Mr Draper is now taking Mr Latif through a £2000 stock transfer descibed in Mr Latif's WS.
Mr Draper is asking him to go through the stock transfer in more detail.
AL: “Correct. It’s mandatory.”
POB “It happens automatically”
POB: You can print another one if you want too can’t you?
AL: Yep and you need to generate a slip from the stock unit you’re transferring into
POB now checking everything had gone according to plan so far. AL agrees.
POB: So you walked from one stock unit to the other carrying £2000 cash?
POB: And you say you noticed immediately that the £2K had not transferred on Horizon.
POB: to check I understand correctly it had disappeared in the sense it was not available as a transfer in.
POB: This involved you manually counting the cash
POB: You say the stock unit balanced. Now what you mean by this is that if we assume there was ...
AL: I’m happy to take you through them
POB: We’ll come back to that in a minute
AL: I have been with the Post Office for 17 years. I am a post office trainer. I train people up on the new H sofftwar
POB: Let’s do that a bit more quickly. You know what you could have done to print the reports and get to the bottom of what could have gone on.
AL: Yes but we wanted to double check everything very carefully because H has glitches in it. I’ve seen it in
AL: wants to add something which he thinks with hindsight...
POB: Why didn’t you say this in your WS.
AL: I’m not sure. But when I wrote the WS I had lost my father and was going through a period of distress.
POB: I am sorry for your loss.
AL: I am sorry sir. We are very busy running around. It’s never too late and I am sorry I didn’t add this detail. I tried to keep my WS as simple as possible.
POB: Why then review the CCTV?
AL: to ensure everything was done correctly
POB: But you hadn’t taken the £2K out of branch, had you?
POB: So you’re no longer saying you wanted to check the money hadn’t been stolen?
AL: I just wanted to make sure it was done correctly. To be absolutely confident the correct procedure was...
POB: That footage you took would confirm important parts of your evidence, wouldn’t it?
POB: And it might help you dispute responsibility for your shortfall.
AL: Yet you haven’t provided that CCTV to PO in these proceedings?
POB: Why not?
AL: It was a long time ago. We were happy it was all done properly. I showed my colleague and we were satisfied. The thing is with you guys, the Post Office - we’re always wrong. we aways have to put the money in. we’re always liable.
POB: I’m not sure that answers the question.
You’ve already said H provided you with the ability to do a cash balance and get reports from each stock unit.
AL: yeah but what happened in between - that’s what I want to know. That’s what you’re skirting round and that’s the issue.
AL: yes but I’m very experienced and so were my two colleagues. so we didn’t
POB: so you and your two assistants were so so experienced you didn’t need to calll the helpline to find out what might have happened.
POB: you call and say:“is there a report they can do to check what has been transferred through the units”
POB and the answer is “yes”
POB so in Nov 2014 one of your assistants called the helpline and asked how to identify trnsfers and was...
Tweeetdeck has almost frozen up. Am rebooting. Wait out.
POB is taking AL through the helpline call logs for other issues raised by his branch.
AL counters that people make mistakes everywhere.
POB asks about a specific incident and asks how he mitigates mistakes.
AL says that if a mistake is identified it can either be staff or it can be by the issuing..
AL says the TC situation is hit and miss - it often depends on who is running the helpline.
POB and how well you explain the problem
AL yes but the helpline operators can be very hit and miss.
AL can’t explain why. Suggests it might be a mistake.
POB Post Office contends you did not make a call to the helpline.
POB not sure, but says the point is these are ALL the calls logged between June - August 2016
POB Mr Latif in your WS you say there was a shortfall in your branch accounts is that there was a £2K shortfall.
AL - we made it good before the end of the month
POB - but your variance checks, balance snapshots, balance checks and report generation would leave a trace of this discrepancy
POB: so why isn’t the discrepancy there?
AL: don’t know
POB: coming back to this shortfall you allege, when did you say you became aware of the shortfall?
AL: immediately after the cash declaration
POB on which stock unit
POB not in your WS, but you now say you did another cash dec which showed a shortfall. yes?
POB was this before you say you reversed...
POB: why do you give no evidence about finding and failing to investigate a £2K shortfall in AA?
POB: look at your WS, Mr latif
AL can you repeat the q?
AL: I am an experienced SPMR and I wrote this for people who are not that experienced in the ways of the PO, but in hindsight I perhaps should have.
POB: are you saying the cash disappeared too?
AL: the system showed a shortfall
POB so on your account the physical amount of cash would be the same.
POB you say tho, that there was a shortfall in that stock unit
POB logically that must mean that the H cash figure MUST have gone up £2K
POB On your account the only thing that could have caused this is by...
POB if your account were right, the problem would be the Horizon cash figure in AA would suddenly have gone up by £2k - that’s right isn’t it?
AL something went wrong with the transfer
POB answer my question - the H stock figure would have...
AL it was lost in the transfer
POB: it would have been very easy for you to identify this error then and put it in your WS, wouldn’t it? That AA went up by
AL that’s what I’m saying
POB you said you had to put £2K of your own money into the branch
POB did you dispute this?
AL we are liable
POB even if it’s a computer glitch
AL yes sir we are liable
AL I complained to the area manager a number of times. Don’t know why...
POB so are you saying you raised this with your area manager and raised a complaint.
AL yeah we would have had a discussion. This has happened a number of times before. Many times. It’s a software error.
J what is the name of your area manager?
J: good. can you concentrate on Mr Drapers' specific questions
POB did you call your area manager and tell him you have suffered a £2K loss as described
POB why did you not put this in your WS
AL I didn’t think it was relevant
AL: there would have been a call to the helpline. I’m not quite sure why it isn’t showing up.
POB let me take you through the PO case [he refers to Mrs van den Bogerd’s statement - i can’t see this]
POB: AvdB has taken the...
[sticky wicket for AL here. There appears to be no evidence for this “missing" £2K anywhere]
AL: Why not while we’re here?
POB scan your eye down column L - there are no £2K transfers on this spreadsheet.
AL is looking at it.
J: I’m not really sure where this is going to get us. It’s got how many entries? It’s not really fair
POB: Mr Latif, PO says there are no £2K entries - do you accept that?
AL: maybe if that’s what they say, but there was a software glitch
AL: quite regularly - at least every other day
AL how do you define successful?
POB takes AL to the relevant spreadsheet.
POB this data shows a successful transfer out of £2K by Christine Barnett and a £2K transfer in by Christine Bensom.
J asks POB to be specific:
the transfer out of AA at 13:52:22 for 21/07/2015 by Christine Barnett
transfer in SP1 21/07/2015 at 13:55:01 Christine Fensom also for £2K
POB these are back office inverse transactions which the SPMR can’t see on his printouts.
J I see. Next:
transfer out of SP1 by Mr Deecock on 29/07/2015 of £2K
transfer into AA by Mohammad Latif (AL's brother)
POB was he registered?
ML’s transfer in 29/07/2015 at 11:50:30 - a minute after the transfer out of £2K.
So we say in July 2015 there were two transfers and both succeeded.
AL what’s the def of succeeded? What’s the cash figure? You only know it works if the cash declaration says it worked.
AL I follow that, but there was a glitch. There are time it worked, there are times it didn’t work. That’s what I’m saying.
POB: Post Office says your transfer never happened?
AL you call me a liar
POB you may be mistaken or you may be lying. ...
AL gives a long explanation in which he says that the helpline told him that this mistake had happened in every post office in the country.
POB: when did you phone the helpline
POB and they told you to accept them
POB: why didn’t you put this important information in your WS?
AL: we make a lot of calls to the helpline. the PO also sent a message round as a memo on the horizon terminal acknoledging this glitch.
POB you say this notice told you Camelot made a mistake
POB: have you provided any info to the Post Office about this TC or notice of this mistake
AL: no but it’s commonly available to everyone who works for the Post Office.
J what is this notice?
J is that what you’re talking about in par 10?
AL: that’s it
POB: are you misremembering this?
AL: no. AL explains Memo View system
AL; it was done by christine. It comes through to the first person who logs in.
POB did you personally receive the notice
AL the branch did
POB - you or one of your staff?
POB: did you see this? or were you told this?
AL: it came through to me
POB is it right to say everything in pars 9 and 10 of your evidence are things Miss Barnett told you?
POB: which bits are from your own personal knowledge?
AL: every operator gets a Memo View - have I made myself clear?
POB: no because you have not answered the question. Did you see and process the TA or did Mrs Barnett?
POB moves on to par 11
POB did you accept that TC yourself?
POB: you say the TC did not change the stock figure so the TC did not work. Can you explain that?
AL the TC was meant to correct the stock that was wrongly assigned to us - duplicated. It should have reduced it down to £500 to £1000
AL: same thing - it didn’t change the stock level up
POB I’m sorry I don’t understand. It did change the stock level, didn’ it?
AL: no - the TC should have changed the stock level but it didn’t. (goes on to explain..
AL no I don’t think you understand. Shall I explain it to you?
J: I’m pretty sure I understand and I’m also sure Mr Draper understands.
POB: I’ll take you to AvdB’s witness statement. [AL reads]
POB: AvdB says scratchcards are activated at the lottery terminal - I think we agree about this process...
POB: AvdB says problem in your branch started when you received two TAs in Jan 2018. They were mistakenly negative in value when they should have been positive.
POB the mistake would have been obvious from looking at the TC itself. You would see this if you looked at it. Yes?
AL: we would have looked at our stock figure and that would have been negative.
AL yes But the TA was done twice in error.
POB we agree that point mr latif. AvdB is not saying that there was a mistake made duplicating - it was neg when it should be pos?
AL: yes. AL explains the system for making good. He’s gone back to the idea that the TA was sent in twice.
POB we’ll disagree on that
AL: you can check
POB you were required to check the TAs. PO made a mistake and you missed it. Do you accept that?
POB: I want to show Mr Latif something and how he responds to that will determine how many more q’s i need to ask
Judge orders a 5 minute break and then the final 15 - 20 minutes of evidence will be heard from AL.
POB do you agree it?
POB okay read par 101...
POB agree with it?
POB do you agree with the conclusion reached by AvdB in par 102?
AL: there was an audit of my branch and it was stil showing negative and there have been a number of calls to the helpline and the problem has not been resolved.
POB that’s inconsistent with what you’ve just agreed. Why don’t you mention your audit in your WS?
AL we made a number of calls to the helplin
POB we say this problem was caused all the way through by human error, not a bug in H. Do you agree?
AL I agree, but there is a problem that can’t be explained.
POB not sure I understand. Human error or a bug in H?
AL the human error was the...
POB okay let’s leave that and move on to your allegations about H in your WS
AL okay, as long as you accept I think that there are problems with H.
AL: no, no, no. some errors are human, some are bugs in Horizon.
POB is it a mistake in your WS that you say you are still an...
AL yes I discussed this with my sister and she said as it happened when I was a Subpostmaster it didn’t matter.
AL no further questions...
What a witness!
AL is now being re-examined by Patrick Green QC for the claimants.
PG QC can you see on the 22nd June we can see in row “L” there is a call from “Chris” trying to complete a reversal...
AL to be perfectly honest, I don’t.
PG QC asks for unfiltered version of the same spreadsheet to be shown.
Gets to 26 Jan 2018 - you mentioned there were a number of calls about the issue...
AL that’s the scratchcard issue
PG QC follows the escalation but it is not clear from the notes. asks AL what came back?
AL nothing! that’s..
PG QC no further questions.
J asks name of auditor
AL Jane Lawrence
J name of area manager at audit time - still Mr Jando?
We reconvene at 2.15pm Short lunch.