Made it! Did get time to take a photo outside court, so here is the RCJ in all its glory in November 2020.

Live-tweeting from Court 4 begins. We are underway.
Please note that all tweets just paraphrase and describe what is being said, they are NOT verbatim. Only words in “direct quotes” are direct quotes.

There are now only 30 appeals being considered as the one has fallen away.
The Post Office is now not opposing 12 appeals. It is opposing 14. Four appeals were DWP prosecutions. As the DWP prosecution function has been folded into the CPS, the CPS is dealing with those appeals and OPPOSING them.
Lord Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Picken and Mrs Justice Farbey are the panel of judges.

Tim Brentnall (@wierdhead) is here with his partner Steph. There are other appellants in court plus Jo Hamilton whose conviction has already been quashed.
@wierdhead Simon Baker QC is representing the Post Office, a Mr Little QC (Tom?) is representing the CPS and Tim Moloney QC is representing all 30 appellants.
There is at first a discussion about what to do with the unopposed cases. The court is minded to proceed to a decision today. 11 of the 12 unopposed appellants are either in court or watching remotely. PO and Moloney also happy for court to make a decision today.
The court says Tim Brentnall and his 11 fellow appellants have the application to appeal granted, and the appeal is allowed. The 12 convictions are quashed. Reasons to be given on a date to be fixed.
“And that leaves us with the opposed cases…”

We now turned to the 18 opposed appeals, 14 of which PO is respondent and 4 are CPS.

Court wishes to deal with CPS cases first. “We ought just to note there is an important...
… distinction” between the cases in Hamilton and others v Post Office and these today. The ones in March were set up by the CCRC. These are not, apart from Roger Allen, whose case was referred by the commission. He is therefore already an appellant, but the remainder are...
… not, yet. They are applicants. They have to satisfy the court there is good reason for delay and an arguable case. The applications will depend on large part if the applicant can show his or her case is a Horizon case. The submissions from PO/CPS team challenges that these...
… are Horizon cases.

Tom Little QC on his feet.

TL: Allen is properly before the court because of the CCRC referral. The court will decide in the normal way if his conviction is unsafe.
TL: … Allen has given a statement raising factual dispute with investigators, but it might be what he doesn’t say that is worthy of further examination [something to do with scanning pension books not being Horizon-related]

Re Robinson - there is no investigator...
… alive or available who can give any evidence into mr Robinson’s case. So we may need a statement from Robinson.

Re Wallace and Quinn - these are demonstrably NOT Horizon cases. Wallace we know this from the investigator and Quinn was via trial counsel’s notes...
TL - where he was blaming someone else. In our submission Horizon was not essential. Quinn and Wallace is far short of that and there’s no evidence on behalf of those two to suggest it was. Only evidence has come from the respondent NOT the applicants.
TL - there is a distinction to be drawn in principle between classic shortfall cases and DWP cases of documented dishonesty. The evidence before the court at this stage points towards demonstrably that Horizon [H] was not responsible.
TL we would caution against any presumption H was essential and it is up to the applicant to prove that.

Robinson requires determination by the court. In relation to Wallace and Quinn there is clear evidence H was not essential.
Quinn and Wallace should be looked at by a single judge to determine whether they have a case.

Robinson has no evidence from the respondent, only the evidence of the applicant. The court may need to decide when there is a complete lack of evidence from the respondent...
… what the best course is. Need to be v cautious. These are unusual cases. But we can’t assume innocence.

So we invite the court to refuse leave in Quinn and Wallace and in Robinson the court gives time to serve evidence to support his application then determined by a single...
…. judge.

Holroyde [LJH]: The rules do make it incumbent on the applicant to come up with sufficient merit in the argument. In a H case it might be a comparitive easy burden to discharge. In very simple terms...
… the H system becomes highly material where the only evidence of any shortfall is in the H system without any other supporting evidence. But if you have an old-fashined “hand in the till case” where someone is stealing money out of the till there is an actual shortfall...
… then that is very different.

LJH: praises Quinn’s counsel for keeping such good notes for such a long time. The court will be sympathetic to giving the applicants more time to seek to discharge the burden on them to persuade the court these are proper cases for the granting..
… of leave to appeal.

Simon Baker QC [SB]: for all of the cases for which PO is respondent has already resulted in case-specific disclosure being made to the applicants. So case papers and case disclosure as part of the Post Conviction Disclosure Exercise we have...
… undertaken [this is the 4.5m document tranche Peters and Peters have been going through for the PO].

SB: the applicants have not had time to go through all we have disclosed. They may want more time to submit amended grounds of appeal or abandonment.
SB: unless you want me to go through the respondents position in each specific case now, I don’t think there’s much I can add. They are laid out in the respondents notices which the court has.

LJH: Mr Little - we can see there might be circs that different considerations...
… which might apply to the CPS than the PO. At the moment we are considering you as the same.

TL: I entirely agree with that, but without entirely tying my hands - if that argument has any traction, that might only relate to Category 2 abuse.
LJH Mr Moloney…

Tim Moloney QC [TM]: we agree with SB’s proposed approach. we have received case-specific disclosure. That exercise was completed on Fri 16 July. We are in a position to discuss matters with the applicants with a view on how to move forward...
… there are range of cases and the PO say there are different issues. We can address that and serve additional grounds or notice of abandonment by 4pm on 6 August and then deal with the other directions imposed by the court.

LJH: is there likely to be much scope...
… for expert evidence?

TM: there are issues within the range of cases, but we don’t see the need for expert evidence of the live cases as of now.

LJH: but you’d like to keep the option open?

TM: yes
LJH: you and your appellants will be looking for other evidence, paper evidence, union colleagues, workmates. You will also be checking with previous legal representatives which might be quite challenging. We are reluctant to impose a timescale on that, but you and those behind..
… you will be aware of that and you might be able to get some notes to the quality of those in the case of Quinn.

LJH: some other things. Reference to Mr Allen seeking a report from Second Sight. Why?

TM: I’d like to deal with Mr Allen’s case in the context of the other...
… three CPS cases.

LJH: Yes

TM: in the case of Wallace - we have taken steps to contact Mr Wallis and those efforts have not succeed, so if you went to determination today we would have no further material to put before the court.

LJH we don’t have that in mind.
[LJH now setting out the sort of evidence needed to accept an applicant. It can’t be made on a qualified assertion by the applicant. The law does not allow it. There’s a need for evidence.]
If there’s a want of documentation, there may be a need for oral evidence, esp if...
… there is a lack of documentation. There is 5 days set out for this series of appeals, which would allow for oral evidence.

[TM goes back to expert evidence application for Roger Allen]

TM our grounds of appeal rely on CCRC referral. This is one of the oldest referrals….
TM: indictment period is June - Nov 2002. There is little direct evidence. There is a dispute of fact between the appliant and a witness in relation to the scanning of pension books. In those circs we submit it would be fair to have that issue considered. It is a very narrow...
… point that the system in place at the time was Horizon.

[Basically they want Second Sight to investigate whether the scanner was part of the Horizon system in RA’s case between June and Nov 2002]

LJH: we’ll consider that request.
LJH goes back to TL (CPS man): what do you want to do re Ms Quinn.

TL: we do understand the case was before the CCRC. We aren’t told why the CCRC refused it. If she is making an allegation against the CPS for non-disclosure.
… then if she is giving evidence I might ask her about it.

[?? sorry not sure what that point was]

[LJH moving onto timetables]

Sam Stein QC has just got to his feet as a representative of potential applicants. He is hoping to expedite matters by working with the PO to...
… speed matters up.

SS adds that the PO inquiry is in the process of being set up and says he thinks it is important thaht the inquiry has a timetable of these appeals as there might be applicants who would wish to participate in the inquiry.
LJH as you have heard, we would hope where a considered decision is made not to oppose an appeal that can be expedited. we are also now in a position to deal with opposed cases individually according to our timetable.

SB I rise to tell the court there is a further tranche...
… of 13 cases whereby the PO have to issue respondents notices by 6 August.

LJH acknowledges.

[There is now an adjournment until 11.45am]

So 12 more convictions quashed, but a big battle for the remaining 18 ahead in a 5 day hearing. Dates to come on their Lordships return.
So for the record, 12 people have had their convictions have been quashed, bringing the total to 59 in less than 12 months. Today’s 12 are:
Robert Ambrose
John Armstrong
Tim Brentnall
Gurdeep Dhale
John Dickson
Jerry Hois
Rizwan Manjra
Abiodun Omotoso
Carina Price nee Dowland...
Sami Sabet
Harmukh Shingadia
Malcolm Watkins

I only know Tim, who very kindly got in touch when he knew his conviction was being unopposed. Here’s his story:

postofficetrial.com/2021/07/31-new…
I can’t bear to think what all these people have been through. Each false prosecution is a human life with stories just as potent as the many I’ve covered before. To see them as a list, and realise that as the scale of this ramps up there’s a danger the individual stories...
.. might be lost, is a worry.

I know their legal representatives are talking to their clients about their willingness to do media interviews. If you are a local journalist and recognise those names from stories of prosecuted Subpostmasters, please follow them up. Its unlikely...
… to get much prominence if you don’t.

Okay we’re nearly due for the judges to come back in for some timetabling action. Hopefully this will be quite quick.
We have 18 contested appeals being timetabled today, and 13 more appeals for which the PO has been asked to serve respondents notices in August. Some of these could be rolled up into this promised 5 day hearing...
… and of course, others may appear. There are also those who are convicted in magistrates’ courts who are being dealt with at Southwark Crown Court. I don’t know how many are currently in play there.
[court returns]

LJH ready to give orders but SB stands up to say he (SB) has made a mistake actually it is 31 appellants in hand - 12 quashed, 15 opposed by the PO. plus the four CPS, making 31.

LJH confirming 12 appeals quashed.
Sharon Quinn must disclose CCRC decision...
… by 6 August
Roger Allen can have Second Sight investigate his case.
In the cases of (reads opposed appellants' names) wants any applicant to serve abandonment notice by 6 August, Amended notice by 6 August, any oral evidence and witness statement by 6 August...
… plus any other evidence by 6 August.

By 4pm on Fri 20 August appellants must say whether or no they want expert evidence. Expert evidence must by 10 Sep...
10 Sep respondent must complete any remaining disclosure.
Representation orders extended as far as necessary in complying with the above.
Each application for an extension of time will be conisdered by a single high court judge on the papers.
They get 14 days there after for skeleton arguments.

The final 5 day appeal hearing will be listed on a date to be fixed. Looks like from the timescales that it will be before xmas, but it might not. Any delay to the timescale...
… will blow the full hearing into next year.

[court rises - end of hearing]
That concludes the live tweeting. Looks like I might be on BBC 5live before 1230 to discuss this latest development.

All my work is crowdfunded. If you can spare a few quid, please consider my tip jar:

store29806256.company.site

All donation levels get the “secret” email...
… newsletter about this scandal and all its twists and turns.

Many thanks for reading. Full report up on postofficetrial.com by this afternoon and a secret email to follow shortly afterwards.

Cheers

N
@threadreaderapp unroll pls
Twelve former Subpostmasters had their convictions quashed at the Court of Appeal today. It’s barely even news, partly because the scale of the miscarriage of justice is so huge. I went along to watch it happen:
postofficetrial.com/2021/07/12-mor…
#PostOfficeScandal

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More from @nickwallis

19 Jul
I am off to the court of appeal today to report on the possible overturning of ten more Post Office convictions. I am able to do so because of the crowdfunding I have received in the past. If you feel able to support my journalism, please consider…

1/
… putting a few quid in the crowdfunding tip jar (details in the next tweet) and/or buying my forthcoming book. I keep my reporting free at the point of consumption thanks to the generosity of my backers…

2/
… ALL new supporters will be added to the "secret" email newsletter, which will keep you up to date on the scandal. More here:

store29806256.company.site

The live tweeting starts at 10.30am!

And the...
3/
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
As someone older than 40 and younger than 60 i was struck by both the question to Nick Cave and his answer. If you're not already signed up to his q&a newsletter I'd recommend it. Here goes:

Q: "I'm struggling a bit with the fact I'm turning 40 in a week. Some people say..
You're in the brightest part of your life", others say you are an "old man". What is your perspective on getting old?
"REMKO"

Dear Remko,

My advice to you is to grow a porn star moustache and learn the electric guitar — it worked for me — and try to hang in...
... there until you’re sixty. Then you’ll find you don’t have to worry about what people say any more and, as a consequence, life becomes a whole lot more interesting.

Entering your sixties brings with it a warm and fuzzy feeling of freedom through redundancy...
Read 6 tweets
4 Jun
Late yesterday afternoon, at the University of Law in London, the barrister Paul Marshall delivered one of the most important speeches on the Post Office Horizon Scandal to date.

postofficetrial.com/2021/06/marsha…

#PostOfficeScandal

1/
Mr Marshall pulls every detail of this appalling story out of the mud and connects the dots between the Post Office, Fujitsu the legal system and government. He explains why people are culpable and under what laws. He says:

"Post Office lawyers knew…

2/
… of information that would have provided a defence to defendants. Other lawyers knew of information that would have enabled convicted defendants to launch appeals to the Court of Appeal long, long before March 2021. I hope…

3/
Read 52 tweets
18 May
Round up of reaction to reports that government will tomorrow announce Post Office Horizon IT inquiry will be put on a statutory footing, allowing cross-examination of witnesses on oath and subpoena-ing of documents.

postofficetrial.com/2021/05/govern…
BEIS (govt) statement:

"All parties are committed to cooperating with the independent inquiry underway, which is continuing to make progress under the chairmanship of Sir Wyn Williams….
… We continue to engage with relevant parties on all options available to ensure we get to the bottom of where mistakes were made, and to ensure something like this cannot happen again...
Read 19 tweets
18 May
Sky reporting Post Office Horizon IT inquiry to be made statutory at the request of existing inquiry chair. Massive victory for campaigning Subpostmasters.

news.sky.com/story/post-off…

(h/t @chrish9070)

Reaction to follow.

#PostOfficeScandal
@chrish9070 Lord Arbuthnot, who has campaigned for Subpostmasters more than a decade has reacted to saying: "Excellent news, but until there is proper compensation and the Government accepts that the settlement agreement was unfairly forced on the subpostmasters, we cannot rest."
The Post Office CEO is meeting MPs at 4pm today and a statement to the House is expected from the Postal Services minister @scullyp tomorrow.
Read 17 tweets
14 May
Good morning. Three weeks to the day after the amazing scenes outside the Court of Appeal where 39 Subpostmaster convictions were quashed, we are at Southwark Crown Court for two more cases to be decided.
Thread follows.
#PostOfficeScandal
Parmod Kalia and Teju Adedayo are hoping to get their convictions quashed. My live-tweeting summarises and describes what is happening, it is not verbatim unless it is in “diret quotes.”

PO barrister on her feet setting out the case:
Parmod Kalia pleaded guilty on 17 Dec 2001 Bromley to one charge of theft of £22k. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison.

Teju (Tara) Adedayo on 19 Jan 2006 pleaded guilty to 3 charges of false accounting to £52k with 10 further offences of false accounting...
Read 15 tweets

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