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Welcome to Court 26 of the High Court’s Rolls Building for Day 21 of the Horizon trial, second trial in the Bates and others v Post Office group litigation. This man will be on his feet all day putting the claimants’ closing argument. Patrick Green QC.
Throughout these live tweets I am paraphrasing and describing what is being said and what is happening in court. Nothing is a direct quote unless it is in “direct quotes”.
We are underway.
Please hashtag any comments #postofficetrial
Patrick Green QC (PG)
"On analysis the way the Post Office has sought to adduce its own evidence is a one way ratchet"
“There’s been six weeks of where’s wally in regard to Mr Gareth Jenkins… and yet has bot been called… we say the explanation for that has not been satisfactory."
PG there are some frankly astonishing submissions to the court to construe contemporaneous documents against what they say on their face
and attempts to dismiss evidence from witnesses when it goes badly is unusual to say the least
PG quoting from the PO closing argument:
"PO is asserting that if their own witnesses say Horizon (H) is not a good system then those witnesses are wrong.” this is astonishing.
[I will likely get the claimants’ closing today. PO closing tomorrow when Mr de Garr Robinson QC for the PO is on his feet]
PG Dr Worden (PO independent IT expert - DW) changed the brief - particularly on lasting vs transient errors. Basically anything that was ever corrected no matter how long it took was classed as transient.
PG what PO seeks to do is say for an error to be relevant it has to be...
… in a branch account of a Subpostmaster [SPM]. which ignores possibility of a correct figure in POLSAP (internal PO IT system related to H) becoming an incorrect figure in branch which later leads to a transaction correction (TC).
We say our expert did not draw conclusions...
… but drew attention to the potential for an effect where errors lay. This is in contrast to the PO approach. Those are expanded and treated together in our appendices. [of the claimants’ written closing arguement]
PG eg DW reformulates Horizon Issue 2 [H2] and then gives his...
… answer as “no”. “That isn’t even an available reading of Issue 2” let alone one that ought to be adopted. H2 is perfectly clear on its face.
The gloss of “in place of human support” speaks of a theme in DW’s report and the PO’s closings of changing the Horizon Issues...
… to a way that suits the Post Office.

PG there is another feature of the way the court defined it which DW “feathered” - there is a theme of reframing the issues in a way which makes it harder for the claimants to succeed upon them and makes it close to a situation...
… that makes it impossible for them to succeed.
PG eg with TC’s he acknwledges they are outside the process. he acknowledges that he knows nothing of business processes, but even without doc evidence a TC is issued he assumes it is.
PG eg wherever there is a KEL or PEAK (fujitsu H error note) which says a TC needs to be issued, he assumes it is and if it doesn’t he assumes it was so obvious it didn’t need to be said. He also assumes the TC process is so perfect as to be effectively faultless...
… and he builds those assumptions into his calculations.
PG “robustness” is the PO’s favourite issue and we agreed to it and it was ordered. Because PO wants to conflate “robust” with “extreme unlikeliness to cause shortfalls in branches” that is precisely why...
[and my computer has just crashed]
Judge; where do I go to to find your benchmark definition of robustness
PG we don’t have one
J: so you’re treating it as a summary term that concludes and consists of the second part of H3.
PG: yes - there has never been a moment where we say...
… H has been relatively robust which is why we think the PO overshoots in its crit of the claimants case… [takes J to a paragraph in the claimants reply to the defendants written closing]
PG we say the investigation of Horizon and its conclusions in this trial is entirely consistent with the claimants contentions about the problems they had.
PG defendants say the statements of the PO accept that H bugs are likely to be the cause of discrepancies in branch accounts unless detected by the claimants...
PG quotes the PO’s generic defence back in 2017 "It is admitted that Fujitsu maintain a “Known Error Log". This is not used by Post Office and nor is it in Post Office’s control. To the best of Post Office's
information and belief the Known Error Log is a ...
… knowledge base document used by Fujitsu which explains how to deal with, or work around, minor issues that can sometitnes arise in Horizon for which (often because of theie triviality) system-wide fixes have not been developed and impleimplemented...
… It is not a record of software coding errors or buqs for which system-wide t-fixes have been deveioped and irnplemented. To the best of Post Office's knowledge and belief, there is no lssue in the Known Error Log that could affect...
… the accuracy of a branch's accounts or the secure transmission and storaqe of transaction data.”

PG says given what they were disclosing then and what we know now - the effect of the H trial has been to disclose a huge amount of data which the PO was unwilling to reveal.
PG just in relation to the KELs (Known Error Log entries) PO says it has take a co-op approach to disclosure - we do not accept that is correct.
In our written opening: claimants first sought disclosure of KELs in 2016. We thought it was a problem management system...
… in fact turns out they were “much more atomised across the documentary landscape” [nice turn of phrase]

PG PO said no, said they were irrelevant and cast doubt on their very existence. Then they said claimants were looking for the core audit log and then refused to...
… disclose it.

PG I’m not going to take your Lordship through it "but there was a Nelsonian approach to the obvious relevance of the KEL" which we say was far from forthcoming and far from the claim that PO has been co-operative wrt disclosure.
PG our IT expert said he’d never encountered a case like this in his entire career.
J well the PO say that you haven’t made any complaint about particular disclosures not being complied with.
PG well the manner in which the PO has hung on to documents speaks for itself...
PG they found one in March and only disclosed it in May.
J where is it
PG I’ll get the reference
PG our point is - they have tried to repeatedly say the KELs are irrelevant and then they turn out to be almost the sole focus of DW’s report
PG we have a constant picture...
… of PO and their witnesses being less than forthcoming -
[PG going very heavy on lack of disclosure]
PG we’re about 2 years late in getting things from where we would have been had Post Office given the correct information. It’s been extremely unsatisfactory...
PG in our closing [which I still haven’t been sent] in p19 par 57, the PEAK noted there was a doc adverse to PO and would ahve been directly relevant to the evidence Angela van den Bogerd gave in relation to Drop and Go… it would have been an obviously relevant doc for...
… the claimants to refer to and it is separately relevant to H8. We had the absolutely bizarre spectacle of Mr Patny being accused of dishonesty during his evidence when he was explaining he was looking for evidence of keystrokes made in branch. This document...
… would have been extremely relevant. PO waited two months from discovering this document and then handed it over just before this hearing continued.
[PG is basically accusing the PO of hanging on to docs which could have helped the H trial get to the bottom of things]
PG we were not able to request docs related to the Dalmellington bug because the tenor of the PO response was that there were 3 bugs that Second Sight had been able to find and some other bugs.
PG then we had the email telling people to stop investigating the Dalmellington bug...
PG and we say this reaches the higher echelons of “less than forthcoming”
PG they also said Mr Rolls account of remote access was misleading when a) it wasn’t and b) he was right
[PG’s intro over he is now onto factual evidence]
PG the PO doesn’t like s drawing factual evidence from a handful of SPMs. We say this is a bad point to say the lease. Briefly: contrary to PO’s approach before trial 1, the PO did not try to strike out this evidence.
PG in the pre-trial review my learned friend [Mr de Garr Robinson QC for the PO] expressed his “anxiety" about that. Your Lordship explained he set down the approach as per case law….
PG we had 9 witnesses of fact excluding mr membury [who was too ill to give...
… live evidence.] from the PO and 7 from us including Ian Henderson from Second Sight who was not able to give evidence in the way he would have liked [he had to stick strictly to factual evidence of what he did and didn’t do rather than what he thought about things]
[point PG is making that the SPM evidence was vital to add “grist” to the otherwise academic investigation into H]
[PG now listing how the SPM evidence forced the correction of some PO evidence during the trial]
PG says that Mr Tank, Mr Singh and Ms Burke’s cases (all witnesses) were initially dismissed by the PO and then demonstrated during the trial.
PG PO would rather have a trial where staff could say what would and should have happened and the claimants would not be able to ...
… examine them. And all the PO witness evidence was entirely self-serving.
[PG is going to the issue of challenging all the evidence presented in a time-limited trial - there is apparently some complaint in the PO’s written closing about this]
[I think this is quite important because evidence which is not challenged usually stands, but this is tricky in a huge time-limited trial]
PG evidence which is said not to have been challenged includes Mr Parker’s evidence on the APPSUP role - we didn’t cross-examine...
… on that because his evidence on it was so thin as to become useless. He says he hasn’t even examined the APPSUP logs - he didn’t even know it was happening at all.
[Okay we had a quick break. I have got the claimants closing statement - I have uploaded it and you can read it on scrib’d here: scribd.com/document/41516…]
[PG now talking about Torstein Godeseth’s evidence (TG) - he is the chief architect of Horizon at Fujitsu. He draws attention to the PO closing where it says the court should not accept some of TG’s evidence]
PG pointing out he had to challenge PO witness who wasn’t there...
ie Gareth Jenkins who was the expert PO witness in the Seema Misra trial and is the Where’s Wally in this trial. He then goes on say it’s quite tricky challenging some witnesses on statements which covers areas they don’t seem to know about.
PG PO should not have been surprised about errors revealed in cross-examination which the claimants were able to identify and were apparent on the faces of such documents as were disclosed...
PG your Lordship will remember that even in 2017 the PO was asserting the Callendar Sq bug only affected one branch. We now know that not to be the case.
PG the issue of surprise at TG’s evidence raised by the PO it keeps returning to in its closing… it ought not be surprised...
… his evidence wasn’t going to be uncontroversial given the issue of bugs in H are hotly contested.
PG there’s no doubt that the evidence about bugs is going to be central to the testing of evidence in this trial. Mr Coyne (claimants IT expert) raised several issues with TG’s...
… witness statement, and as for the language in the document ie having no reason to doubt Fujitsu’s account - many of those docs were created by F for PO if they weren’t PO docs themselves. It’s not simply a matter of F’s account of docs they held.
PG what has gone wrong here is that there’s calling witnesses who aren’t properly placed to give evidence AND no documentary support was given for general assertions on what should or could have been happening.
PG as for the non-appearance of Mr Jenkins [who knows a lot about Horizon] this is explained in the PO closing - “PO wanted to provide a simple and uncontroversial overview of H and its features” this is exactly what happened in the first trial. A general wish to provide...
… a rosy picture of H which when unpicked fell apart.
PG we say the crits of Mr Coyne (JC) are extremely unfair. He was trying to find out what had gone wrong and see what might have caused it.
PG says the PO decided that Gareth Jenkins (GJ) was a witness too many as they...
… already had TG and given GJ’s involvement in cases currently being looked at by @ccrcupdate - it would be more appropriate for TG to give evidence. We don’t accept that reason - we would not question him on stayed cases.
@ccrcupdate J hasn’t GJ retired?
PG he has - but that’s not a reason not to call him either. there was correspondence about his availability… we note in a letter to PO that GJ is the authoritative source on many docs and mcuh of TG’s evidence relies on hearsay….
@ccrcupdate … from convos with GJ. we ask if he is available during the trial…
PG we get told that info is privileged. so our simple question is he available was not answered. we were told it was privileged so we assumed he was part of the shadow expert team. Turns out he wasn’t. We...
@ccrcupdate … were wrong on that.
PG moves on to a PO complaint that one of their witnesses was shown lots of docs she had never seen and asked if she had seen them. We say this is not unusual to show witnesses contemp docs on an area they could or may have an opinion. The complaint doesn’t stand as it’s...
PG… a prisoner to what docs Mrs van den Bogerd [who is in court today] has chosen to look at.

PG we put some documents to her on the basis that she could have been expected to review a source document before making a sworn statement about what should have happened...
… in a given situation.
It’s not fair to criticise us for showing her documents she hadn’t seen when it’s reasonable to think she might have sought to look at them before giving evidence.
Let’s have a look at some paragraphs from the claimants written closing argument. PG is getting quite deep into some detail about problem management procedure. Okay here goes:
1 "The Horizon Issues Trial has been revealing. As Dr Worden put it “specific knowledge changes the whole ball game”"
2: "The position on remote access is now unrecognisable from the picture painted by the Post Office in preparation for an appearance before the Select Committee, in response to Second Sight, in its public announcements in response the BBC’s Panorama programme...
… and in its defence to these proceedings. Mr Roll was fundamentally right. What emerged in evidence was a picture of an open back door to the system, while the Post Office boasted of its window locks."
3: "Mr Roll was right about the remote alteration of transaction data without SPM’s knowledge. It is no surprise that he felt uncomfortable at the time; and it is no surprise that he was steadfast in his evidence about remote access….
… We now know that not only was it possible but that it happened, as is clear from Mr Parker [senior Fujitsu manager] having checked with colleagues who had “performed such actions”

Sorry Mr Roll is Richard Roll who was a witness for the claimants in this trial and...
… worked at Fujitsu in the early 2000s. Came forward after seeing a piece I fronted in 2011 and appeared in the 2015 Panorama.
4: "As with many other aspects of this case, there can only really be two explanations for how at least some of the truth has come to light – or perhaps a combination of those explanations….
… It is at least conceivable that the management and understanding of the Horizon system is so poor, patchy, disorganised, inadequately documented and ad hoc that proper answers to reasonable enquires or assertions could not have been given when the GDef was pleaded, or...
… from April 2018 when Mr Coyne was asking questions, or up to and including the trial itself."
5: "However, the obvious alternative is a lack of candour, verging on Nelsonian blindness and/or dissembling, by which the Post Office sought to avoid proper scrutiny of the Horizon system and its flaws...
…. to avoid scrutiny of the scope of what was effectively unfettered remote access and to avoid scrutiny of the striking discord between the reality and the Post Office’s public narrative to date."
6: "The Post Office has certainly not been very forthcoming in these proceedings, neither about known bugs or defects in Horizon nor about the extent of remote access privileges."
7: "In relation to known bugs, Post Office’s failure to admit and acknowledge the Dalmellington bug before it was identified by Mr Coyne is a striking example of the Post Office’s lack of candour in these...
… proceedings about the shortcomings of the Horizon system and its own knowledge of those shortcomings."
7: "In relation to known bugs, Post Office’s failure to admit and acknowledge the Dalmellington bug before it was identified by Mr Coyne is a striking example of the Post Office’s lack of candour in these...
… proceedings about the shortcomings of the Horizon system and its own knowledge of those shortcomings."
8: "Between receipt of the Letter of Claim and sending the Letter of Response, Paula Vennells and Rob Houghton were in email correspondence about the Dalmellington bug and Angela Van Den Bogerd was copied into that correspondence...
… The Post Office’s decision not to mention or acknowledge this widespread and internally well known bug in its Letter of Response, when it was known to have affected 88 branches between 2010 and 2015, is extremely unsatisfactory….
… The Post Office was less than forthcoming about this."
9: "The Post Office’s careful wording in their Letter of Response1 was likely, if not calculated, to convey a misleading impression, namely that the Post Office knew of three bugs but it accepted that there may be others….
… That was not a fair, accurate or complete statement of the situation or what the Post Office knew of it. And it took Mr Coyne to discover the existence of the Dalmellington bug, as well as a number of others. The Post Office was less than forthcoming about this."
10: "The statement in the letter from the Post Office’s solicitors, dated 11 January 2017, that “the Falkirk/Callendar Square issue was only known to have affected that one branch” is yet another striking example. That was not a fair, accurate or complete statement of the...
… situation or what the Post Office knew of it. The Post Office was also less than forthcoming about this."
11: "Moreover, no explanation has ever been provided as to how that statement came to be made to the Claimants − notably at a stage in proceedings when the Post Office was contending that the GLO...
… issues should exclude the risk that Horizon did not provide an accurate record of transactions (as well as excluding consideration of remote access)."
12: "It is also salient to recall how the Post Office pressed for the Claimants to particularise their complaints about the Horizon system, at a time when the Post Office well knew that there obviously material matters of which the Claimants were likely not to be aware."
13: "Throughout this litigation the Claimants and Mr Coyne’s requests for documents and information have been refused by the Post Office, or disclosure delayed to a very late stage. The Post Office has throughout repeatedly refused disclosure on grounds of alleged...
… disproportionality and/or scope of trial, yet these considerations did not seem to apply where the Post Office was protecting its own interests, resulting in last minute disclosure of documents designed to shore up its own case or...
… repair damage caused by the evidence of its own witnesses. The extraordinary reticence of Dr Worden to support almost any of Mr Coyne’s requests for information also calls for a better and more convincing explanation than that which Dr Worden offered the Court."
14: "Despite these difficulties, Mr Coyne did uncover a significant number of bugs, errors and defects often with webs of related KELs and PEAKs. The Claimants take issue with large parts of Dr Worden’s approach, but even on his estimates of “the maximum..
… possible number of bugs with financial impact” he identified 672 (conservative) and 145 (central)."
15: "The evidence of both experts is that they each felt that they had not been able to “plumb the depths” of the Horizon system − as Dr Worden put it, in the year which he had had to do so, and describing...
…. “a kind of swamp of difficult questions” which he did not feel he was going to make progress with. These comments too are telling."
16: "Dr Worden had been provided with an initial pack of pre-selected documents when preparing his report, but apparently none of the internal Post Office documents which evidenced serious internal concerns about the system...
… Seeing most of them for the first time in cross-examination, he accepted that a number of them were not reconcilable with the view which he had formed of Horizon and how it operated….
… This fatally betrayed the flaw in adopting his “top down” approach and in conflating how Horizon should operate with how it actually did in practice."
17: "In addressing the Horizon Issues, the Court will see that the Claimants take Issue 3 “robustness” last – for good reason. Whilst the reference to “robustness” is to some extent a question of semantics...
…. Issue 3 as a whole is in any event dependent on the Court’s findings on other issues,even including e.g. remote access (Dr Worden expressly acknowledged this link. The Post Office’s attempts to inflate the importance of this issue should not distract…
…. from an analysis of the underlying facts about what really happened – the approach which Mr Coyne sought to take."
18: "Although not a matter primarily in issue in this Trial, the evidence has given the Court further insight into the experience of SPMs in relation to discrepancies and problems which they encountered with the system and in seeking help for those problems….
19: "The evidence showed that SPMs often experienced pushback from the NBSC when asserting that a problem was Horizon related, and that the means available to them to challenge and investigate…
… the underlying cause of problems left them helpless, frustrated, worried and sometimes desperate."
[There’s quite a bit on Angela van den Bogerd]
[just going to reboot as Tweetdeck is dying]
26: "Mrs Van Den Bogerd did not exhibit documents that she referred to in her witness statement; rather, she gave disclosure “POL number” references, which were routinely incorrect and/or mis-described. ...
… Further, many of the documents she had relied upon were not referred to at all. Instead, the Post Office belatedly added hyperlinks to her witness statement (very shortly before she gave her oral evidence) and, when checked, those links...
… led to documents not otherwise actually identified in her witness statement."
27: "The Claimants had requested documents which had been responsive to searches and collated by the Post Office, in respect of the operation of the individual SPMs’ branches on 18 December 2018...
… It was not until 11 February 2019 that WBD [PO solicitors] said that “a disclosure list named "Claimants' Horizon Witnesses" which contains the relevant, non- privileged..
… documents reviewed by Post Office's witnesses during the production of Post Office's responsive witness statements” ...
… would be provided. It was then provided on 20 February 2019 and the documents themselves were not made available until 25 February 2019. This set of further disclosed documents included...
… many of the documents later hyperlinked to Mrs Van Den Bogerd’s statement. Thus these documents, which could and should have been identified in and disclosed with Mrs Van Den Bogerd’s witness statement on 16 November 2018...
… , were not made available to the Claimants until more than 3 months later."
28: "Whether or not it was the purpose of the presentation of Mrs Van Den Bogerd’s witness statement in this way to make life as difficult as possible for the Claimants, this was certainly the effect."
His Lordship has risen. In fact he rose nearly an hour ago for the short adjournment (lunch to you and me). I have been on a journey of discovery during the break, and I have discovered that there is not a single functioning vending machine in this god-forsaken building.
And I have also been reading the claimants’ written closing which is very readable. In fact today hasnt been too bad. The closing of the Common Issues trial was like pulling teeth as Patrick Green QC took the judge through some really dense contract case law as I slowly...
… lost the will to live. The broad thrust of the argument this time appears to be that this trial would have achieved a lot more if the Post Office had approached disclosure in a fair manner and put up the right witnesses.
As a non-technical person one thing which really struck me in this trial was the admission in court that the Post Office treats every discrepancy of less than an arbitrary figure, but usually around £5000 as a debt and initiates debt recovery procedures accordingly.
I wonder if Mr Green will mention it today.
Okay we’re back and Patrick Green QC (PG) is on his feet.
He is still saying the PO’s excuses on late or non-disclosure don’t wash.
He moves on to Mr Jason Coyne (JC), the claimants’ independent IT expert.
PG JC has been very unfairly heavily criticised in the PO closing statement. His attempt to find out what had happened - what there was evidence of and strong evidence of was the right approach and the correct way of interpreting the Horizon Issues. He’s been criticised...
… particularly over the Helen Rose report, which was also dealt with by Angela van den Bogerd in her witness statement, which turned out to be wrong. It stands in stark contrast to the 10 pages of criticism of JC’s review of the Helen Rose report.
PG the reality is M vdB...
… misrepresented the Helen Rose report either by being mistaken or not taking care. She accepted this. JC gets 10 pages of crit for getting it right and AvdB’s explanation is just a clarification.
PG it’s a wholesale attempt to discredit JC by saying his essential endeavor...
… was to throw mud at H in the hope some of it would stick.
[PG takes us to that specific turn of phrase in the PO written closing]
PG JC was very careful in his answers to stop at the point at which there was no evidence going further - he would not go on to draw weak inferences about various things or proceed on assumptions.
PG Doctor Worden (DW - PO’s independent IT expert) - the PO admits that DW did not confine his efforts to looking at problems or for evidence of H working well. not true. There was no effective consideration of docs pointing in the other direction.
PG DW says in his own report I will survey the evidence that I have found that F addressed robustness and did so correctly. And I will also address JC’s conclusions. What is missing from that is any attempt to explore problems. Telegraphed from the start.
PG in the PO closing...
… it says he did not inappropriately prefer PO evidence to that of the claimants. That’s not right. On day 18 he was xe’d on an area where he said he’d established something had happened based on evidence from PO witnesses and he accepted he shouldn’t have done that...
… this is not an available submission let alone one which should be preferred by the court.
DW relied on Mr Parker saying Mr Roll was wrong. But when Mr Parker said he agreed with Mr Roll he said he was confused and took no steps whatsoever to seek clarification.
PG he did inappropriately prefer PO witnesses AND accepted he was wrong to do so.
PG the PO says DW says he was told to send his third report to the court. [this is the report that was not admitted and there is some controversy about it being sent direct to the judge]
PG taking us through the transcript where judge quizzes DW on why he sent his third report direct to him. DW says he was advised to do it by PO lawyers. J asked counsel if they had any follow up questions.
PG this account is not identical to the account given to the court by PO
… especially in Mr Parsons 17th witness statement which made no mention of the circs in which DW submitted his third report to the court.
PG [goes to that WS] says here it was not prompted by PO or its lawyers, draft provided to Mr Coyne, it deals with DW’s email to the court...
… and that does not make clear that DW was given advice on content of covering email.
PG so we’re now faced with a situation in which PO’s closing submissions say the word “told” could give the wrong impressions and in our submission if Post Office think DW’s evidence is...
… misleading they should disclose ALL communications with DW on this issues which if privileged it should be waived OR they should withdraw their assertion about their dealings with DW on those points.
[this is clearly a big legal deal]
[PG moves on to bugs]
[PG explains his xe of DW by choosing a selection of agreed bugs so that it was not contested or arbitrary and so we could provide an analysis of his approach]
PG PO has now done a full analysis of every single one of the 29 bugs covering 137 pages in their closing submission.
PG this is new information
PG I’ll have a look at bugs 11 - 15 to illustrate that this new information may well be unreliable either through misreadings of existing docs or just asserted or just not tethered to evidence the court has already heard. In PO’s treatment of the bugs, they are sorted out into..
… different categories.
PG the way they break the 29 bugs down is that:

8 are not bugs at all
3 have no branch impact
9 had or potentially had only transient impact
9 caused or had potential to cause lasting impact, but were resolved.
Even at this stage PO has listed 9 bugs with transient impact and 9 bugs having lasting.

On a correct construction of H1 there are 18 bugs meeting the H1 definition. Even on the PO analysis in its closing submissions.
Bugs 11 and 12 weren’t agreed with by DW. 13 was agreed by DW, but now the PO won’t accept it. Bug 14 is accepted by all parties so I won’t trouble your Lordship with that. Bug 15 is in dispute.

So - starting with Bug 11...
Girobank discrepancies - look at the H1 heading under which PO says there is a main PEAK under which the Girobank discrepancy is noted. The KEL is deleted, but PO says what happened can be gleaned from the associated PEAKs.
This arose because an error notice was issued on a mistaken basis because a reversal which happened after the cut off time, the following day would not capture the reversal. Because postal instructions existed to tell the SPM to do this manually it is not a bug...
… it is H working as it should.

So they say this is not a bug and that JC partially accepted this.

But you’ve got the FACT of an error notice being mistakenly issued, the assertion it’s not a bug when it plainly is.
PG let’s look at the underlying PEAK… "Girobank have been in touch to say there’s a software problem as the figures being quoted are not correct” “the PM has checked all... reversals cannot find anything and woul dlike it to be investigated further as an error notice has now...
… been issued and he would not like it to happen again."
PG shows a code fix then applied. It’s a problem which affects more than just girobank. it’s a small but real problem and it’s been uncovered effectively by accident.
Go back to what the PO say that it would be uncovered before a TC would be issued. There’s no evidence...
… for this assertion and when we look at it it seems an erroneous TC WAS issued. So when you look at the evidence it actually takes you away from the PO conclusion.
PG now quoting PO saying none of the errors found by JC had an impact on branch accounts. so they’re confining this analysis to what appears on the screen in H whereas discrepancy or shortfall implies a difference between two different areas.
[PG moves on to Bug 12]
PG PO says in closing submissions re this bug that it is transient. Which means it satisfies H1 and we’ve already heard about DW’s definition of transient. Looking at the KEL...
…. what is not in the KEL is a reference to an error notice being issued. In the PO evidence it says an error notice would be issued. That is at large.
PG it is admitted it causes a discrepancy so it qualifies to be accepted by the court. there is also no evidence that TCs are issued so it could be a lasting discrepancy.
[PG goes to Bug 13 - this is the one DW says is a bug, but PO says it isn’t - to do with the remming out of stamps]
PG looks at KEL. It says "a bug in Horizon” has led to a duplicate remming in of stamps. This isn’t a bug, remember, but it says here “a bug”. Let’s look at the...
… PEAK. It doesn’t support the submission this is pure user error. eg. This office physically held stamps and did not rem them out the day before the rem out item disappeared, they were advised to physically rem them in - eight other offices with similar issues...
… can we investigate etc etc
PG what we then find is that this is an example of problems found in a KEL which describes the code fix which has gone in.
[PG goes back into the PEAK]
PG have spoken to Gareth Jenkins re all this - going to find time to deal with this next week...
… lists workaround and investigation to see if some branches haven’t reported it… Dev are working on a more permanent fix.
PG let’s go back to what’s said about Bug 13 in the Po’s closing submission. Contention it’s not a ug at all and says SPMs would have been instructed to rem out any excess stock and that appears to be the foundation for the assertion this was pure user error.
[Bug 15 (as bug 14 is admitted) now being looked at]
PG PO says it’s design feature in H or user error. This is the Old Isleworth ROMEC “error”. That’s a bold gloss.
PG PO says that Pat Carroll discerned it not to be an H error and attacks JC for not acknowledging that all cases have been decided as such. We say that this is highly unsatisfactory. Mrs AvdB was xe’d on this. She did not say during her xe she thought it was user error.
… PO says that user error was conclusion in ALL other PEAKS on this issue, so let’s have a look at them. [PG goes to PEAK]
PG noting it says “it has to be assumed problems were user related” was that the screen has been changed.
[PG goes to another PEAK on the same error]...
[This is the Phantom Transactions “error”]
PG the only other option is to change the ISDN line as it is the old one, but this seems like an expensive route to go down when it may be user error.
PG goes to the KEL related to these Phantom Transaction PEAKS.
Problem - sales appearing randomly even when nowhere near screen. One reason was a faulty cable.
PG this rather undermines that once you change the screen it has to be user error.
PG we say PO is putting a massive gloss on what the underlying documents are saying and it cannot be relied on.

[judge rises for a short break]
PG proposes to go through a particular example issue and trace it through. Internal Fujitsu/PO doc 22 March 2012 a review of various computer weekly articles. ID of various issues still live in these proceedings… summary of 7 case studies claiming faults.
Second case study is that of Jo Hamilton
(the article is here computerweekly.com/news/224008923…)
Jo Hamilton is in court listening to all this. She has attented more days of this litigation than any other claimant.
Jo had a problem with sums doubling when she was given helpline advice and then held liable.
PG says he wants to focus on sums doubling. We know doubling had been ID’d as an issue though it sounds very implausible when you first hear about it like that.
PG takes us back to 2010 an internal pack prepared for PO staff meeting James Arbuthnot MP and Oliver Letwin MP where lines were agreed. “Our aim is to be open and transparent"
PG reading: although we recognised H is not perfect it has been internally and externally audited and tested in the courts and no problems found relating to those alleged by the JFSA
PG reading notes on Jo Hamilton case: “did plead guilty to fraud” [she didn’t - she pleaded guilty to false accounting on legal advice]
and then PG reads: we are considering a investigation but have to consider whether this is a useful exercise
PG reads: although there...
… is no evidence of problems with H we are considering an audit of H by Deloitte becase KPMG are Fujitsu’s auditor and E&Y are the PO auditor. This could also be used as an assurance for future court cases.
PG continues reading: on H each transaction is audited and protected to prevent tampering.

PG addresses judge: you may remember Mr Dunks from Fujitsu was xe’d by Mr Miletic (from the claimants team).
I just want to be precise about language there you are talking about transaction data from the audit store - not audited transaction data
Mr Dunks agrees. This is explored on par 219 of the claimants’ closing (I’ll try to find that in a bit but he’s going on to Jo Hamilton)
PG reading from the 2010 briefing doc on Jo Hamilton: error alleged to have doubled when attempts were made to correct it
PG so PO knew about disputed discrepancies doubling were being complained about as far back as 2010.
PG so the doubling may seem surprising or implausible...
… if H was working as it should.
PG now turns to Second Sight report. The MD of 2nd Sight @WarmingtonRjw is sitting behind me in court.
@WarmingtonRjw PG reading from the report - “in many instances the biggest shortages appear to have happened when attempting to correct previous errors which just made matters worse” “there hve been numerous references to errors doubling under instruction from branch helpline staff"
PG now against that background it’s interesting to identify the troubles SPMs had with doubles.
PG turns to PEAK and says my Lord this is a slim selection of the doubling issues available to us.
PG - reads Regional Network Manager put £6K into the suspense account...
… which is now showing as £12K - this could be an example of the PEAK where the data server trees have failed to build.
[that example was from 2000]
PG now to a new PEAK in 2003 - first page it shows "Darren from NBSC" says SPM is trying to reverse a rem but when reversed...
… it is doubling up on a balance snapshot.
PG reads SPM confirmed all previous info - he remmed in £13K and traded in that stock unit in error so reversed all transactions and expected it to get to zero. It went to £27K!
PG keeps reading 2003 PEAK: as well as testing the fix and noting the fix for the original bug has not been undone, other desktop nodes should also be checked.
PG so there was a fix for the original version of this bug, but it’s happened again and so a new fix is being...
… developed.
[PG moves to Jan 2004 PEAK.]
PG reads: The RLM (regional line manager) has been through the cash account with the SPM and they keep doubling up. So this isn’t just the SPM - it’s the area manager.
PG reads: this results in a discrepancy...
… something has changed in the EPOS code recently so the discrepancy is wrongly recorded and the cash is wrongly adjusted.
PG reads on to later in the PEAK: this is a nasty problem as if cheques continue to be declared numbers keep doubling. Might be instances where it really...
… does cause problems.
PG moves to another bit of “double trouble” in April/May 2004 - reads: SPM balanced on Wed and noticed all balances on hand had doubled up.
PG goes to 2006 PEAK: problem appears to be related to smart post products, credit and debit figures appear...
… to have doubled. Problem has occured 3 x - see related PEAKS.
PG reads on: in the 3 cases we’ve seen so far each RIPOSTE message has a credit attribute written before the value when it’s usually written at the end. We have tried to replicate, but can’t. Will keep trying.
PG so they’re trying to replicate this problem but can’t.
PG moves on to PEAK in 2010: On 2nd March 2010 a clerk attempted to transfer out £4K. Due to a system problem it doubled on the transfer in to £8K so she had an instant £4K loss.
PG reads on: advised SPM to print a balance snapshot. Ran the transaction correction tool.
PG this is THE use of the transaction correction tool [PO say it has only been used once - now at last it has been revealed where]
PG then there’s a little bit of inight into SSC [Fujitsu..
… support] working conditions.
PG reads on to note SSC staff are complaining there is too little information in the PEAk to grade the status of the priority. Further investigation and it notes “first request is failing and the second request is committing"
PG reads on: timeouts underlying cause of the issue - there is an issue with the two commits because this should not have happened how duplicate entry was committed into the database. Further investigation...
PG reads on: gone through the counter logs and DB dumps, let’s ...
analyse from scratch. in Branch Access Layout the request was ignored…
PG reads on: so we can see the insert time stamp might have entered from two different requests. I have no doubt one was inserted by request ID - not sure how 2nd one happened.
PG so here the SSC engineer Cheryl Card is not happy with the duplicate because there was a similar PEAK which wasn’t immediately spotted and so the first PEAK was closed because there was some pressure on CC to not ID as a distinct problem something which might be...
related to something else.
PG moves on to a new PEAK: SPM states remmed in some currencies - doubled up on his counter. POL state this is a system issue.
PG reads on: there is further analysis that this was accepted into the branch because of a system problem.
PG so that’s doubling in relation to currencies.
PG moves on to the “Hucklecot” PEAK - there’s an office with a similar problem - office was dealing with discrepancy and so selected settlign centrally. Nothing happened. So they did it twice more. They now have a...
… tripled discrepancy.
PG reads on: the solution we thought we had for Hucklcot didn’t work. we’ve now doubled the discrepancy.
PG so this is where they think they’ve fixed it and it hasn’t been fixed at all.
PG moves on to May 2018….
… this is not a PEAK it’s the agenda for the Post Office operations board meeting.
PG this is the less redacted version of the first one we got
PG reads there have been three reported incidences this week where sterling value of remittances has doubled when booked into branch...
… eg at Aylesbury branch £6K of sterling booked in and it showed up in branch as £12K. That passage was previously redacted, but now we can see it.
PG moves on to next doc. refers to the date of an incident on 21 June 2019. Surpasses the doubling problem with a tripling...
… problem. TA’s have tripled to the tune of £2.5m because Accenture have loaded up the lottery transactions once correctly twice in error. Branches cannot balance. Need TCs issued or massive suspense account problem. ATOS, Accenture Fujitsu in conference to find a fix.
PO QC intervenes to complain that PG is inviting judge to make comments on @JoHamil73963257
and says he seems to be addressing a jury and not a judge.
PG says it may be uncomfortable to hear this
J as I’ve made clear this court does not go near cases outside its jurisdiction.
@JoHamil73963257 PO QC gets to his feet and complains (in quite an impressive speech) that PG is going wider than the confines of this trial and conflating a series of different technical issues and inviting the judge to draw the wrong conclusion.
PG says he’s not.
PG finishes
J I have some questions
J there have been references to figures for accounting losses at around £18m - where does that come from
PG totted up from scheduled information provided by clients
J why didn’t you call Mr Singh?
[bit of to and fro about his massive loss which AvdB explained]
J so his evidence is not admissible
PG correct
J you have made submissions about mr Jenkins. There is a lot of law on how the court approaches matters in the absence of a witness.
J I understand that I am not being asked to draw and adverse inference.
PG we say it is less than satisfactory
J that’s a different point
PG it is.
J matters I need to address now.
I take the view that appendix ii of the defendant’s closing submission is v v useful. You, however have taken a view that some passages are at issue.
PG indeed
J so we have to grasp the nettle on how to address this. I don’t want anything...
… done before tomorrow, but before I write my judgment I have to know exactly which paragraphs in that appendix you say are submission or whatever. You will have to agree how to do that betwen you.
J this judgment is not going to be out in the next two weeks - we are going...
… to address how the rest of 2019 plays out. But as you were taking me through those bugs saying the PO’s appendix contains info is not in the evidence. You need to tell me where you think the PO’s appendix is evidence and where it is evidence.
J as a matter of fairness to both
… of you you need to say where you cannot see the evidence and think it is submission. And the Post Office has to be given an opportunity to show there is evidence or say it is submission.
J otherwise the only way I can do this is to go through all the evidence myself.
J which I will be doing, but not necessarily in relation to appendix ii. So all I need is some indication as to where you say this isn’t evidenced and is supposition and the Post Office needs the opportunity to say yes it is evidenced or not.
PG okay.
J when you raised the point just now about criminal proceedings did you have the CCRC in mind?
PG yes
J okay if there are any criminal proceedings underway as of today that does have some implications as to what has been said today and what is published and reported about it.
[sorry that should say PO QC above not PG]
PO QC can I take instruction
J yes
PO QC my Lord there are no active Post Office prosecutions are happening now there are some investigations which may lead to jury trials but nothing is current
J my concern was if there were...
… any active Crown Court proceedings no
PO QC my lord, no
J in that case I am relaxed about what has been said over the last 40 minutes being reported unless either of you have any issues.
[neither QC does. J rises. Proceedings end. That’s it for claimants’ submissions]
Okay that’s the live tweets done with for today. My work on this trial is entirely crowdfunded. If you haven’t done so please consider a small donation to keep this reporting going. If you can afford £20 you will get the regular secret emails to your inbox...
… which alert you to new blog posts and other gossip around this litigation. Just go here postofficetrial.com and click on the paypal tip jar.

I’ll be putting up a post on today’s proceedings later, plus the transcript and sending out a secret email too.
Then I’ll be back for more live tweeting from Court 26 at 10.30am tomorrow during which Mr de Garr Robinson QC will be on his feet positing the Post Office defence.

Tweet thread to come next!

Have a lovely evening.

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