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We are back in court 26 for the second witness in the Horizon trial. A Mr Jayesh Tank. Follow this thread for a blow-by-blow account of his evidence. Or mute me and wait for a write-up and transcript later this evening.
Mr Tank used to run a two counter full service rural Post Office with a small retail premises attached. He ran it with his wife and one other member of staff.

Discussing The List - an online forum where SPMRs could share knowledge and advice.
The Post Office has a new barrister. I don’t know his name, but we’ll call him POB.
POB: How often did you post on the forum?
JT: not very often
POB when you occasionally had a problem
JT yes
POB how often did you look at it
JT every day
POB why didn’t you put your research on this forum into your WS?
JT it was just a statement
POB you and others are saying there are errors where the PO is at fault and this is important. so why didn’t you put this in?
JT just an initial statement. i didn’t think it would go...
… further.
POB you were asked to get relevant documents?
JT yes, but I went to my box where I keep all my Post Offie stuff and got the documents from there.
JT being quite aggressively quizzed on why he did not put forum information in his initial statement. JT stuttering quite a bit on why he didn’t put important info in his initial statement. I don’t know what it is.

But I have just received both JT’s WSs so we’ll find out more..
"I was the Subpostmaster at Fleckney Post Office, 14 High Street, Fleckney, Leicester, LE8 8AJ (the “Branch”) from 4 May 2006 to 15 March 2017, when it closed as part of the Network Transformation Programme."
First issue: "I cannot recall the specific date, but a power failure definitely occurred in or around 2010- 2011.”

POB how can you say it definitely occurred then?
JT I checked some statements.

POB But you are now saying it took place on 16 Sep 2014.

JT yes

POB how did you make this error. It’s a big lump of time.

JT I just must have misjudged it. It’s a failure in my recollection.
POB you say this is the only mistake you made in the alleged loss of £600.

JT yes

POB so there was a power ucut in 2014. There is a transcction withdrawal for £600 from a customer card account and you were down £600 at the end of the day.
POB you say you called the helpline and told them about the power cut and they said there was nothing wrong and you had to pay it.

JT correct

POB and you say you undertook investigations, including trying to contact the customer who it transpired died several days later.
JT yes.

POB you say you had to print off an 15 - 18 page document to get to the bottom of it. But you did find out from that what went wrong, didn’t you?

JT no.
POB xe-ing JT on his approach to the online forum referring his unexplained loss but didn’t mention the power cut on the forum.
POB as far as the PO can tell, there was no power cut on that day (16 Sep 2014).
POB is taking JT to a doc. We see a transaction for £600 and another straight after for £600.
PO say a power cut would show either no activity or repeat activity - there are certain indications of power loss.
There are no indications here.
JT accepts that
POB The relevant transcation was from a Post Office card account.
JT Yep
POB it only offers basic withdrawal services
JT yep and the limit is £600
POB you can’t use it as a debit card or to transfer funds
JT correct
POB so if there were to be a transfer...
POB to a PO partner bank it has to be done by taking the money out cash from POCA and then during the same session deposit into the partner bank account by debit card or similar
JT yes - in this case a paying in slip.
POB Right.
POB is taking JT to a document...
POB what we see here is the red figure - the withdrawal of £600 from the PO card account and then below it immediately there’s a cash deposit into the Lloyds bank.
POB it’s entirely possible the cash was handed to the customer AND deposited into Lloyd’s bank
JT we cheked the CCTV and it was only receipts going across the counter.
POB you haven’t mentioned CCTV in your WS. Neither have you disclosed any CCTV to us. Have you?
JT No.
POB based on the evidence here you can’t say a simple error wasn’t made
JT no cash went over the till
POB based on what you saw on the CCTV
JT I can’t evidence that, but that’s what happened
POB why are you so confident that this happened when you got the date wrong by 4 years
JT I investigated this to the best of my ability. i called the helpline and they said there was no power outage and I am responsible.
POB But could it not be user error
JT yes
POB so why are you hear on oath saying you think it was a computer error
JT blethers about paying the loss back and standing the loss.
We move on.
Now about a shortfall of just under £200 which JT apparently had no recollection of until he was reminded of it by AvdB’s evidence. Not quite sure how this is going to play out!
JT’s recollection is that he made a transaction of £195.04 which he couldn’t find when it came to the end of the day. He reported it to the helpline who found the transaction on Credence and reinstated it so the account balanced.
JT takes to the forum. He has a receipt for a transaction in one hand, but no evidence of it in his account. He is v frustrated as PO says it is his fault. He wants to go to the press or CWU.
POB suggests it could be a Horizon outage before JT had cleared his stack.
JT cannot recall.
They agree it might have been caused by some sort of Horizon event (Event Horizon!) - like an outage or a crash etc

We are going to a document but there is some confusion about which one.
Going through the procedure for a crash - 3 receipts for a disconnected session and a recovery receipt.

JT has no recollection of getting these receipts.
POB says this document takes you through the correct procedure

JT it does but I never had that document
POB were you doing this transaction or an assistant

JT I can’t recall

There is now some discussion about JT’s confusion about his evidence.

Once this has been straightened out POB suggests that in the case they are talking ...
… about, proper procedure was not followed.

More confusion about documents here.
JT accepts proper procedure with regards to the recovery after a crash/outage was not followed, because some of the documentation was given to the customer and not retained.

Nonetheless after a call from JT the next day about this loss, a PEAK was raised leading to a TC.
JT was refunded.

POB So you were refunded?
JT yes
POB why didn’t you mention this in your WS
JT because it caused a loss to my office and I had no explanation for it
POB do you still maintain this shows there is something wrong with Horizon?
JT yes
POB it’s Horizon working as it should, isn’t it? there’s a problem, it’s investigated, you didn’t follow proper procedure, it doesn’t matter, it’s resolved and the money is returned to you. What’s the problem?
JT the problem is we don’t know what’s going on
JT would I have been refunded if I didn’t call in about it?
POB yes I suspect, tho I can’t be sure.
JT the point is there was a loss to my office and I had no evidence for it and no way of finding out what had happened. I didn’t know about a PEAK being raised.
POB but it was resolved.
POB you were investigated in 2015
JT no I had a performance review
POB and this led to a letter being sent to you [it is brought up and the judge asks for a pause while he reads it]
J asks if this is a civil evidence act situation. Asks JT to leave the witness box for 2 mins.
J says to POB there was a situation where he had to warn 2 witnesses about self-incrimination in the Common Issues trial
All agree JT should get the same warning.
JT is brought in
POB if we go to the second page of the letter…. do you recall at that meeting you had a discussion re the inappropriate postal claims. 9 x £100 claims and reversed and £500 reversed. Not correct use of postal items. Do you recall this meeting?
JT yes
POB and you helped yourself to official postage
JT no i never helped myself this was a way of registering my dispute with the post office.
POB but you used it to improve your financial position
JT no I didn’t it’s just a ledger entrt
POB just a ledger entry. right.
Goes to a transcript of his meeting with the PO where in interview he explains his taking of the postage as a form of protest and their subsequent reversal. JT says the receipts never left the branch.
POB but you didn’t inform the pO at the time
JT I did, via the NBSC
JT accepts what he did was wrong but that it was done after trying to get a resolution to all his complaints through the official channels and nothing was done.
POB when did you start taking official postage
JT can’t remember
POB you didn’t notify PO every time you did it
JT But I was putting it through Horizon so there was a record of it.
POB would that be obvious to PO?
JT yes because of the amounts involved.
No further questions from POB. JFSA QC Patrick Green on his feet.
PG QC taking him to another document. "You must take care only to give the customer the amount specified on the receipt.”
Is that what you did?
JT yes
And onto power failure:

PGQC yesterday in HOL failure… - is that Horizon working well?
JT no
PGQC and the printing of three receipts - is that Horizon working well
JT no
PGQC no record of transaction - is that Horizon working well?
JT no
PGQC and when you called the helpline and got an irate staff member telling me it was my fault - was that satisfactory?
JT no
PGQC and it was only when you went to the press office threatening to go to the media that they gave you the number of someone at chesterfield...
… who might be able to help? Was that satisfactory?
JT no
PGQC and when that person at chesterfield pressed a few buttons and found your transaction from your branch which you couldn’t see was that satisfactory?
JT no
PGQC and when that person at Chesterfield told you she couldn’t promise anything but would see what she could do to help was that satisfactory?
JT no
PGQC no further questions.

We’re on a break.
The name of the barrister who ran the last session and this next one is Simon Henderson. I think we’ll stick with POB. We’re now on to the 3rd witness of the trial, Mr Anup Patny.
POB questions about remming in cash 11 May 2016, and Mr Patny’s son doing a balance check the same day.
AP explains the situation. AP usually remms in cash and his son would usually do the balance check at the end of the day.
POB would there usually be a Horizon discrepancy
AP it would happen sometimes
POB if it was just a few pence or pounds, would you make up the difference?
AP yes
POB and if it was more you would investigate it and raise it with Post Office
AP yes
POB Okay let’s talk about the Horizon outage in your branch on 9 May 2016. What do you remember of it?
AP my wife was watching the screen and it went black. And a customer came in and told us there was a similar problem in a Post Office down the road.
POB we can see evidence of this outage [goes to document]
Just got AP’s WS at the end of the day after the outage he was £17K down. He’d never had a discrepancy like it.
POB are you saying this was down to the outage?
AP might have
POB might have or was
AP what other explanation is there?
We go to a document.
POB this shows the cash declaration at the end of 9 May 2016 and below that a discrepancy of £1.3K
POB do you accept the outage that the discrepancy that happened earlier in the day was responsible for the £17K discrepancy?
AP can’t say that
POB well had it been, the cash declaration would have shown a much higher discrepancy
AP could be
POB well it would be, wouldn’t it?
AP don’t know
POB okay lets go to cash declaration made two days later on 11 May - that your son did - a cash total of £71K and £17,339 discrepancy
AP yes sir
POB then, when your son called the helpline on 11 May 2016… helpline states there had been a rem in of £16K worth of coins
AP my son came in and there was a shortage shown and the helpline told HIM there’d been a rem in of £16K of coins and they told him to do a...
… reversal or something.
POB what he was asked to do was to make sure the rem in had been done correctly and to count the cash again.
AP no the remming in was fine
POB well let’s look at how the discrepancy has arisen [goes to doc]. This was the cash that was remmed in on 11 May - £16K of £10 notes - see that?
AP yes
POB £26K of £20, £16k of £10 etc
POB brings up another document. [I can’t see any of these btw.] You can see the cash remmed in on the 11 May, but it says there was no cash remmed in on the 12th. Is that right?
AP doesn’t answer
POB all I’m saying is that it didn’t come in on the 12th
AP cash comes in on Wed
… usually, but we could get some in an emergency.
POB all I’m saying is that none came in on the 12th - do you accept that?
AP yep
POB okay let’s have a look at the cash management for your branch...
… so the declaration on 10 May - look at the £10 note column - £16070. And we know you remmed in £16K of £10 notes on 11 May, but the 11 May £10 are only £22,130. What you would have expected would be something like £32K - the £16K from the 10th and the £16K from the 11th...
… less any notes paid out on 11 May. And in fact there’s only £22K worth of £10 notes. Yet the next day the cash declaration is very much higher. Up to £37K - even though no more cash had been remmed in
AP I think when my son called the helpline they told him to do some...
… adjustments.
POB whatever he was told the most likely reason is that someone forgot about a big pile of £10 notes and the next day they were found and counted up properly.
AP don’t know
POB well the final piece of this little jigsaw [we go to another document]. So the day before the cash discrepancy was £17K. two days later the discrepancy was plus £17K - its been cancelled out. So doesn’t look overall that the problem wasn’t an outage...
… but a temporary mistake counting cash.
AP I don;’t know. I don’t think so.
POB I mean you didn’t suffer any loss as a result of this.
AP I still think as NBSC asks my son to make adjustments is… I don’t know.
POB your evidence is that Horizon caused all these problems...
…. but looking at all the evidence available this appears to be a mistake wrt declarations of cash. Would you agree?
AP I wouldn’t know how to answer that.
POB Okay… let’s look at another document….
POB let’s look at the entries at 1728 and 1735 on 11 May. Was that you?
AP it’s my logon, but my son was using it
POB why was your son using your logon?
AP there was only three of us so we didn’t really mind who used it
POB Those two cash declarations have huge differences and there is only a single transaction between them. Can you see that?
AP yes
POB what I am suggesting to you is that your branch was pretty chaotic and your cash declarations were all over the place.
AP tries to explain how you have to fiddle with the columns in Horizon to get the right cash declaration. He doesn’t make much sense despite being asked to repeat himself.
POB your evidence is that there are bugs in Horizon yet all the evidence suggests your branch was pretty...
… chaotic.
AP so where did the money go?
POB but you didn’t lose any money did you?
AP no.

AP is dismissed from the stand and told to return tomorrow. We are mopping up for the day.
Discussing dates for closing arguments. QC’s suggesting Wed 8 and Thu 9 May.

One day each. Judge to decide when closings are going to be submitted.
Court rises. Mr Patny to finish his evidence tomorrow to be followed by Mr Patny’s son.

A good day for the Post Office, I think.
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