concept of the criminal justice system, beyond

           2       criminal proceedings, to the enforcement of any

           3       resulting sentence.

           4           "I recognise the force of the argument but for my

           5       part I am not prepared to accept that it is correct.

           6       Given Mr Cordwell's concession, however, the

           7       jurisprudential basis for such an extension has not been

           8       the subject of adversarial argument.  Suffice to say,

           9       without being taken to agree with the proposition, for

          10       the purposes of this case I am prepared to assume that

          11       which has been conceded."

          12           Indeed then the approach is set out at the following

          13       page, page 456, as including the post-conviction

          14       conduct, in other words the application for extradition,

          15       the series of potential misunderstandings that have been

          16       set out and the examination before Sir Brian Leveson.

          17           In our respectful submission, therefore, this

          18       authority does not stand in the way of saying that

          19       post-conviction conduct is forbidden from examination in

          20       limb 2 abuse cases.  In fact, what it does say is, for

          21       the purposes of that case, on those facts, the court,

          22       without having had adversarial argument, was prepared to

          23       accept the concession made by Mr Cordwell.

          24           It does not stand as an authority, we suggest,

          25       therefore, for barring post-conduct proceedings.  Which


           1       is precisely why, in the disclosure arguments we put

           2       before this court concerning this particular matter, the

           3       conduct of the Post Office post-conviction, if it has

           4       similarities, if it has relevance to the type of conduct

           5       described by Mr Justice Fraser, in other words the way

           6       that Mr Justice Fraser described the conduct of the

           7       Post Office overall as being oppressive, if it has the

           8       same relevant type of behaviour within it, there is no

           9       reason whatsoever why it should not be taken

          10       into account.

          11           And we would be surprised, those of us who on

          12       occasions appear on behalf of the (inaudible word due to

          13       noise), we would be surprised if in a particular case

          14       when defending an individual, if my learned friends, who

          15       often appear on behalf of the prosecution in relevant

          16       criminal cases, if they were not to refer to

          17       post-offence behaviour as having some relevance to the

          18       offence or the offending conduct, if it had

          19       a connection.

          20           Our respectful submission is that post-conviction

          21       conduct, if it is relevant to the behaviour described

          22       within this appeal, in other words ongoing behaviour,

          23       ongoing behaviour of the oppressive conduct type or

          24       ongoing behaviour to conceal what had happened, is

          25       entirely relevant to these proceedings.


           1   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  In any event, as I think was canvassed

           2       with Mr Altman yesterday, we are not talking here about

           3       whether the Post Office has itself committed a criminal

           4       offence.  We are trying to work out, it may be said, in

           5       a more flexible way by reference to the material placed

           6       before us by the Post Office, whether there is

           7       abusive conduct.

           8   MR STEIN:  Yes.

           9   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Therefore I would at least suggest that

          10       concepts which might be more strictly acknowledged in

          11       the criminal sphere are not perhaps the right concepts

          12       for us to be considering here, albeit we are sitting in

          13       the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal.

          14   MR STEIN:  My Lord, I completely agree.

          15           And may I take you, and you may find support in

          16       this, to paragraph 49 of Tague.

          17           My Lord, this may assist.  Paragraph 49 in the

          18       judgment, in the description in the judgment:

          19           "This problem arises because maintaining confidence

          20       in the criminal justice system, or, as it has been put,

          21       avoiding an affront to the public conscience, is an aim

          22       or aspiration which has to be perceived from different

          23       directions.  On the one hand there is gross misconduct,

          24       which the criminal justice system cannot

          25       approbate: cases such as Bennett and Monk(?).  And on


           1       the other hand, however, it is important that conduct

           2       and results that may merely be the result of state

           3       incompetence or negligence should not necessarily

           4       justify what might colloquially be described as a 'get

           5       out of jail free' card.  In those cases the public might

           6       conclude that the justice system was little more than

           7       a game."

           8           Perhaps the crucial part, therefore, we get to, if

           9       this assists:

          10           "There is no bright line, and a broadbrush approach

          11       is likely to be necessary.  In reference to CC v CF,

          12       Lord Justice Lloyd Jones put the approach in this way at

          13       paragraph 99:

          14           "The objective of maintaining the integrity of the

          15       legal system can be achieved only by a consideration of

          16       the entirety of the conduct in question and untrammelled

          17       by any rigid rules."

          18   MRS JUSTICE FARBEY:  Is there not a difference though

          19       between -- the court may not be trammelled, if that is

          20       the word, by rigid rules, but you have to give

          21       a reasoned judgment, and would it not be said that we

          22       have (Inaudible) judgments, so we can make inferences

          23       from future events about the past, in that same orthodox

          24       way of judicial reasoning and indeed it happens day in

          25       and day out in the Crown Courts and we most of us here


           1       have probably given directions to that effect to juries.

           2       But just because we are untrammelled by any rigid rules

           3       doesn't mean we give an unreasoned judgment.  We have to

           4       reach (Inaudible) and to give our reasons.

           5           It seems to me that, with respect, you may be making

           6       too much of this point, in that isn't an easier route to

           7       say we can start from Event A and refer backwards in

           8       time to Event B.  That is a wholly orthodox way of

           9       reasoning, without having to look at what Sir Brian

          10       Leveson didn't decide in Tague.

          11   MR STEIN:  I completely agree, with no caveat to that

          12       agreement.

          13           The position, though, has been reached and put

          14       forward on behalf of the Post Office repeatedly by

          15       Mr Altman that Tague is a case that effectively puts the

          16       bar down and closes the curtain on behaviour.

          17           We disagree.  The entirety of this evidence needs to

          18       be considered in the round.  And evidence that can, by

          19       inference, demonstrate the (Inaudible) of the

          20       Post Office, at any time, we suggest, can be used by

          21       this court to consider and make its judgment.

          22           I agree also that the jurisdiction of abuse of

          23       process is littered with comments throughout cases

          24       whereby each judgment, each case and each factual

          25       scenario has to be considered specifically rather than


           1       there being a point of general application.  That is

           2       precisely because this jurisdiction, the jurisdiction to

           3       control its own process, is indeed a broad jurisdiction.

           4           So an example, an example only, of behaviour that

           5       this court could take into account and infer therefore

           6       from it in relation to.

           7   (10.51 am)

           8                       (Break in live feed)

           9   (10.54 am)

          10   MR STEIN:  Mr Justice Fraser sets this out:

          11           "When the Post Office served their evidence of fact,

          12       the claimants had asked the Post Office why there was no

          13       statement from Jenkins, whether Mr Jenkins was available

          14       to give evidence and also whether he was involved as one

          15       of the team of what the claimants referred to as the

          16       shadow experts.  This description was challenged by the

          17       Post Office, and the question of shadow experts

          18       ...(Reading to the words)... addressed was given for

          19       Mr Jenkins' absence in response to these requests or in

          20       evidence in the trial, although it was confirmed that

          21       Mr Jenkins was not one of the team of so-called

          22       shadow experts."

          23           512:

          24           "There the matter might have rested.  However, in

          25       the Post Office's written closing submissions


           1       an explanation of sorts was for the first time provided.

           2       This was in the context of two matters: firstly by way

           3       of explanation of Mr Godeseth's evidence and potentially

           4       to downplay its impact.  Secondly in relation to the

           5       claimant's complaints about the secondhand nature of

           6       some of the Post Office's factual evidence, because in

           7       large part this had emanated from Mr Jenkins.

           8           "This explanation by the Post Office included the

           9       following passages in its written submissions.  The

          10       claimants understandably complain that Mr Jenkins and

          11       the other source of Mr Godeseth's information could have

          12       given some of this evidence first hand, taking into

          13       account that Mr McLachlan's evidence specifically

          14       addressed things said or done by Mr Jenkins in relation

          15       to the Misra trial.  The Post Office was concerned that

          16       the Horizon issues trial could become an investigation

          17       of his role in this and other criminal cases.  Moreover,

          18       the Post Office was conscious that if it only adduced

          19       first-hand evidence in the trial it would end up having

          20       to call more witnesses than could be accommodated within

          21       the trial timetable."

          22           Mr Altman referred to Mr Jenkins in his submissions

          23       as someone, it seems, who was subject to a police

          24       investigation, so understandably hesitated therefore in

          25       making any further submissions regarding that.


           1           We know the background to what has happened with

           2       Mr Jenkins, that the position that he was in was

           3       considered within the Clarke advice.  We know that what

           4       happened later on -- and this goes to the question of

           5       the rounded consideration of evidence and, my Lady, your

           6       point about looking inferentially at the position of the

           7       Post Office -- we know how the Post Office reacted to

           8       this before Mr Justice Fraser: they actually provided

           9       an explanation.

          10           Now, we can get into questions of what is privileged

          11       and how far they could go in relation to privilege.  But

          12       this appears to be providing an explanation as to why

          13       they are not calling Mr Jenkins which doesn't appear at

          14       any stage to coincide with the Clarke advices.

          15           So this is an example, we suggest, of

          16       post-conviction behaviour that may be influential on

          17       this court as to what has happened.

          18           Now, whether Mr Justice Fraser, on hearing our

          19       remarks, on now having been told, potentially by the

          20       press, of what is in the Clarke advice, wants to take

          21       independent action as to what has been said to him is

          22       another matter entirely.  But it does perhaps assist

          23       this court, as do the various other remarks made by

          24       Mr Justice Fraser regarding the evidence that was

          25       provided to him.


           1           Can I take you, please, to bundle A, judgment

           2       number 3, please.

           3   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

           4   MR STEIN:  The paragraph within the judgment is, 547,

           5       page 260 of the bundle.  Judgment number 3, bundle A,

           6       page 260, internal paragraph 547.

           7           We now deal with the way that Mr Altman sought to

           8       attack our description, on behalf of those appellants we

           9       represent, of corporate malfeasance.  Well, pausing for

          10       thought, paragraph 547 at page 260:

          11           "These Post Office factual witnesses appear to

          12       maintain this view, notwithstanding the weight of

          13       material put to them and in the face of internal

          14       Post Office documents obtained in disclosure for this

          15       litigation.  That suggests the view may not be correct.

          16       Whether that view is in law or in fact justified can

          17       only finally be resolved after subsequent trials.  But

          18       they remain steadfastly committed in their collective

          19       psyche to the Post Office party view, despite such steps

          20       having been taken as amendments to the Camelot Software

          21       using the Ping Fix and the contents of some of their own

          22       internal documents that suggest to the contrary, they

          23       give me the impression that they simply cannot allow

          24       themselves to consider the possibility that the

          25       Post Office may be wrong, as the consequences of doing


           1       so are too significant to contemplate."

           2           Paragraph 548 refers to Mrs Van Den Bogerd, a very

           3       senior official within the Post Office who provided

           4       evidence before Mr Justice Fraser.

           5           Paragraph 548 of the judgment:

           6           "Unless I state to the contrary, I would only accept

           7       the evidence of Mrs Van den Bogerd and Mr Beale in

           8       controversial areas of fact in issue in this common

           9       issue trial if these are clearly and uncontrovertibly

          10       corroborated by contemporaneous documents."

          11           That is the judicial equivalent of not trusting them

          12       to tell him if the sky is blue outside without going

          13       outside to check.

          14           So we respectfully maintain what we have stated

          15       within the pleadings, that there is evidence within the

          16       material before this court which does demonstrate

          17       corporate malfeasance.  There is evidence that

          18       Mr Justice Fraser considered, having heard that evidence

          19       before him, that takes us in the direction of corporate

          20       cover-up and, lastly, overall, the conduct of the

          21       Post Office throughout, to corporate shame.

          22   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  If you look at this passage -- I think

          23       in fairness it is probably right to look at

          24       paragraph 545 as well, and the way that

          25       Mr Justice Fraser, as it were, takes his run-up to 547


           1       and 548, which is to say:

           2           "The problem with the Post Office's witnesses

           3       generally is that they have become so entrenched over

           4       the years that they appear absolutely convinced that

           5       there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Horizon

           6       system at all, and the explanation ...(Reading to the

           7       words)... either dishonesty or wholesale incompetence of

           8       the SPMs."

           9           I point that out to you because it may be said that

          10       that is the counterbalance to the submission you are

          11       urging upon us.

          12   MR STEIN:  My Lord, may I take you to paragraph 544.

          13   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Yes.

          14   MR STEIN:  "Regarding Mrs Van Den Bogerd, I find that she

          15       was simply trying to mislead me."

          16           And then moving onwards later on:

          17           "The Post Office has appeared determined to make

          18       this litigation, and therefore resolution of this

          19       intractable dispute, as difficult and expensive as

          20       it can."

          21   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Sorry, I just need to follow those

          22       specific references, Mr Stein.

          23   MR STEIN:  It is paragraph 544, my Lord.

          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  At the foot of page 259, this is

          25       something to do with somebody called Mr Abdulla.  And


           1       then the other matter?  Sorry, I just couldn't keep up

           2       with my note.

           3   MR STEIN:  Yes, within the same paragraph, it is the

           4       reference to Mrs Van Den Bogerd:

           5           "I find that she was simply trying to mislead me."

           6           There are a number of references throughout the

           7       judgment in relation to her evidence.  The tendency was,

           8       within the first of the judgments, to judgment number 3,

           9       Mr Justice Fraser found roundly that she was trying to

          10       mislead him.

          11           In the next judgment, number 6, some time later, he

          12       essentially came to the conclusion that perhaps the wind

          13       had slightly changed but not significantly.

          14   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you.

          15   (11.05 am)

          16                       (Break in live feed)

          17   (11.06 am)

          18           Submissions in reply by MS BUSCH (continued)

          19   MS BUSCH:  ... of course, it is true that that does not

          20       preclude taking a generic approach to a series of cases

          21       which share a common nexus, which clearly is the case

          22       here.

          23           Before I get to the main point, perhaps Mr Altman

          24       suggested at the end of his submissions that he, the

          25       appellants, were taking an indiscriminate approach,


           1       an indiscriminate global approach.  But that is

           2       (Inaudible) quite wrong.

           3   (11.08 am)

           4                       (Break in live feed)

           5   (11.10 am)

           6           -- events that took place in 2010 and therefore they

           7       did not apply, or certainly did not apply with much

           8       force, to events that preceded 2010.

           9           As to that, I make two points: first of all, with

          10       respect, I heartily endorse my Lady's comments made this

          11       morning that one can draw inferences from events that

          12       took place, as it were, at a future date and

          13       retrospectively, particularly in a case such as this one

          14       where there manifestly is, in the light of

          15       Mr Justice Fraser's findings, a persistent course of

          16       conduct on the part of the Post Office.

          17           So I adopt my Lady's submissions and suggest that

          18       the court can and should draw inferences from matters

          19       that took place at various points in time, to form

          20       a picture of there Post Office's conduct throughout the

          21       entire (inaudible word) period.

          22           That is the first point I make.  The second, further

          23       or alternatively perhaps, is that Mr Altman's

          24       construction of the CCRC's reasoning is, with the

          25       greatest of respect, inaccurate.


           1           So picking it up at paragraph 112 of the CCRC's

           2       statement of reasons, at page 47 of bundle A, tab 1 --

           3       I will not read the whole paragraph out, but you see:

           4           "The CCRC considers it at least arguable that

           5       a foundation of the Post Office's approach to criminal

           6       prosecutions has now been materially undermined by the

           7       High Court (Inaudible), in particular by the

           8       following findings."

           9           The relevant passages are then set out, including

          10       that Legacy Horizon was not remotely robust.

          11           So two points about that.  First of all,

          12       Legacy Horizon was the iteration of Horizon was in

          13       operation, so far as my clients, (Inaudible) concerned;

          14       secondly, it is apparent that CCRC was having regard not

          15       simply to the events that took place in 2010 but to the

          16       whole period.

          17           That is the first point.  Then secondly, if one

          18       looks at paragraph 124 of the CCRC statement of reasons:

          19           "In the CCRC's view the High Court findings

          20       summarised at paragraph 112 above are no less important

          21       to the consideration of whether there has been a second

          22       ...(Reading to the words)... abuse, and when those

          23       findings are considered in the round ..."

          24           And I emphasise "in the round".

          25   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Sorry, I have lost the paragraph.


           1   MS BUSCH:  Sorry, my Lord.  It is 124.  Page 51.

           2   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you.

           3   MS BUSCH:  So 124, the CCRC, if we go back to paragraph 112:

           4           "The High Court findings summarised at paragraph 112

           5       are no less important to a consideration of whether

           6       there had been a second category abuse of process [and

           7       I emphasise], when those findings are considered in the

           8       round, the CCRC considers that there is a cogent

           9       argument that, in the words of Lord Steyn in Latif, it

          10       was 'an affront to the public conscience ...(Reading to

          11       the words)... to bring criminal proceedings in any case

          12       where the reliability of ...(Reading to the words)... is

          13       central to the prosecution case when viewed in the

          14       evidential context against the Post Office applicant

          15       in question."

          16           So my Lord, self-evidently Mr Justice Fraser's

          17       judgments are extremely long, extremely detailed and it

          18       is not possible for the CCRC or indeed counsel in these

          19       proceedings to set out each and every finding of the

          20       judge.  Hence the fact that the parties were agreed in

          21       the final agreed statement of facts that the judgments

          22       should be read and taken into consideration in

          23       their entirety.  And that plainly was the view that the

          24       CCRC also took.

          25           And then just for the sake of completeness, again,


           1       paragraph 126, the CCRC considers that the common issues

           2       and Horizon issues judgments, read as a whole, raise

           3       significant doubts about whether POL can be said to have

           4       approached the prosecution of SPMs with ...(Reading to

           5       the words)... and discussions on the CCRC considered to

           6       include ...(Reading to the words)..."

           7           Now, again, the first item to note as far as that is

           8       concerned, as I say, is in the entirety of the judge

           9       judgments, taking into consideration a fortiori the

          10       entirety of the period from 1999/2000 up to 2013 or so.

          11           That is the first point.  The second point is that

          12       the CCRC, as I think we are all familiar with, took the

          13       view that the same factual findings formed the basis

          14       both of the category 1 abuse and, at least potentially,

          15       the category 2 abuse.

          16           So as to that, they are not, in my submission,

          17       making the error that is adverted to in some of the

          18       judgments, of eliding category 1 abuse and category 2

          19       abuse.  What the CCRC is at least implicitly saying, and

          20       I endorse it, is that the facts that lend themselves to

          21       the category 1 abuse argument, in the circumstances of

          22       this case, also lend themselves to a category 2

          23       abuse argument.

          24           And the reason for that, in my submission, goes back

          25       to the submissions I made at the outset, which is that


           1       whereas category 1 abuse pertains to the relationship

           2       first and foremost between prosecution and defence,

           3       category 2 abuse implicates the court.

           4           And the critical consideration in this case,

           5       plainly, in my submission, is that over the 15-year

           6       period, or 13-year period, the Post Office routinely

           7       misled the criminal courts.

           8           There was a suggestion deriving from my Lords' and

           9       my Lady's judgment reasons, I should say perhaps,

          10       following on from the hearing in November that knowledge

          11       at least arguably is an additional criterion, and I will

          12       come on to that in a minute.  I say the CCRC is correct

          13       because it is simply the facts that establish category 1

          14       abuse is sufficient for category 2.  But, as I say,

          15       I want to deal with the issue of knowledge.

          16           Before I leave the statement of reasons, going on

          17       over the page to the paragraph from which my learned

          18       friend said this, paragraph 1 of (Inaudible).

          19           "Furthermore, and whilst acknowledging again the

          20       findings of bad faith, it was a prerequisite so far as

          21       the second category of abuse of process, the CCRC notes

          22       with concern the following findings of the High Court

          23       judgments ... Post Office deliberately chose not to

          24       disclose all of details of defects in Horizon because

          25       they might have an impact on ongoing legal proceedings."


           1           That is obviously (Inaudible) issue notes, and then

           2       there is the (Inaudible) issue that is mentioned in

           3       subparagraph 2.

           4           So as to this, I say first, to repeat myself, one

           5       can draw inferences from what happened in 2010, looking

           6       back over the course of conduct.  Secondly, if anything,

           7       paragraph 127 was concerned -- obviously incredibly

           8       serious -- if anything it is effectively (Inaudible),

           9       plainly the CCRC thought there was enough in the matters

          10       that they have listed in paragraph 112 to generate

          11       a category 2 abuse case, and then it goes from bad to

          12       worse because, if that was not bad enough, then we have

          13       the legacy of the issue notes to compound the matter.

          14           So those are my submissions on the CCRC's statement

          15       on reasons.  Then turning back (Inaudible), my learned

          16       friend appeared -- I should say again, I should say

          17       I adopt my learned friend's submissions in response, I

          18       am particularly grateful to both him and Mr Moloney and

          19       Ms Raghallaigh, those two in particular we have

          20       obviously been communicating with.  In particular

          21       I adopt the submissions of Mr Moloney concerning

          22       Fujitsu.  I just want to touch on what was known or

          23       ought to have been known.

          24           Again, Mr Altman appeared to be suggesting that

          25       Fujitsu may have known about the existence of the bugs,


           1       errors and defects, which self-evidently they did, but

           2       they kept that knowledge to themselves and did not share

           3       it with the Post Office.  I just make a couple of

           4       preliminary points so far as that is concerned.

           5           First, in my submission, when one reads

           6       Mr Justice Fraser's judgments, at the very least, at the

           7       very least, the Post Office was put on notice of the

           8       possibility that there was a problem with the Horizon

           9       system.  In my submission that is sufficient, given the

          10       context, given that what is in issue is criminal

          11       prosecutions, guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the fact

          12       they were put on notice about that possibility casts

          13       a duty upon them to bottom that issue out and establish

          14       that there wasn't.

          15           Then the second point I would make, as a

          16       preliminary, is that it is important to bear in mind

          17       that Fujitsu had very much a vested interest in problems

          18       with Horizon not coming to light, for obvious reasons.

          19       I don't actually know the sums involved but I am sure

          20       they are extremely considerable.  We know the

          21       Post Office is itself viewed at Fujitsu as a (Inaudible)

          22       rising as a cash cow.  So the significance of that, in

          23       my submission, is that given that the Post Office were

          24       on notice, they had some reason to treat Fujitsu's

          25       advice with a degree of caution.


           1           The third point I make, which is one that Mr Moloney

           2       has made, that if for no other reason, regardless of

           3       Fujitsu, if for no other reason the Post Office were at

           4       least put on notice, it is because sub-postmasters were

           5       routinely telling them that there were problems with the

           6       Horizon system.

           7           In my submission it defies credibility that the

           8       Post Office simply ignored what their trusted employees

           9       were routinely telling them and adopted a blind stance

          10       that Horizon is robust.  I would just say -- I will come

          11       to the paragraphs in the Horizon judgment that the

          12       Post Office knew perfectly well what was going on -- but

          13       in my submission there had been an issue about what the

          14       Post Office did know or didn't know, but it does not

          15       avail the Post Office if they wilfully blinded

          16       themselves to the knowledge which they ought to have

          17       had.

          18           I am coming back (Inaudible) myself with the as it

          19       happens remark in my note, because it says this is what

          20       I am trying to get at, that the starting point is that

          21       it doesn't help if the Post Office was blinding

          22       themselves and then saying "We didn't know".  The second

          23       thing, as I say, is the fact that there is evidence that

          24       they did know, and that is what I am coming to now.

          25           So my Lord, I will be referring to a number of

                                            26   1       paragraphs on the Horizon judgment but I think, given

           2       that we are all very familiar with them, we can take it

           3       fairly quickly.

           4   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Just for my note, Ms Busch, I think

           5       we are about to embark on your point 4, are we?

           6   MS BUSCH:  I am actually at point 3.  Point 3 is my main

           7       point, and point 4 and 5 are very short.

           8   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  All right, I am sure we can move on

           9       to 3 already but -- so you are now starting 3?

          10   MS BUSCH:  1 was fact sensitive.

          11   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

          12   MS BUSCH:  2, the CCRC.  3, knowledge.  Then as I say 4 and

          13       5 will be very brief.

          14   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I think in my note you may have six

          15       points, but it doesn't matter.

          16   MS BUSCH:  A few sub-points.

          17           So the Horizon system judgment, bundle A, the first

          18       paragraph I wish to go through is 234, page 481.  This

          19       is one of the internal Post Office documents,

          20       Mr Justice Fraser says:

          21           "Equally, however, the content of some of the

          22       internal Post Office documents that were put to her

          23       ...(Reading to the words)... one entry under issue

          24       identified is as follows by the Post Office, failure to

          25       be open and honest when issues arise, eg roll out of


           1       Horizon, Horizon Online migration issues, issues

           2       affecting the few branches not receiving (Inaudible)."

           3           Mr Justice Fraser underlined "failing" and "honest"

           4       when issues arise.  Again, I make my inference points,

           5       and that in my submission carries across the board, but

           6       I would also emphasise by way of underlining, "eg roll

           7       outs of Horizon", and in my submission that supports

           8       Mr Moloney's point that problems that occur (Inaudible)

           9       Horizon during the trial period persisted into the roll

          10       out and Mr Moloney cited another paragraph from the

          11       judgment in his speaking note which indicates that

          12       Mr Justice Fraser observed that the difficulties that

          13       sub-postmasters were having in the early days,

          14       2000/2001, were remarkably similar to those that

          15       occurred during the trialing process.

          16           But so far as 234 is concerned, the Post Office

          17       itself, itself, were saying that there was a failure to

          18       be open and honest with issues, otherwise known as

          19       problems, issues that arose in the roll out of Horizon.

          20       So with respect to my learned friend Mr Altman, it is

          21       not their own statement to suggest that they didn't know

          22       anything about this and they were attempting to be

          23       transparent.

          24           Then there is a second reference, which is

          25       paragraph 367 of Horizon issues, page 515.


           1   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Can I just ask, is that a reference to

           2       Legacy -- sorry, to Horizon including the original

           3       Horizon, as opposed to Horizon Online?  Or do you just

           4       not know?

           5   MS BUSCH:  Well, my Lord, yes, I think with respect we can

           6       because otherwise she wouldn't have distinguished

           7       between Horizon and Ping X, which is on Horizon Online.

           8   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  In fact the answer to my question is

           9       235, and I see.  There are two periods she was asking

          10       about, the introduction of Legacy Horizon, the national

          11       roll out and then -- so in fact that is the answer.

          12   MS BUSCH:  Yes, sorry, my Lord.

          13   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Thank you -- I raised the issue and you

          14       answered it.

          15   MS BUSCH:  My Lord, I wanted to actually double check -- not

          16       being very technologically minded -- that roll out meant

          17       what I thought it did, in fact I will not read reference

          18       but (Inaudible) Mr Fraser does say simply that roll out

          19       was (Inaudible).

          20   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  (Inaudible).

          21   MS BUSCH:  So paragraph 367 at 515, this is Mr Godeseth's

          22       evidence and (Inaudible) you will recall that

          23       Mr Justice Fraser found him extremely helpful as

          24       a witness.

          25           367, when it was put to Mr Godeseth that this showed


           1       (Inaudible) that on not all occasions were SPMs advised

           2       of impacts on their branch accounts of particular

           3       problems, he said that was a fair inference:

           4           "An inference is a common sense conclusion and

           5       I agree with Mr Godeseth that it is indeed fair to draw

           6       that inference.  He did however then add, 'I think

           7       I would say that the Post Office were well aware of this

           8       and I would argue that it was a Post Office decision

           9       whether or not to tell a sub-postmaster.'"

          10           Then I don't want to read the whole paragraph out

          11       but towards the bottom, Mr Godeseth did also say, "In

          12       the background to this there was a dialogue at the

          13       Post Office", and he agreed, counsel put to him, that

          14       the Post Office would have been aware of what was being

          15       done by Fujitsu.

          16           Then the next reference starts at paragraph 428 of

          17       the judgment on page 534.  These paragraphs will be very

          18       familiar to the court, certainly (Inaudible) any detail,

          19       but this is the material concerning the receipts and

          20       payments mismatch bug and the issue notes document which

          21       was cited at length in the judgment.

          22           Then the paragraph I particularly want to draw

          23       attention to is paragraph 429, first, and we have seen

          24       this before, where Mr Justice Fraser says:

          25           "I find this [ie issue notes] to be a most


           1       disturbing document in the context of this group

           2       litigation.  It is a 2010 document and issues between

           3       Post Office and many SPMs (Inaudible) Horizon had the

           4       Legacy Horizon gone on for decades, 2000 to 2010, and

           5       these continued under Horizon Online introduced in

           6       2010."

           7           So that in my respectful submission confirms the

           8       point I made earlier, which is to say at the very least

           9       the Post Office were put on notice by virtue of the fact

          10       that they were being told that there were problems by

          11       sub-postmasters.

          12           Then at paragraph 430, we have the reference to

          13       Mr Abdulla(?) of the Post Office attending the meeting,

          14       the remark about there being cases ongoing, et cetera.

          15       Then just to note 433, the two references, one to

          16       ongoing legal cases, the second to a BBC documentary:

          17           "... show there is a distinct sensitivity within

          18       both the Post Office and Fujitsu about keeping this

          19       information to themselves in order to avoid a loss of

          20       confidence in Horizon and the integrity of its data.  A

          21       less complementary but accurate way of putting it would

          22       be to name the Post Office as continuing to assert the

          23       integrity of Horizon and avoid publicly acknowledging

          24       the presence of a software bug.  The solution adopted

          25       was to issuing of (Inaudible) corrections to the


           1       relevant branches.  There was no publicity given to the

           2       SPMs at the time about the presence of this software bug

           3       in Horizon."

           4           My Lord if I may say so, the iniquity of this

           5       approach as regards the SPMs is apparent.  I am going to

           6       come to this bit, (Inaudible) point 4, but it is

           7       apparent if one reads through the schedule of

           8       disclosable extracts, which is bundle C2, 772, and one

           9       sees there the genuine distress and perplexity suffered

          10       by sub-postmasters who are being accused with no

          11       evidence -- being accused with no evidence -- of

          12       stealing from the Post Office.  The Post Office knows

          13       perfectly well that there is a bug and they deliberately

          14       choose to withhold that information.  I would

          15       respectfully, I would respectfully submit that the

          16       Post Office's treatment of its contractors should be

          17       taken into the mix when my Lords and my Lady are

          18       considering grounds 2 abuse.  I don't make a submission

          19       about the weight that should be put on it but I say it

          20       is a further consideration that should be taken into

          21       account.

          22           Then Mr Justice Fraser picks up on that point, and

          23       again (Inaudible) at a late stage acknowledge at

          24       paragraph 435 of the judgment, he says:

          25           "Indeed the approach of the Post Office that to the


           1       notification of the existence of the bugs ...(Reading to

           2       the words)... describes the methods by which the

           3       Post Office communicate with SPMs (Inaudible)."

           4           Then in the course of that he himself asked counsel

           5       for both parties (Inaudible) Callendar Square bugs:

           6           "Could the parties please indicate by means of

           7       an agreed fact that only (Inaudible) possible; if not

           8       each parties' contended for answer, and then answers to

           9       the following two questions: first, the date when the

          10       existence of each of these was communicated by the Post

          11       Office to SPMs; and secondly, (Inaudible) reference that

          12       the contemporaneous document email or communicated to

          13       the Post Office demonstrated in question 1."

          14           Then we have a record of the answers which I don't

          15       need to read out.

          16           Then 442, over the page, we have:

          17           "The Post Office approach to this, in my judgment is

          18       highly ..."

          19           This is the point:

          20           "In my judgment the above passages are simply

          21       extraordinary.  Two of the documents above relating to

          22       2010 some nine years; the peak is from 2004, 15 years

          23       ago.  Their contents support the claimant's case on

          24       Horizon issues.  ...(Reading to the words)... It was

          25       not, as the Post Office puts it, unnecessary and


           1       inappropriate to notify it SPMs of this."

           2           This is the point at 425, (Inaudible):

           3           "The same points all lead to the same conclusion in

           4       my judgment, namely that the Post Office ought to have

           5       notified at the very least those SPMs with branch

           6       accounts that were impacted by the above.  That at least

           7       had occurred as a result of the software bug ...(Reading

           8       to the words)... live issue at this time should not have

           9       influenced the decision to notify the SPMs of the

          10       software bug ..."

          11           I don't believe I need to read the rest of the

          12       paragraph.

          13           So by definition, if the Post Office was in

          14       a position to have notified the SPMs of the existence of

          15       the bug, it follows that Mr Justice Fraser clearly took

          16       the view that the Post Office was aware of it.

          17   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  In the passage you have just read,

          18       Mr Justice Fraser qualified about 10 lines down to this

          19       extent:

          20           "The same points all lead to the same conclusion in

          21       my judgment, namely that the Post Office ought to have

          22       notified at the very least all those SPMs whose branch

          23       accounts had been impacted by this bug.  If this had

          24       occurred, (Inaudible) it had occurred as a result of

          25       the software bug."


           1           Do you similarly qualify the point or do you say, in

           2       effect, that if anybody has been prosecuted based on

           3       Horizon, that there should have been disclosure of the

           4       existence of bugs, plural, whether or not they had

           5       specifically been found to affect the particular branch

           6       in question?

           7   MS BUSCH:  My Lord, the first point that I would (Inaudible)

           8       is the knowledge one.  The Post Office, the position

           9       (Inaudible).

          10   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

          11   MS BUSCH:  Yes, my Lord, I would go so far.  The Post Office

          12       itself adopts a somewhat contradictory stance.  On the

          13       one hand they plainly were, my Lord, with due respect,

          14       extremely secretive and far from transparent; and then

          15       we have seen in some documentation later on, in the

          16       period around about 2010 and subsequently, in which at

          17       least some officers in the Post Office take the view

          18       that transparency is a sound objective and obviously we

          19       have not seen the public statements about the

          20       Post Office being a trusted brand, et cetera, et cetera.

          21           So if for no other reason, then that would be a good

          22       reason to notify, but so far as the interests of justice

          23       are concerned, and this point hasn't yet arisen in these

          24       proceedings, but the point is raised in the Clarke

          25       advice: these are postmasters who have been convicted on


           1       grounds which the Post Office itself now concedes are

           2       a category 1 abuse and were never told about the fact

           3       that their convictions at the very least may have been

           4       unsafe because of the unreliability of Horizon data.

           5           My Lords and my Lady know very well that I am not

           6       a criminal practitioner, and do not pretend to be, but

           7       there are obvious implications on that, so far as

           8       exercising rights of appeal are concerned or indeed

           9       making applications to CCRC, which belatedly happened

          10       but only in the light of the Horizon issues judgment.

          11       So I do make that submission.

          12           Again, when it comes to my fifth point, which, as

          13       I say, will be very very brief, but so far as the

          14       (Inaudible) in dealing with category 2 abuses is

          15       concerned, it is very much an expression in that court

          16       what to take into account and what not to take into

          17       account, but I say the court has a very broad discretion

          18       to look at the conduct of Post Office as a whole and

          19       that would include, in my submission, a point I made

          20       just now about the conduct towards the SPMs, in

          21       particular conduct not disclosing highly relevant

          22       information even after the sub-postmasters had been

          23       convicted.

          24           Don't forget, one has to really object to the level

          25       of humanity.  My Lords and my Lady will know, and take


           1       perhaps a traditional (Inaudible) the fact that,

           2       generally speaking, sub-postmasters, quite often at

           3       least, play an important role for their communities.

           4       They are by definition trusted to deal with not

           5       inconsiderable sums of money, but quite apart from the

           6       very moving testimony we heard yesterday about the

           7       impact on health, marriages, finances that Mr Moloney

           8       also mentioned, there is the personal reputation of

           9       these people at stake.  That is really a telling

          10       consideration in my submission.

          11           So all these years that the SPMs had to go knowing

          12       perfectly well they had done absolutely nothing wrong

          13       but not being told what the source of the problem

          14       actually was, this was conduct that was absolutely

          15       inimical to the interests of justice and, with respect,

          16       utterly reprehensible in my submission.

          17   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Just picking up -- the paragraph goes on

          18       to say, I think by reference to the evidence given in

          19       relation to Callendar Square, which is referred to at

          20       437 but it is picked up again at 442, about halfway down

          21       there is a sentence in the middle of the line:

          22           "Further, the Post Office's explanation in its

          23       submissions that SPMs had their accounts corrected in

          24       the ordinary course is not a suitable phrase unless by

          25       ordinary course one means keeping the cause or the


           1       reason for the correction secret and therefore hidden

           2       from the other party in the accounting transaction,

           3       namely the SPM."

           4           So what appears to be being said there is -- I think

           5       it is the Callendar Square bug -- is that even for those

           6       affected, they weren't told specifically, they were told

           7       just in a sort of ordinary type way, it was not spelt

           8       out, and I assume you place reliance on that as well?

           9   MS BUSCH:  I do, my Lord.  Again, that is very helpful.

          10   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Yes.

          11   MS BUSCH:  So those are the only submissions that I want to

          12       make with respect to the Horizon issues.

          13           As I say, my learned friend Mr Altman appears to

          14       suggest that we, the appellants, should be able to give

          15       a year by year or month by month account of what the

          16       Post Office knew or didn't know, and Mr Moloney makes

          17       the entirely sound point that the person best placed to

          18       do that is of course Post Office, given that they are in

          19       possession of that information and they haven't done so.

          20           I submit that there is quite far and away sufficient

          21       in both judgment number 6 and number 3 to indicate that

          22       the Post Office did know and, as I say, at the very

          23       least but were put on notice but it is plain, I submit,

          24       that they knew throughout the period, but for the

          25       avoidance of any doubt I refer back again to


           1       paragraph 234, they need open and honest as far as roll

           2       out of Horizon (Inaudible) Legacy Horizon.

           3           One more point if I may.  Again, an issue arose

           4       yesterday about constructive (Inaudible) on the part of

           5       the Post Office and so on and Mr Altman referred to this

           6       being a criminal case.  I have no desire whatsoever to

           7       get into a discussion of civil law concepts such as

           8       constructive (Inaudible).  In my submission it is not

           9       necessary to do so.  We all have agreed to treat

          10       ourselves as effectively bound, so far as the factual

          11       matrix is concerned, bound by the findings of

          12       Mr Justice Fraser who found as facts that the

          13       Post Office (Inaudible) and in my submission you don't

          14       need to (Inaudible).

          15           This is really a point I was going to make when

          16       (Inaudible) but I may as well make it  now.  In my

          17       submission the category 2 abuse issue is not a criminal

          18       law issue as such, it is a constitutional law issue.

          19       That is why I am here arguing the case.  Were it

          20       a criminal law issue, I would have thought twice before

          21       taking this case on.  It is purely a constitutional law

          22       issue about the relationship between this issue and the

          23       executive and therefore, so far as that is concerned --

          24       of course the context is public criminal --

          25   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Why the executive?


           1   MS BUSCH:  Sorry?

           2   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Who is the executive?

           3   MS BUSCH:  Well, the Post Office so far as it is an

           4       emanation of the state.

           5           A couple of very very brief points -- I am nearly

           6       finished.  The schedule disclosable extracts.  I invite

           7       you, my Lords and my Lady, to read the whole document to

           8       get the very strong flavour of the attitude of the

           9       Post Office prosecutors on the one hand and the stress

          10       of the sub-postmasters on the other.

          11           I am just going to take you to a couple of

          12       references.  C2, the first reference is page 745.  It is

          13       item number (Inaudible), it is the second last, item

          14       number 310078816, attendance note dated 12 July, a case

          15       log 800 (Inaudible), no (Inaudible) about attending,

          16       page 14:

          17           "We don't have a defence case statement which makes

          18       some things (Inaudible).  However it appears that she is

          19       using solicitors who have jumped on the Horizon

          20       bandwagon."

          21           Page 2 of 4:

          22           "However it is absolutely vital that we win.

          23       A failure could bring the whole of the Royal Mail system

          24       down.  Counsel's concern is the jury will still believe

          25       in conspiracies and there don't need to be many people


           1       believing in conspiracies and there don't need to be

           2       many people on the jury who do believe in conspiracies

           3       for us to have a problem."

           4   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Is 038 Mrs Misra?

           5   MS BUSCH:  Yes, it is.

           6   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  No, she is 028.  038 Ms Shaheen I

           7       think.  Anyway, one of the appellants.

           8   MS BUSCH:  Again, this echoes the point Mr Moloney made

           9       yesterday in response to Mr Altman that the Post Office

          10       persistently treated concerns raised by sub-postmasters

          11       as complaints rather than evidence, when there was

          12       clearly something wrong with Horizon, "jump on the

          13       Horizon bandwagon", and even more telling, "absolutely

          14       vital we win, could bring down the whole of the Royal

          15       Mail system."

          16           That, in my submission -- there are numerous

          17       references of civil (Inaudible) which indicates the

          18       attitude the Post Office took to the prosecution of SPMs

          19       that, above all else, Horizon had to be protected.

          20           Then the second couple of references in the same

          21       bundle are at, first of all, 1086, an email from Ms King

          22       at Post Office dated 7 January 2009 to a David Grey(?)

          23       and others, subject "Security incident.  Fetch.  This

          24       document in the central archives store."

          25           "This seems to be something which we don't need to


           1       worry about directly in (Inaudible)."

           2           So I assume here this is a reference to

           3       a (Inaudible).

           4   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  You are dropping your voice,

           5       Ms Busch.

           6   MS BUSCH:  Sorry, my Lord.

           7   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  It is described as a virus incident in

           8       the third paragraph.

           9   MS BUSCH:  "There does appear to be an issue with the time

          10       it took for the discovery of the problem (Inaudible)

          11       being deployed and the security becoming aware

          12       ...(Reading to the words)... adjusted to virus incident

          13       is a bit more worrying from my perspective.  Fujitsu

          14       currently employs a TA anti-virus helpdesk PCs ..."

          15           And then more details about the virus incident.

          16           The crucial point is adjusting witness statements,

          17       in order to reflect the mitigation of -- adjusting

          18       witness statements in how they deal, or don't deal

          19       perhaps, with the problems which are alluded to.

          20           So, again, no aptitude to disclose the fact that the

          21       problems were multiple and ongoing in witness statements

          22       to the court, plainly not if the existence, the

          23       prospects of Royal Mail were at stake.

          24           Then, the next page, 1087, a response from a Dave

          25       (Inaudible):


           1           "David, this only affects cases where statements had

           2       already been given ...(Reading to the words)...

           3       According to PS, these accounts were reissued to say

           4       that there are no reasons to think any system

           5       malfunction had affected the evidence to which they

           6       relate."

           7           So we have the Post Office issuing witness

           8       statements that not only don't reflect the truth, the

           9       whole truth and nothing but the truth, but actually

          10       obscure it.  It is not true that there are no

          11       (Inaudible) issues in the system.

          12           I ask my Lords to take that into account in the

          13       general mix relating to the Post Office's attitude.

          14       Again, this is plainly absolutely critical to the

          15       category 2 case, as I have emphasised, as at the heart

          16       of category 2, it is misleading not only the claimants

          17       but also the courts.

          18   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Ms Busch, we perhaps need to be

          19       a little cautious about this particular point, because

          20       where hearsay evidence is being admitted from

          21       a computer, my recollection without having the statutory

          22       wording in front of me, is that the statutory provision

          23       does contemplate evidence to the effect that, if there

          24       was any malfunction, it wasn't one which affected the

          25       relevant subject matter.


           1           As best I can interpret these two documents, it

           2       looks as if it may be the case that the original

           3       statement said there was no problem, full stop.  It is

           4       then discovered that there had been a delay in

           5       rectifying something, so that the original statement was

           6       inaccurate in its (Inaudible) and the next statements,

           7       that seem on the face of it to have been in terms of the

           8       relevant statutory provisions, he doesn't take away your

           9       core point that there was something which was

          10       misrepresented, however that came about in the initial

          11       statement, and there doesn't seem to be any hint that

          12       anyone was ever told that there had been that

          13       (Inaudible) intention.

          14           One has to perhaps be a little cautious in viewing

          15       this as evidence of some very sinister plotting going

          16       on.

          17   MS BUSCH:  I see that.

          18   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I think if you look at the top of next

          19       page, under the heading "Impact", what my Lord explains

          20       probably can support.

          21   MS BUSCH:  My Lord, yes, I accept that, but I do revert back

          22       to the reference I first took you to, back at page 745

          23       of the bundle, concerning the testing(?) of Royal Mail.

          24       That statement is part of the piece and plainly on all

          25       of the evidence we have traversed during the course of


           1       this hearing, particularly the evidence before

           2       Mr Justice Fraser, in my submission, in my respectful

           3       submission, it is clearly (Inaudible) that the

           4       Post Office not only don't disclose the true situation

           5       to the criminal courts in the prosecution of SPMs' whose

           6       convictions were secured on the back of unreliable

           7       Horizon data, but they actively misled the courts,

           8       knowing as they did or at the very least being put on

           9       notice of the abuse that existed with Horizon.

          10           So in my respectful submission, this is the last of

          11       my final points, in my submission that is more than

          12       enough, contrary to what my learned friend says.

          13           Just before I sit down, which I will do in a moment,

          14       my learned friend appears implicitly to suggest that

          15       category 2 abuse is sort of higher than category 1.

          16       I myself came to the impression in his submissions that

          17       he continued for the purposes of category 2 to focus on

          18       injustice to the accused and seems to be suggesting

          19       there was something additional to that which had been

          20       admitted for the category 1 purposes, but needed to be

          21       drawn out in order to establish category 2, and that

          22       would explain the rationale for his insistence that each

          23       case should effectively be on its own facts.

          24           In my submission, that is not right.  It is clearly

          25       not right.  Category 2, I have said on numerous


           1       occasions now, is (Inaudible) the relationship between

           2       the courts and in this case the Post Office.  So you

           3       don't have to find anything additional to category 1.

           4       What the court has to look at are what are the

           5       implications of category 1 issues for the court

           6       (Inaudible) in the context of the prosecution --

           7   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  It is the degradation of the criminal

           8       justice system.

           9   MS BUSCH:  It is, my Lord.

          10   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Really your point, taking the rather

          11       striking example from one of the older cases, is that if

          12       somebody is kidnapped in order to bring him before the

          13       courts, the same conduct which makes it unfair to him as

          14       an individual is perfectly well capable of constituting

          15       an abuse of the process of the court on the second

          16       ground, the kidnap plus something extra.

          17   MS BUSCH:  Indeed, my Lord.  As my Lord knows, there are

          18       various (Inaudible) ways of formulating category 2 but

          19       I place particular emphasis on, effectively, the

          20       integrity of the justice system on the one hand and,

          21       secondly, ensuring that public faith in the integrity of

          22       the justice system is maintained.

          23           My learned friend appears to suggest that, even if

          24       the Post Office had been guilty of gross negligence in

          25       prosecuting sub-postmasters, that would not be


           1       sufficient for category 2.  In my submission that is

           2       plainly (Inaudible).  If one is focusing on public faith

           3       in the judicial system, one could not (Inaudible) have

           4       a situation in which one could say, well, the

           5       Post Office acted negligently and some 40-odd, for the

           6       purposes of CCRC, 900 in total, sub-postmasters were

           7       prosecuted as a result, but the court is not going to

           8       comment.

           9           By way of my absolute last remark, I would revert

          10       again to where I began which was with Bennett, the

          11       judgment at paragraph B, page 98, bundle B.

          12           I would find it essential to the rule of law that

          13       the courts should not have to make available its

          14       processes and thereby endorse what ...(Reading to the

          15       words)... however humble you rank.

          16           It is not a punishing (Inaudible) but a question of

          17       the background, my Lord, the integrity of the justice

          18       system and ensuring the public faith in it is

          19       maintained.  The court is kind enough to make its

          20       processes available and if the conduct we have been

          21       considering is not unworthy conduct on the part of the

          22       Post Office, it is very hard with respect to know what

          23       is.

          24           So my Lord, those are my submissions in response to

          25       Mr Altman.


           1   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.  Thank you very much indeed,

           2       Ms Busch.

           3           I think we have Mr Smith on behalf of Mr Pareck.

           4                     Submissions by MR SMITH

           5   MR SMITH:  My Lords and my Lady, I have only a few

           6       submissions to add to my learned friend's.

           7           When looking at the seriousness of the conduct of

           8       the respondents in these matters, almost by way of

           9       preamble, the court is entitled to give greater scrutiny

          10       to this respondent because it was acting as private

          11       prosecutor.  There is support for that in the case of

          12       R (on the application of A), and that is particularly

          13       important because it deals with the internal tension

          14       that will always be the case when a single entity is

          15       victim, investigator and prosecutor.

          16           In my submission there are two reasons why the

          17       failures of this prosecutor, both failures to

          18       investigate and failures to disclose, are

          19       particularly serious:

          20           Firstly the matters which were not investigated

          21       and/or were not disclosed were wholly within the

          22       knowledge and control of the respondent.  The court will

          23       recall that the respondent has a specific contractual

          24       right with Fujitsu to request the material related to

          25       the (Inaudible) prosecution.  This is not what could be


           1       otherwise considered, in my submission, information held

           2       by a genuine third party.  It was held by

           3       a subcontractor of the respondent.

           4           Secondly, in any trial the respondent in effect had

           5       the benefit of an evidential presumption that Horizon

           6       was robust.  And therefore the appellants were

           7       particularly reliant on the respondent to conduct itself

           8       properly and thoroughly when it came to investigating

           9       and disclosing matters which undermined that

          10       presumption.  I submit that those are both points

          11       relevant in assessing the seriousness of the conduct of

          12       the respondent and therefore whether or not limb 2

          13       is engaged.

          14           I apologise if this reference has already been

          15       given, my Lords and my Lady, but the whole separate

          16       question of what the Post Office knew, there was the

          17       finding of Mr Justice Fraser at paragraph 1115 of the

          18       common issues judgment, bundle A, page 403.

          19   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I don't think it has been given.

          20   MR SMITH:  I am grateful, my Lord.

          21           This is effectively a concluding paragraph in my

          22       submission, that Horizon was introduced in 2000 and then

          23       all the unexplained discrepancies and losses began being

          24       reported by sub-postmasters, internal documents clearly

          25       showed some personnel within the Post Office believed at


           1       the time that at least some of these were caused by

           2       Horizon.

           3           And then there is a reference back to paragraph 542,

           4       which I think the court has already been taken to, and

           5       another reference to paragraph 41 as to (Inaudible) that

           6       conclusion.

           7           So when the court is asking the question "Who knew

           8       what and when?", I do place reliance on that finding of

           9       Mr Justice Fraser.

          10   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Specifically the finding which dates

          11       back to 2000?

          12   MR SMITH:  Yes, my Lord.

          13           Of course even if that were wrong (Inaudible) the

          14       Post Office ought to know, given the number of queries

          15       being raised.

          16           My Lords and my Lady, those are the only generic

          17       submissions I wish to make.  I do have specific

          18       submissions to make in due course.

          19   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  You referred to the case of A.  Did

          20       you want to take us to any specific passage in that?

          21   MR SMITH:  My Lords, yes, in bundle B, at page 500.  Lord

          22       Justice Gross at paragraph 37 at the bottom of the page:

          23           "Because the private interests are ...(Reading to

          24       the words)... the scrutiny of the private prosecutors

          25       and public prosecutors."


           1           Then at the very top of the page:

           2           "Realistically there might be more in the question

           3       of the initiation of the conduct of the private

           4       prosecution."

           5   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  This was a prosecution by who?

           6   MR SMITH:  My Lord, this judgment is in fact in the context

           7       of a wasted costs order made against a prosecutor.

           8   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.  So one individual being

           9       prosecuted at the suit of another.

          10   MR SMITH:  Yes.

          11   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I think the individual was in prison in

          12       Dubai.  It has quite a complicated back story, this one.

          13   MR SMITH:  Yes, my Lord.

          14   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  But you just rely as a general

          15       proposition on the inherent tension when a single entity

          16       is complainant, investigator and prosecutor?

          17   MR SMITH:  Yes.

          18   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you very much indeed.

          19           Good, well, I think that then concludes the

          20       submissions from all concerned on general issues.

          21           I hope we have not missed anybody's submissions.

          22       I don't believe we have.

          23           I think we now move on to the submissions relating

          24       to individual appeals.

          25           Ms O'Reilly, I think that is over to you.


           1       Thank you.

           2                    Submissions by MS O'REILLY

           3   MS O'REILLY:  My Lord, yes.

           4           We sent to the court this morning two documents.

           5       The first was a speaking note dealing with these

           6       grounds, and the second was a case-specific document

           7       relating to the appellant Julian Wilson.  I hope the

           8       court has received those.  We handed up hard copies.

           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  We did.  Thank you.

          10           Now, I am afraid your voice is quite faint as well.

          11       So like Ms Busch, you are going to have to shout more

          12       than you normally do.

          13   MS O'REILLY:  I will do my best.  Thank you.

          14           My Lord, in relation to fact-specific submissions,

          15       for the Hudgell appellants, if I can refer to them in

          16       that way, on grounds 1 and 2, we wish to deal with two

          17       topics.  The first is the ground 2 concessions

          18       themselves, and the facts on which they are based.  And

          19       the second topic we wish to deal with is the features of

          20       the ground 1 concessions themselves, which we submit

          21       make out ground 2, I can deal with the first topic

          22       fairly shortly.  I am under the heading "Ground 2, the

          23       concessions" in the speaking note.

          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

          25   MS O'REILLY:  As the court is aware, the respondent has


           1       conceded that in four of the cases before the court, all

           2       of which involved guilty pleas, those cases amount to

           3       a limb 2 abuse of process.  And those four cases are

           4       those of Josephine Hamilton, Allison Henderson,

           5       Alison Hall and Hughie Thomas.

           6           I am not going to take the court to their portions

           7       of the respondent's notice, but the references are there

           8       for future reference and I will come to this in due

           9       course.  But we are going to invite the court to read

          10       the respondent's notices in full and closely when

          11       considering its judgment, because we submit that there

          12       is a sufficient evidential foundation within the

          13       respondent's notices to secure the limb 2 finding.

          14           In those particular four cases, the limb 2 abuse of

          15       process has been conceded because it is accepted by the

          16       Post Office that improper pressure was applied to those

          17       appellants to accept guilty pleas on the basis that they

          18       made no criticism of Horizon.  And in each of these four

          19       cases there is essentially correspondence in various

          20       forms which records the respondent imposing

          21       those conditions.

          22           In the case of Ms Hamilton, the Post Office makes

          23       a further specific concession that she had been

          24       essentially threatened with a theft count in the event

          25       that she did not repay the supposed shortfall.  And so


           1       there was in that sense, so the Post Office concedes,

           2       some direct evidence of the prosecution process

           3       certainly being seen to be used as a means of

           4       enforcing repayment.

           5           That, we submit, has relevance for some of the

           6       limb 1 concessions, which I will come on to.

           7           Our submission is that the limb 2 concessions,

           8       couched as they are, when set against the facts of the

           9       remaining cases, are based on what we would respectfully

          10       submit is a restrictive interpretation of

          11       limb 2 principles.

          12           And we would say that these four concessions and the

          13       way that they are couched are simply, on one view,

          14       an extreme or more obvious form of limb 2 abuse.

          15           We would submit that there is or should be,

          16       certainly in these cases, no difference in terms of

          17       limb 2 abuse between conduct which is expressly

          18       evidenced or visible, such as it is when there is

          19       a conditional plea arrangement, and conduct which may

          20       not be expressly evident, when it is clear that the same

          21       forces are at work.

          22           So whilst the concessions that the respondent makes

          23       in relation to the four ground 2 cases are undoubtedly

          24       correct, we would submit that when the court looks at

          25       the specifics of the respondent's notices in relation to


           1       all of the Hudgell appellants, and the foundation for

           2       the limb one concessions, that there is a clear basis

           3       for a limb 2 finding, without more.

           4           So having made those observations in relation to the

           5       facts of ground 2, what we would like to do is firstly

           6       to deal with some of the personal features of the

           7       Hudgell appellants and then come on to some case

           8       specific examples which we can see from the respondent's

           9       notices.

          10           If I may start, my Lords and my Lady, with some of

          11       the Hudgell appellants, because a number of them had

          12       a particularly longstanding history with the

          13       Post Office, and that has, we submit, some relevance in

          14       the final analysis of limb 2.

          15           Two of the Hudgell appellants had worked for the

          16       Post Office since the 1970s and one since the 1960s.

          17       David Yates, for example, started his Post Office career

          18       as a counter clerk in 1979 and he became sub-postmaster

          19       in 1993.

          20           Mohammed Rasul became a postman in 1979 and

          21       a sub-postmaster in 1997.

          22           Hughie Thomas worked as a postman between 1965 and

          23       1992 and he became a sub-postmaster in 1994, which is

          24       the same year that David Hedges also became

          25       a sub-postmaster.


           1           Wendy Buffrey had been a sub-postmaster since 1999.

           2       And Barry Capon had been a branch manager since 1996.

           3           Lisa Brennan became a counter clerk when she was 16

           4       years old, and that was her first job.

           5           And for Nicholas Clark, working for the Post Office

           6       run by the family, albeit became short-lived by reason

           7       of these proceedings.  His mother had been

           8       a sub-postmistress of the Post Office where he became

           9       a sub-postmaster in 2006.

          10           Whilst those appellants of course are no more

          11       relevant than the others, that these appellants were not

          12       believed or taken seriously or, to put it bluntly, ever

          13       given the benefit of the doubt, we submit is relevant to

          14       the court's task in assessing the institutional response

          15       of the respondent against the limb 2 standard.

          16           The following appellants went to prison:

          17           Hughie Thomas, Jacqueline McDonald, Khayyam Ishaq,

          18       David Owen, Tahir Mahmood, David Yates and

          19       Hajinder Butoy.

          20           The longest sentence of imprisonment was three years

          21       and three months.  The following appellants filed for

          22       bankruptcy following conviction:

          23           Hughie Thomas, Gail Ward, Jacqueline McDonald and

          24       Lisa Brennan.

          25           I have said in the speaking note that at least two


           1       of our appellants had been unable to find or retain work

           2       since their release from prison or conviction due to the

           3       impact of their convictions.  In fact it is three.

           4       Those are:

           5           Tahir Mahmood, Hajinder Butoy and Della Robinson.

           6       And in the case of Della Robinson, due to the financial

           7       difficulties consequent upon her conviction, her house

           8       was repossessed.

           9   MRS JUSTICE FARBEY:  Can you repeat those names, please?

          10   MS O'REILLY:  Yes, I am so sorry.

          11           So the three appellants who were unable to find or

          12       retain work were:

          13           Tahir Mahmood, Hajinder Butoy and Della Robinson.

          14       And in the case of Della Robinson, her house was also

          15       repossessed due to financial difficulties following

          16       her conviction.

          17           In the 29 of the 30 Hudgell cases for which there is

          18       either a limb 1 or a limb 1 and a limb 2 concession --

          19       and I say 29 because the case of Wendy Cousins will be

          20       dealt with discretely -- the respondent's notices

          21       include a specific concession that there was a failure

          22       to investigate the true cause of the shortfall and,

          23       where relevant, the issues with Horizon that had been

          24       raised at various stages.

          25           We submit that the investigative failure is of


           1       special importance in the final analysis of limb 2.

           2       Horizon reliability was raised in interview or in

           3       a defence statement, or sometimes in some other way, in

           4       18 of the cases.  And with the court's permission

           5       I would like to read out those 18 names because of

           6       course I am not going to be dealing with the full facts

           7       of the 29 cases but it is important in my submission for

           8       those appellants to be named.  And they were:

           9           Damien Owen, Jacqueline McDonald, Khayyam Ishaq,

          10       David Hedges, Mohammed Rasul, Gail Ward, Julian Wilson,

          11       Hughie Thomas, Josephine Hamilton, Allison Henderson,

          12       Alison Hall, Della Robinson, Lynette Hutchings, Barry

          13       Capon, Pauline Thompson, Margery Williams,

          14       Gillian Howard and Hajinder Butoy.

          15           And many of the accounts given in interview in

          16       relation to Horizon, and sometimes in defence

          17       statements, were detailed.

          18           Sometimes they were forensic.  One appellant kept

          19       a list of the shortfalls he had observed.  That was

          20       Barry Capon.  And there was also a reference in the

          21       respondent's notice, my Lords and my Lady, to

          22       Della Robinson having kept a list of discrepancies that

          23       she observed.

          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  At some future stage, Ms O'Reilly,

          25       would you be kind enough to give us a note with those


           1       18 names.

           2   MS O'REILLY:  Yes, in respect of Della Robinson I can give

           3       the court that now.  That is page A 1206.  I think it is

           4       paragraph 2.  But that is her portion of the

           5       respondent's notice.  I will revert to the court as to

           6       the reference for Barry Capon but it may be that I can

           7       come to it later.

           8           And it is of some significance in the context of

           9       these appellants that a number of them in their

          10       interview did not just say, "I experienced a shortfall

          11       last week".  Many of these cases involved accounts of

          12       shortfalls going back several years.  And I will come to

          13       some particular examples in due course.

          14           A number of the appellants didn't expressly raise

          15       Horizon in interview because it was their position that

          16       they simply had no idea what was going wrong.  Those

          17       appellants included David Yates, Ian Warren,

          18       Tahir Mahmood, David Blakey, Lisa Brennan,

          19       Wendy Buffrey, Siobhan Sayer, Nicholas Clark,

          20       Timothy Burgess and William Graham.

          21           And their position was that they simply couldn't

          22       understand how the shortfalls had occurred.  In some

          23       cases they simply assumed it was their fault.

          24           And it is, of course, consistent, in our submission,

          25       with an appellant having had faith in the Post Office


           1       and, by extension, in Horizon, that they simply would

           2       have no idea how the shortfalls were coming about, and

           3       may not move to raise Horizon and may blame

           4       themselves instead.

           5           In only six of the cases was ARQ data obtained.  And

           6       it is unclear in some of the cases whether it was

           7       analysed, served or disclosed.  Those cases are listed

           8       in the speaking note, my Lords and my Lady, with the

           9       references.  But in short they are the cases of Hall,

          10       Buffrey, Capon, Thomson, Rasul.

          11           And in the case of Siobhan Sayer some data was

          12       disclosed and there was then another batch of data that

          13       was obtained but appears not to have been analysed.

          14           In the case of Lynette Hutchings, ARQ data was

          15       requested but we simply don't know if it was obtained.

          16           Phone calls to the helpline are often a feature of

          17       the cases.  And where they were, they are set out in the

          18       respondent's notices.  Some examples are, Josephine

          19       Hamilton made 26 calls to the Horizon help desk and

          20       numerous calls to the national business support centre,

          21       including some calls which reported losses.

          22           A series of dip-samples from January 2010

          23       to March 2011 showed that Lynette Hutchings had made

          24       four calls to the Horizon help desk.  We have provided

          25       the reference there to her part of the


           1       respondent's notice.

           2           And there is a particularly stark example of phone

           3       calls, which I will come to in due course, and that is

           4       the case of Gillian Howard.

           5           Confiscation and in some instances compensation

           6       orders were made in six of these cases.  And I am

           7       working from a schedule that was prepared by the

           8       respondent which sets out the details of each person's

           9       conviction and sentence.  Those cases were Alison Hall,

          10       Julian Wilson, Jacqueline McDonald, Wendy Buffrey,

          11       Siobhan Sayer and Hajinder Butoy.

          12           I should add, we also believe Hughie Thomas paid

          13       a confiscation order, albeit I have been unable to find

          14       it in the papers, but he recalls paying approximately

          15       £9,000.

          16           On Monday, we, in our second speaking note, took the

          17       court to a handful of examples, some from the individual

          18       cases, others not, which pointed to what we say is the

          19       institutional failing at work.  We are not going to take

          20       the court this morning through the full facts of every

          21       one of the 30 cases.  We simply invite the court to read

          22       the respondent's notices in full and to read them

          23       closely.  But I would like to take the court to some

          24       specific examples which we submit show the limb 1 abuse

          25       in action and in a way which we say shows that the


           1       standard of limb 2 is met because of the features of

           2       institutional approach that are visible.

           3           It is important in this context to bear in mind that

           4       amongst the Hudgell appellants we have people who sit

           5       throughout the chronology.  We have people at the

           6       beginning, in the middle and at the end, and we try to

           7       point to some examples of each.

           8           The first case we bring to the court's attention is

           9       that of Julian Wilson, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to

          10       offences committed allegedly in 2007 and 2008.  Can

          11       I take the court, please, to bundle A, page 1194, which

          12       is his portion of the respondent's notice.  (Pause).

          13   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Mr Wilson sadly is deceased?

          14   MS O'REILLY:  He is, yes.  His appeal is maintained by his

          15       wife Karen, who I think is watching us this morning.

          16   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you.

          17   MS O'REILLY:  Now, the court can see -- and I am not going

          18       to take the court through it in full, but having pleaded

          19       guilty in 2009, Julian Wilson agreed a basis of plea

          20       with the Post Office.  The court can see, just by way of

          21       a cursory glance at paragraph 2, that in his interview

          22       he had raised problems with Horizon.  He had been told

          23       there was nothing wrong with the system.  He had in fact

          24       given a very detailed account in interview.  And that is

          25       clear from the ROTE(?) which we have in the


           1       case-specific disclosure.

           2   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  In fact he said in interview that he had

           3       raised it with his manager.

           4   MS O'REILLY:  Yes, he had, that's correct, my Lord.  He in

           5       fact had received a letter from the federation, which

           6       invited discussion of balancing issues, and he had

           7       responded to the federation saying, yes, I am having

           8       these difficulties.

           9           So he gave a detailed account in interview, which

          10       included raising a concern about remote access.

          11   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Just so that everyone who is

          12       listening is clear about what that means, do you want to

          13       just put it in a nutshell.

          14   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.  He had raised a query as to whether or

          15       not the Horizon system in his branch could be accessed

          16       by others.  And in the context of this case, we now know

          17       that that was possible by people in Fujitsu.

          18   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

          19   MS O'REILLY:  So that is what he had said in interview.  He

          20       eventually pleaded guilty on a basis which was agreed

          21       and written down and which we have provided to the court

          22       this morning.  And if the court can please turn that up,

          23       and go to the back page, as it were, the first point at

          24       the top of this page says:

          25           "The losses occurred as a result of staff or


           1       systemic errors.  I do not believe any of the money was

           2       stolen.  I certainly did not steal the money, nor use it

           3       for any other purpose.  I have made no financial gain

           4       directly from what has occurred."

           5           Now, we put this basis of plea before the court

           6       because we say it is significant, because on the one

           7       hand in the ground 2 conceded cases the Post Office

           8       refuses to countenance criticism of Horizon, and that is

           9       the basis upon which in significant part those cases are

          10       conceded.  But in this case the Post Office has signed

          11       a basis of plea which countenances as a possibility for

          12       the shortfall systemic error, and has agreed a basis of

          13       plea in which the sub-postmaster says he did not take

          14       the money.

          15           That is the context in which the failure to

          16       investigate is conceded only as a limb 1 abuse.  And

          17       that is the context in which the failure to

          18       investigate persisted.

          19           We would draw to the court's attention that in this

          20       case, and in others, a confiscation order was made,

          21       notwithstanding that the basis of this document is that

          22       in fact he received no benefit.  So we say that this is

          23       an example -- a good example, we submit -- of the

          24       working relationship between the limb 1 concession and

          25       the ground 2 or the limb 2 standard.


           1           And when one considers it alongside the basis for

           2       the concession in Hamilton, Henderson and Thomas, we

           3       submit that the distinction relied upon between limb 1

           4       and limb 2 on the facts is weak, with respect.

           5   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Just zooming in a little bit on that.

           6   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.

           7   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I was looking at page 1202 of the

           8       respondent's -- which is the Henderson one.

           9   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.

          10   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Paragraph 12:

          11           "The second category abuse is accepted, first

          12       because it is improper to make the acceptability of Mrs

          13       Henderson's basis of plea for false accounting

          14       ...(Reading to the words)... Horizon system.

          15       Moreover..."

          16           Then there is a point about having already

          17       (Inaudible).  So it is that first point you draw your

          18       analogy with.

          19   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.  What distinction can possibly operate

          20       between that basis, on which it is conceded that in

          21       Hamilton there is a limb 2 abuse, and this, which is

          22       said merely to be an incidence of an investigative

          23       failure.  That is the point we would make.

          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I just wanted to understand about

          25       the confiscation order, Ms O'Reilly, please.  Just


           1       looking at the schedules which you have helpfully drawn

           2       up summarising the pleas and convictions and sentences.

           3       And you can see from that that at row 6 in Mr Wilson's

           4       case the confiscation order was getting on for £28,500.

           5       And can we infer that that was the grand total of the

           6       shortfall or shortfalls?

           7   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.  There is a reference in his case to

           8       a shortfall of between 27,000 and 28,000, so that figure

           9       tallies, I think.

          10   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.  For the purposes of the

          11       offence of false accounting --

          12   MS O'REILLY:  On that point, my Lord, I simply point to the

          13       part of the schedule which identifies that his pleas

          14       were two offences of fraud by abuse of position.

          15       I think in some instances the CCRC had misidentified

          16       the offence.

          17   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

          18   MS O'REILLY:  And the Post Office has helpfully set out

          19       where that is the case.  But his case was one of fraud.

          20   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you very much.

          21   MS O'REILLY:  There is another case which involved a basis

          22       of plea, and that brings us to the second example, of

          23       Nicholas Clark, who is at bundle A, page 1220.

          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

          25   MS O'REILLY:  I am grateful.


           1           The court can see there set out a summary of his

           2       case.  But at paragraph 3 we see a basis of plea

           3       accepted by the Post Office, which is quoted in full.

           4       I am not going to read it out but it is clear that the

           5       agreed basis includes this appellant saying that there

           6       were shortfalls and losses which caused him to falsify

           7       the accounts.

           8           It says that he had discovered in the period

           9       from September 2008 to March 2009 that when balancing

          10       the office there were shortfalls in cash on hand and he

          11       was simply required contractually to make those good,

          12       and hence how the offence came to be committed.

          13           So we point to this case as another example where

          14       the Post Office is accepting, as a basis of plea, that

          15       there is a shortfall which is in a sense inexplicable.

          16       And we point to the failure to investigate, again,

          17       operating in that context.

          18           So in the cases of Nicholas Clark and Julian Wilson,

          19       we submit that there are, as we can see here, two

          20       extreme examples of a similar problem, which of course

          21       is the point that my Lord Mr Justice Picken raised,

          22       which is the difficulty between the basis of the

          23       concession in Hamilton and what the Post Office is

          24       agreeing in these cases, whilst they are still failing

          25       to investigate the unexplained shortfalls.


           1           The next two cases we would draw to the court's

           2       attention are two early cases.  Those of Lisa Brennan

           3       and David Yates.  And in relation to the early cases we

           4       make the general point that where an appellant is in

           5       close proximity to the roll-out, the duty to investigate

           6       Horizon as a reasonable or perhaps obvious line of

           7       inquiry has special importance.  And the court already

           8       has the general submissions in relation to that.

           9           I am not going to take the court through the facts

          10       of Lisa Brennan, save to observe that she was one of the

          11       five appellants who was tried by a jury and convicted.

          12       The offences in her case were allegedly committed in

          13       2001.  That is very close in time, we submit, to the

          14       roll-out and it is sufficiently close in time for the

          15       investigative duty to have been of paramount importance.

          16           The second case is David Yates.  He pleaded guilty

          17       in 2003 to offences which in the schedule are, I think,

          18       undated.  If I can be permitted to check.

          19           Yes, in the schedule, at line 35, it is pointed out

          20       at footnote 14 that we don't have an indictment.

          21       However, it is clear enough from the witness statements

          22       which have survived that there were schedules produced

          23       which deal with discrepancies and shortfalls occurring

          24       before and after Horizon is first rolled out.  So he is,

          25       in my submission, in terms of the offences in issue,


           1       very close in time to the roll-out, certainly in

           2       relation to a substantial part of the evidence.

           3   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  You can probably deduce that from the

           4       fact that Lisa Brennan was convicted in 2003 for

           5       offences committed in 2001, and this conviction of

           6       Mr Yates is also --

           7   MS O'REILLY:  Exactly.

           8           There is one feature of David Yates' case which

           9       I would draw to the court's attention.  And if the court

          10       would go to his portion of the respondent's notice at

          11       1253 -- which I have miraculously now managed to close

          12       on my computer.  If the court would give me a moment.

          13           (Pause).  At page 1253 we see the summary of

          14       Mr Yates, and if we carry on down to page 1255, which is

          15       paragraph 12, we can see that Horizon was installed in

          16       the branch on 11 July 2000.  And an analysis of calls

          17       between July 2000 and March 2003 shows that 79 calls

          18       were logged as received.  46 were made in response.  And

          19       three calls were made by him in 2000 relating to

          20       a balancing issue on the Horizon system.

          21           So we say that that is an early example of what we

          22       will submit is the egregious nature of the failure

          23       to investigate.

          24           The next case we draw to the court's attention --

          25   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Just before you move on,


           1       Ms O'Reilly, I just want to understand the reference you

           2       made to shortfalls before and after Horizon.

           3   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.

           4   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  This case, like all the others, as

           5       I understand it, is the subject of

           6       a ground 1 concession.

           7   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.

           8   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Because it is a Horizon

           9       shortfall case.

          10   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.  I make that reference in general terms

          11       from having read the disclosure, which goes beyond what

          12       is in the respondent's notice, but it is clear that

          13       there are schedules produced, which start, I think, in

          14       1997 or 1998 and go beyond 2000.  And so in his case

          15       I believe there was some evidence of discrepancies

          16       occurring before, but it is conceded on the core(?) that

          17       it was connected to Horizon.  So we say the failure --

          18   MR ALTMAN:  Page 1254, paragraph 9.

          19   MS O'REILLY:  I am grateful.

          20   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes, thank you.

          21   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I think the end of paragraph 10 as well.

          22   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.

          23   MS O'REILLY:  Thank you.

          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you, Ms O'Reilly.

          25           You were about to move on and I stopped you, for


           1       which I apologise.

           2   MS O'REILLY:  All right.

           3           David Hedges is the next case we would draw to the

           4       court's attention.  Can I take the court, please, to

           5       page 1175 of bundle A.  This is a case where

           6       on 7 July 2005 Mr Hedges had written to his contract

           7       manager stating that there was an outstanding shortage

           8       at the branch which was part of an ongoing problem.  And

           9       he wrote that letter in response to his contract manager

          10       having written to him about an ostensibly small shortage

          11       of £411.  So in the case of David Hedges we would submit

          12       that he is, on any rational or objective view, being

          13       proactive and candid in explaining the difficulties he

          14       is having.

          15           And in 2005, when he is writing this letter, he is

          16       saying that he has been experiencing difficulties for

          17       some time.  So even though this is happening in 2005, it

          18       relates to a period which is close in time to

          19       the roll-out.

          20           So on the facts of that case, on those limited

          21       facts, we would highlight that the failure to

          22       investigate is, we would submit, sufficient to make out

          23       an affront to justice.

          24           The next case we draw to the court's attention is

          25       that of Barry Capon, who appears at page 1215.  In his


           1       case, he had pleaded guilty to offences which had

           2       allegedly taken place between 2003 and 2008 and we draw

           3       this case to the court's attention because he himself

           4       had kept a list of the shortages which he had observed,

           5       and we can see that at paragraph 2; it is the final

           6       sentence.  He had raised specific issues which had

           7       occurred since changing to Horizon Online.

           8           The next case we would draw to the court's attention

           9       is that of Siobhan Sayer.  She pleaded guilty in 2010 to

          10       offences allegedly committed in 2008 and 2009.  We

          11       simply emphasise her case as an example where she had

          12       raised imbalances and cash shortages in interview and in

          13       her case some ARQ data was obtained which was not

          14       analysed.  There is an earlier reference to that

          15       elsewhere in the speaking note.

          16           I will come now to the next case, which is that of

          17       Margery Williams.  Can I take the court, please, to

          18       page 1236.  Does the court have that?

          19   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes, thank you.

          20   MS O'REILLY:  Thank you.

          21           Margery Williams had pleaded guilty in 2012 to

          22       offences allegedly committed in 2011.  In her interview,

          23       she had raised matters in relation to Horizon Online.

          24       What we rely upon is what happened in court when she

          25       pleaded guilty, which we say is instructive of the


           1       implications of the limb 1 concessions.  So can the

           2       court look at paragraph 5 on page 1237.

           3           What happened when Margery Williams went to court

           4       and pleaded guilty at PCMH, at Plea and Case Management

           5       Hearing, is described in an investigator's report which

           6       is quoted in full there.  What it says is that

           7       Mrs Williams pleaded guilty to the four charges.

           8       However, when her mitigation was presented, His Honour

           9       Judge Hughes asked, "If that is the case, why would she

          10       act dishonestly?".  Her barrister said that her client

          11       had stated that she had not stolen money and the hearing

          12       was adjourned because His Honour Judge Hughes had

          13       suggested the possibility of a Newton hearing.  There

          14       was clearly an interval, during which time Margery

          15       Williams spoke to her counsel, and when they came back

          16       into court, Ms Owen, her counsel, explained that her

          17       client had stated she may have booked the remittance

          18       pouch in twice and had not accounted for the money

          19       correctly.  There was then a conversation about that and

          20       eventually, when the hearing resumed, by which time

          21       there had been a further conference with Margery

          22       Williams and her counsel, she accepted in court that she

          23       had stolen the money.

          24           So we say that this is instructive as to the way in

          25       which the pressure that is generated by the


           1       investigative and disclosure failing can come to bear in

           2       a way that is obviously different from the pressure that

           3       is operating on someone like Joe Hamilton, for example,

           4       in the conceded cases, but which is nonetheless pressure

           5       that offends, or should offend, the court's conscience.

           6       What is the difference, we would submit, between Margery

           7       Williams in that courtroom, who is during the course of

           8       one hearing essentially forced to move to an admission

           9       of theft, having been faced with the consequences of

          10       a Newton hearing, which we all know are often

          11       calamitous, and the pressure that Joe Hamilton or

          12       Allison Henderson or Alison Hall or Hughie Thomas faced

          13       when they were offered pleas on conditions.

          14           We say this a good example of how the pressure can

          15       manifest itself in different ways and the symptoms may

          16       look different but they are borne of the same vice.

          17   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I suppose you say in a sense it is

          18       particularly graphic when you have a judge (Inaudible)

          19       views, saying essentially "Are you sure about this?"

          20   MS O'REILLY:  Yes, and one can understand how it happened,

          21       because of course His Honour Judge Hughes was none the

          22       wiser than Margery Williams.  This case also represents,

          23       we would submit, a good example of a direct

          24       confrontation between the foundation of the limb 1 abuse

          25       and the integrity of the courts' process itself.  That


           1       is the case of Margery Williams.

           2           The next example we would bring to the court's

           3       attention is that of Gillian Howard.  We bring her case

           4       to the court's attention for this reason.  She pleaded

           5       guilty in 2011 to offences allegedly committed in 2008

           6       and 2010.  Her portion of the respondent's notice is at

           7       1242, and can I take the court to that, please.  In

           8       fact, can I take the court to page 1244, because

           9       I simply wish to highlight what is said on that page.

          10           On page 1244, if the court simply scans through from

          11       paragraph 9 onwards, one can see that she has raised

          12       problems with the transition to Horizon Online but then,

          13       at paragraph 11, we can see that, during their time --

          14       because I believe she formerly ran the branch with her

          15       husband -- the Howards made 39 calls to the national

          16       business support centre, 22 of which concerned

          17       unexplained shortfalls or accounting problems.  We say

          18       that is a stark example of a failure to investigate

          19       against particular evidence of phone calls and therefore

          20       seeking help.

          21   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  You essentially say, wherever there is

          22       a concession as regards ground 1, there is

          23       an unexplained shortfall, and then it should be the case

          24       that that same concession leads to a concession on

          25       ground 2?


           1   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.  The court needs no additional or extra

           2       facts or information.  The facts which are part of the

           3       limb 1 concession are sufficient to secure the

           4       foundation for limb 2.

           5           I have two more examples left.  The penultimate one

           6       is that of Kashmir Gill, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to

           7       offences allegedly committed in 2009.  In relation to

           8       her case, can I please take the court to bundle C,

           9       page 744.

          10           This is a schedule of disclosable extracts which

          11       includes most of the contents of a memo which deals with

          12       Ms Gill, A15, and deals with the decision that was taken

          13       this her case, which is referred to in the respondent's

          14       notice, which was that there had been a theft charge

          15       which the respondent decided not to proceed with in the

          16       end because money had been repaid, the monies had been

          17       repaid.

          18           We can see in the first box some discussion of this

          19       decision, where it said:

          20           "For reference, a guilty plea to falsification of

          21       accounts has been entered, leaving one charge of theft

          22       disputed for Crown Court trial in June.  To my mind ...

          23       [et cetera] false accounting admissions should stand,

          24       leaving the merits of pursuing a single count of theft

          25       for monies already repaid to be questioned.  In essence,


           1       Richard and I believe, as does Colin Price [who I think

           2       was an investigator] that there is little merit in

           3       pursuing this now as a theft case, given the age of

           4       [I assume Ms Gill] and the fact that monies are repaid."

           5           Now, in any case where monies subject to a theft

           6       count have been repaid, there is a plain and obvious

           7       question it was to whether it would be in the public

           8       interest to proceed, but we submit that the court should

           9       consider this, which may on its face look innocuous, but

          10       consider it alongside for example the concession in

          11       Joe Hamilton's case, where the Post Office have accepted

          12       that a theft charge was essentially wielded in a way

          13       that certainly made it look as if the prosecution

          14       process was being used as an enforcement mechanism for

          15       repayment.  We invite the court to consider this as

          16       being equally consistent with the fact, not that it was

          17       not just not in the public interest to proceed with the

          18       theft charge, but that the theft charge had served its

          19       purpose.

          20           The final case which we draw to the court's

          21       attention, and one which we say is an important one

          22       generally, is that of Damien Owen, who is one of the

          23       appellants who was tried and convicted.  He was tried in

          24       2011 in relation to offences allegedly committed in 2009

          25       and 2010, and his portion of the respondent's notice is


           1       at 1165.

           2           Now, if the court can turn to page 1166, please,

           3       paragraph 8, we can see what Mr Owen said in interview,

           4       which was that his branch had migrated to Horizon Online

           5       on 23 July 2010, when a thorough cash check was carried

           6       out, et cetera, and the accounts balanced.  On 24 July,

           7       so at the time of the migration, a discrepancy of £700

           8       was found.  Mr Owen said he was told it would work

           9       itself out.  The branch then traded as normal until

          10       9 August, a period of about two weeks, and there was

          11       then an audit on 9 August, apparently two weeks after

          12       the migration, the outcome of which came as a big shock

          13       to him.  So we are dealing with a Horizon Online case,

          14       a discrepancy observed immediately upon migration and

          15       an audit two weeks after migration.

          16           In his first defence statement, Mr Owen denied he

          17       had falsified records.  His defence statement said:

          18           "The defendant does not know whether the accounting

          19       procedures adopted to produce the information are

          20       accurate, nor whether there is a shortfall as alleged.

          21       Further, it is Mr Owen's understanding that the

          22       accounting systems operated by the Post Office

          23       are notorious for producing imbalance anomalies."

          24           So at his trial Horizon Online was fairly and

          25       squarely in issue.  We say that this case is a clear


           1       example of how the implications of limb 1, properly

           2       analysed, inexorably lead to the limb 2 standard.

           3           Before we make our concluding submissions in

           4       relation to Damien Owen, can I ask the court to turn to

           5       C48.

           6   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I wonder if it might be better if we

           7       do that after the short adjournment.

           8   MS O'REILLY:  Yes, of course.  Thank you.

           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I just want to look again at

          10       paragraph 8, which you drew to our attention.

          11   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.

          12   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I am just trying to follow through

          13       the dates.

          14   MS O'REILLY:  Yes.

          15   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Mr Owen is saying the outcome of the

          16       audit on 9 August 2010 came as a very big shock.  Could

          17       you explain the shortage, cash should have balance --

          18       balance the previous Wednesday?

          19           Do you know whether that was in issue at the trial,

          20       the proposition, the balance last week and how it was

          21       supposed to be £20,000-odd?

          22   MS O'REILLY:  Well, the short answer is no but we do have

          23       fairly extensive paperwork in relation to that, so I can

          24       certainly check.

          25   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you very much.


           1   MR STEIN:  My Lord, may I mention just one matter, we hope

           2       still to get to the stage this afternoon where we will

           3       deal with the individual appeal on behalf of

           4       Stanley Fell.  We have, unusually for us, a speaking

           5       note for his particular matter.  We have hard copies of

           6       that, if that would assist the court, but I am conscious

           7       of the current conditions in relation to passing over

           8       items.

           9           The court has a copy and can print off its own

          10       copies; that is other way forward.

          11   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Speaking for myself, I would

          12       certainly like a hard copy if you have got one.  I think

          13       my Lord and my Lady would as well.  Can you also email

          14       it to Mr Mariani, so that he can receive electronic

          15       copies as well.

          16   THE CLERK OF THE COURT:  It has been received and I emailed

          17       it to the parties.

          18   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  As always, Mr Mariani is several

          19       streets ahead.

          20   MR STEIN:  Yes, my Lord.

          21   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you very much.  We will sit

          22       again at 2.00.  Thank you.

          23   (1.01 pm)

          24                    (The Luncheon Adjournment)

          25   (2.00 pm)


           1   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes, Ms O'Reilly.  Perhaps unwisely

           2       I have had all my files tidied away, so I am afraid you

           3       will have to start by giving me a page reference.

           4   MS O'REILLY:  May I first apologise for not allowing the

           5       court to rise at 12.55.  I lost track of time.

           6       I'm very sorry.

           7   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  It was my fault.

           8   MS O'REILLY:  I had been referring to the case of

           9       Damien Owen, whose part of the respondent's notice is at

          10       1165 at bundle A.

          11   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes, thank you.

          12   MS O'REILLY:  And I had, I think, taken the court to

          13       paragraph 8 onwards.  That is on page 1166, where I had

          14       pointed to the fact that the migration to Horizon Online

          15       was relevant in his case.

          16           What I want to do now, please, is take the court to

          17       the email at bundle C48, which the court was taken to

          18       on Monday.

          19   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Is that page 48?

          20   MS O'REILLY:  Yes, C, page 48.  Thank you.

          21           This email, the court will recall, related to the

          22       integrity of Horizon Online and was forwarded to

          23       Juliet McFarlane and Jarnail Singh on 8 October 2010.

          24       Those two names, Juliet McFarlane and Jarnail Singh, may

          25       by now be well known to the court.  They were lawyers


           1       who were the case lawyers in a number of the appellant's

           2       cases.  And there is a short summary of the cases in

           3       which they were acting in our agreed facts, which are in

           4       bundle G.  For completeness, I can give the court the

           5       reference now.

           6           At bundle G, page 44 and 45, for future reference,

           7       that is where the court can see which lawyer had

           8       which appellant.

           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you.

          10   MS O'REILLY:  But I draw the court's attention to this email

          11       because, it having been forwarded to Juliet McFarlane on

          12       8 October 2010, it is relevant in Damien Owen's case

          13       that she was his case lawyer.  So when he came to be

          14       tried in 2011, and when he gave evidence to the jury as

          15       he did, about, in part, how the migration to Horizon

          16       Online had caused difficulties, Juliet McFarlane had

          17       been in possession of this email for a year.

          18           So we say that that is an example of how the

          19       non-disclosure is not near non-disclosure, but how

          20       certainly one can see the limb 1 abuse operating in that

          21       example, because there has been no disclosure and there

          22       has been no investigation.  But what we submit is

          23       animating the limb 1 abuse, with reference for example

          24       to that email, is the affront to justice.

          25           So we say that that case of Damien Owen is another


           1       good example of the working relationship between the

           2       limb 1 concession and the limb 2 standard.

           3           So that is the final example we would draw to the

           4       court's attention.  We submit that whilst it is not

           5       necessary to decide ground 2 by reference to

           6       an individual analysis of each of these cases, it is

           7       equally clear that the common ground between them, and

           8       between the facts of the ground 2 concessions, is

           9       sufficient to allow the court to make a limb 2 finding.

          10           Those are the facts we would bring to the

          11       court's attention.

          12           Can I assist any further?

          13   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  No, thank you very much indeed.

          14       I think it is Ms Busch next, isn't it?

          15                     Submissions by MS BUSCH

          16   MS BUSCH:  My Lords and my Lady, I propose to take this

          17       relatively quickly because, as you know, my primary case

          18       is that the grounds upon which category 1 abuse is

          19       considered should also be taken --

          20   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Feel free to take your mask off, if

          21       you wish, when addressing us, Ms Busch.  It is entirely

          22       up to you, but it is something of a muffle at

          23       the moment.

          24   MS BUSCH:  It is bad enough my (Inaudible) earlier as it is.

          25           Just by way of introduction, you will have seen that


           1       the skeleton sets out the relevant chronologies between

           2       each of the three appellants with whom I am dealing.

           3           I don't propose to go through all of that, unless

           4       I am invited to, and the relevant bundle references are

           5       all there.  What I do propose to do is, first to go to

           6       the relevant parts of the respondent's notice dealing

           7       with the three appellants and then I want to take the

           8       matter of the Post Office mediation scheme, the courts,

           9       drafted by Second Sight, specifically because they set

          10       out a helpful summary of the relevant background facts.

          11           The first point that I make relates to the period

          12       expired since the respective dates on which the

          13       appellants were tried and convicted and indeed

          14       sentenced.  And I make the point that in the case of

          15       Tracey Felstead she had been waiting nearly 20 years to

          16       have her conviction overturned.  And Ms Skinner and

          17       Ms Misra had also been waiting a considerable period of

          18       time, in excess of ten years.

          19           So in essence, if my Lords and my Lady can take the

          20       submissions that I have made, both yesterday and today,

          21       as applying to the specific cases of the three

          22       appellants, I reiterate the point which I made earlier

          23       on today, which is that not only is there a question of

          24       non-disclosure et cetera in the period between charge

          25       and trial, but subsequently, notwithstanding the Post


           1       Office's awareness of the Horizon issues, still no

           2       information forthcoming concerning what the Post Office

           3       knew about the reliability of that, the reliability of

           4       Horizon, with the result that the three appellants have

           5       had to wait, as I say, a very considerable period of

           6       time with their criminal convictions hanging over them

           7       and all the consequences that that has for their lives,

           8       right up until, in the first place, the group

           9       litigation, the judgments in that case, and secondly the

          10       present proceedings.

          11           And I do say that is all part of the mix, not only

          12       the category 1 abuse case but in particular the

          13       category 2 abuse case.

          14           I also reiterate the point that I made earlier on

          15       today, which is that in my submission the respondent has

          16       misconstrued category 2 abuse as comprising in effect

          17       a sort of heightened category 1 abuse.  So they seem to

          18       be of the view that something more vis-a-vis the conduct

          19       of the trial is required in order to establish

          20       category 2.  And obviously by definition there is going

          21       to be more done than the category 1 issues, and again

          22       I say that is misconceived because in fact if one takes

          23       the proper approach to category 2, focusing not on

          24       fairness to the accused but on the respondent's conduct

          25       in relation to the court, then a category 2 case is made


           1       out, even on the basis of the matters referred to in the

           2       respondent's notice.

           3   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Ms Busch, presumably you adopt

           4       Ms O'Reilly's 'compare and contrast' submissions as

           5       regards the cases that have been conceded, the four

           6       cases conceded.

           7   MS BUSCH:  I do, yes.

           8   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  And presumably you further adopt -- it

           9       is an oversimplification, I acknowledge, but nonetheless

          10       the core submission is that if it is an unexplained

          11       shortfall case, it is a category 2 case, in cases other

          12       than those four conceded cases, and you don't

          13       need extra.

          14   MS BUSCH:  Indeed, my Lord, precisely.  Very helpful, again,

          15       if I can respectfully say so.  Indeed.

          16           So taking up the respondent's notice, starting in

          17       the second bundle A in my bundles, it starts at

          18       page 1147.  Then the relevant sections come from those

          19       paragraphs, 37, the heading -- page 1160, under the

          20       heading "Part 2 appellants convicted after trial" and

          21       paragraph 37:

          22           "Three appellants were convicted of theft following

          23       a trial, and one of the appellants, Seema Misra, was

          24       convicted of theft following a trial having previously

          25       pleaded guilty to several counts of false accounting."


           1           As far as that was concerned, plainly, as the court

           2       will be aware, the accounts had to tally when the

           3       trading period finished and then recommenced, otherwise

           4       the relevant sub-postmaster would not be able to trade.

           5       So, rightly or wrongly, many, the evidence suggests, had

           6       no option other than to ensure that the accounts did

           7       tally, because otherwise they would lose their job.  And

           8       seeing as they did that in circumstances where it was

           9       entirely unclear to them what was happening, their

          10       actions are, I submit, understandable.

          11           So then dealing first with Tracey Felstead, starting

          12       on page 1160, the details of paragraph 1, she was

          13       convicted of theft of in excess of £11,000 and two

          14       counts of false accounting.  And then the background

          15       facts are set out.

          16           Paragraph 4:

          17           "When formally interviewed in 2001, Ms Felstead said

          18       ...(Reading to the words)... when asked if there was

          19       anything she wished to add or clarify, she said, 'Yes,

          20       I never stole money'.  When asked to elaborate she

          21       declined to do so.  When asked if she denied false

          22       accounting, she answered, 'No comment'.  Asked why she

          23       was not denying ...(Reading to the words)... she

          24       replied, "I didn't do nothing.  No comment".  No

          25       ...(Reading to the words)... material to identify the


           1       detail of what the defence case was."

           2           But then paragraph 6:

           3           "Based on the ...(Reading to the words)... available

           4       in the criminal proceedings there is nothing to suggest

           5       any ARQ data was obtained."

           6           Again, I rely on the observations of

           7       Mr Justice Fraser in that connection -- without going

           8       back to them yet again.

           9           And then a little bit (Inaudible) paragraph 7:

          10           "It is accepted that the reliability of Horizon

          11       ...(Reading to the words)... might have been essential

          12       in her case."

          13           Paragraph 8:

          14           "Therefore it is accepted that the evidence could

          15       lead to a finding of first category ...(Reading to the

          16       words)... and of course the respondent has conceded that

          17       first category abuse does apply in this case and

          18       therefore one may reasonably infer that if the

          19       respondents accepts it is ...(Reading to the words)...

          20       Horizon data was essential in the case."

          21   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  You have emphasised the word "Might"

          22       and the word "could".

          23           Is Ms Felstead's case the only one where that

          24       language is used?  It doesn't immediately jump out

          25       as such.


           1   MS BUSCH:  Certainly compared to Ms Misra.

           2   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Indeed.  But more generally, I don't

           3       think we have yet come across a "might".  It has been

           4       an assertion.

           5   MR ALTMAN:  My Lord, it is where the authors -- or let me

           6       explain it.  It is because there was no other material.

           7       There was a dearth of material in this particular case

           8       and therefore the use of the word "might" was

           9       deliberate, because while recognising the possibility

          10       that the reliability of Horizon data was essential in

          11       this case, we didn't want to exclude it completely and

          12       therefore we used "might".  We couldn't say definitely.

          13   MS BUSCH:  I am grateful to my learned friend.  In any

          14       event, as I say, category 12 abuse is conceded in

          15       this case.

          16           So then we can see this might have been

          17       an unexplained shortfall case.  (2):

          18           "There is nothing to suggest any ARQ data was

          19       obtained (Inaudible) the criminal proceedings."

          20           So it was assumed there was no evidence to

          21       corroborate the Horizon evidence, and where there was

          22       a denial of theft, there was no proof of actual loss, as

          23       opposed to a Horizon generated shortage.  And finally,

          24       there was no evidence of any investigation into the root

          25       cause of the shortfall.


           1           I do take my learned friend's point about the

           2       absence of information and evidence, but I do submit

           3       that in the circumstances the court should give the

           4       benefit of the doubt to Ms Felstead.

           5           In any event, the element of uncertainty is enough,

           6       in my submission, to make her conviction unsafe, given

           7       the applicable standard of --

           8   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I think you presumably say if "might" is

           9       enough to proceed with ground 1, it ought to be enough

          10       to proceed --

          11   MS BUSCH:  Precisely.

          12           Again, I do, yes, adopt Ms O'Reilly's submission as

          13       regards the shortfall cases.  And as I say in the cases

          14       of each of the appellants, and this in my submission is

          15       critical to the category 2 case, is that if in each

          16       case, above and beyond the pure circumstantial evidence,

          17       to which I will come in a minute, in no case is there

          18       evidence, hard evidence, if you like, of a theft taking

          19       place, such as, for example, an entry in a bank

          20       statement corresponding to the sum that went missing.

          21           So the only evidence on the basis of which the

          22       appellants could be and were convicted was evidence as

          23       regards the reliability of Horizon and what it showed

          24       about the defective accounts.  And of course we know now

          25       that -- or at least my submission is that the


           1       Post Office was aware of the unreliability of the

           2       Horizon data and failed to disclose that to court, and

           3       that is where one has the element of misleading the

           4       court, relevant to a category 2 case.

           5           And Ms Felstead's case was obviously relatively

           6       early in the proceedings, inasmuch she was investigated

           7       in 2001, but we have seen the evidence in the course of

           8       the arguments so far as -- I don't want to go back to

           9       it, but Mr Moloney's helpful submissions drawing the

          10       comparison between the problems that Horizon suffered

          11       during the trial and then the passages in

          12       Mr Justice Fraser's judgment where he compares that

          13       situation to the problems that immediately were

          14       occurring once it had been rolled out.

          15           So at the very least, even if the respondent were to

          16       say, well, the Post Office didn't know in 2001 what it

          17       knew by say 2010, in my submission it should have been

          18       alert to the fact that there was a sufficient element of

          19       uncertainty as to the reliability of Horizon data to

          20       render a prosecution leading to a conviction unsafe.

          21       And it is precisely the set of circumstances, in the

          22       absence, as I say, of any hard evidence that Ms Felstead

          23       actually was guilty of theft, it is a situation that

          24       calls out for an investigation into the Horizon system.

          25           As I say, even if that is wrong, which I say it


           1       isn't, then if and when the Post Office did become aware

           2       of the problems with Horizon, then it was incumbent upon

           3       it to tell her and others in her position as soon

           4       as practicable.

           5           So we then come on to Misra.  Ms Misra was charged

           6       with six offences (Inaudible) charge of theft.  And then

           7       we get details of the audit in her branch.

           8   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Ms Busch, I am so sorry, can I just

           9       explore that last point.

          10           If you look at the respondent's notice at

          11       paragraph 9, in fact paragraph 10 at page 1152, it says

          12       there, under the first category of abuse of

          13       process heading:

          14           "In those cases set out below, the reliability of

          15       the Horizon data was essential to the prosecution and

          16       conviction of the defendant, ...(Reading to the

          17       words)... where there was inadequate investigation

          18       and/or full and accurate disclosure was not made, the

          19       respondent does not resist the appeal on the grounds of

          20       abuse of ground 1."

          21           We know that.  But do you submit that inherent in

          22       that, therefore, in the case of Mrs Felstead and any

          23       others where ground 1 has been conceded, is

          24       a recognition that there was an inadequate investigation

          25       and inadequate disclosure and therefore of what is said


           1       by reference to later documents dating from 2010 and so

           2       forth, being recognised by the Post Office in the

           3       context of ground 1.

           4   MS BUSCH:  My Lord, very helpful, as ever, yes.  Yes.

           5   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  So you pray in aid that as well as the

           6       ability to look at the later documents and say, well,

           7       you can infer that that is how it was ever?

           8   MS BUSCH:  Absolutely, my Lord.  Absolutely.

           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I understood you possibly to be

          10       making also a separate point, Ms Busch.  Were you

          11       suggesting that even if the Post Office didn't know as

          12       much in 2001 as it did later, when it did know later on

          13       of the concerns, it should have gone back to previous

          14       convictions and started notifying convicted persons: you

          15       ought to know what has emerged recently.

          16           Was that the submission you were making?  It just

          17       wasn't quite clear to me.

          18   MS BUSCH:  It is, my Lord.  It is, my Lord.

          19           And I should say, obviously there are certain

          20       practicalities about attending to that submission.  But

          21       coming back to the category 2 case, it is not simply

          22       a matter of the appellants and others in their position

          23       having to labour under their conviction for the relevant

          24       period of time, in a situation in which they were

          25       incapable -- obviously at various times (Inaudible) to


           1       query Horizon data but they were certainly not in

           2       a position to prove that it was the unreliability of

           3       Horizon, but that was in issue.

           4           But of course also the courts, having convicted

           5       appellants on the basis of what they assessed to be

           6       evidence that substantiated their guilt, the courts have

           7       been in a situation of being misled in that respect for

           8       the relevant periods of time.

           9           So I say it is incumbent on the Post Office to

          10       clarify the situation for all parties concerned as soon

          11       as possible.  And as I say, there will be practicalities

          12       as to precisely how that should be done.  But I just

          13       say, I submit that the silence over the years up until

          14       the group litigation proceedings simply compounds the

          15       misconduct that surrounds each individual appellant's

          16       trial and conviction.

          17           But yes, my Lord, to answer Mr Justice Picken's

          18       point, I do submit that the respondent evidently

          19       recognises that at the very least an investigation

          20       should have taken place, given the, again at the very

          21       least, uncertain status of Horizon as a robust and

          22       reliable system.

          23           Obviously that submission derives even more force

          24       when one does not look at each individual occurrence

          25       case in isolation but views them as a whole, which in my


           1       submission is the correct approach to take to them.

           2   MRS JUSTICE FARBEY:  So the number of times it happens is,

           3       so to speak, an aggravating feature in that, firstly, it

           4       shows no learning or, as you say, attempts to learn, and

           5       secondly, assessing the facts of an individual case, one

           6       could look back to what has happened in other cases and

           7       say that that particular judge was misled against the

           8       background of that having happened to (Inaudible) in

           9       effect an aggravating feature, assisting you to reach

          10       the threshold on ground 2.

          11           Is that what you are saying?

          12   MS BUSCH:  My Lady, precisely, yes.

          13           Then just in terms of compounding factors, without

          14       going into my appendix in too much detail, but simply to

          15       note Ms Felstead's youth at the relevant time.  She was

          16       born on 8 October 1982.

          17           And you will see from the appendix, the chronology,

          18       that she was actually on holiday at the time when the

          19       loss in her stock took place in February 2001.  So we

          20       have a young woman, off on holiday, she is not even

          21       there when the money vanishes, and she returns to face

          22       the consequences of the fact that this much money has

          23       gone missing.  So yet again, in my submission,

          24       a situation crying out for a contemporaneous

          25       investigation of the facts.


           1           We then come in the respondent's notice to

           2       Seema Misra's case, starting at page 1161, paragraph 1.

           3       Ms Misra is charged with six offences of false

           4       accounting and a single charge of theft.  And there is

           5       reference in paragraph 2 to the audit of her branch on

           6       14 January 2008, where she was SPM, discovered a

           7       shortfall of 74,609.88.  And then she says that there

           8       would be a shortfall of around 50,000 or 60,000 due to