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Post Office campaigner Alan Bates given knighthood - but insists there's still 'work to do'

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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Paula Vennells’ hollow apology epitomises a rotten culture of cover-ups



    https://www.yahoo.com/news/paula-vennells-hollow-apology-epitomises-160641133.html
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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,368
    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    So someone who was not Paula Vennells put money into an account.

    Then someone else who was not Paula Vennells either gifted this money to the Shareholders or nicked it for themselves. 3 years later. With no-one checking anything in relation to this money. For 3 years.

    Someone who is not Paula Vennells needs questioning. The sort of systemic fraud involving systems that the FD should be on top of.

    Funny how the PO was making a loss before privatisation. Then made a Profit just in time for the sell-off. Lucky, that.

    Now it could be that Mrs Vennells was party to all of that. Although if she is a criminal mastermind, or indeed any sort of mastermind, she is a brilliant actress.

    But my money is on her believing it was her leadership and skills that turned it around. Then. Just not now.

    Phil you are just embarrassing yourself.
    I'm so sorry.
    What was I thinking?
    I bow down to your superior knowledge. And your superior Morality.
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Paula Vennells latest: Key moments from Thursday's evidence from former Post Office CEO
    Disgraced former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells made the comments during her second day of questioning at the Post Office inquiry




    https://www.yahoo.com/news/live/paula-vennells-post-office-horizon-inquiry-084519812.html
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Opinion: Paula Vennells is the bland face of British mediocrity



    https://www.yahoo.com/news/live/paula-vennells-post-office-horizon-inquiry-084519812.html
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    ‘I think you knew’ about Horizon errors, ex-Royal Mail boss told Paula Vennells


    https://www.yahoo.com/news/ex-royal-mail-head-told-195137664.html
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Paula Vennells accused of asking team to ‘dig into’ dead man’s records


    https://www.yahoo.com/news/news
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    So someone who was not Paula Vennells put money into an account.

    Then someone else who was not Paula Vennells either gifted this money to the Shareholders or nicked it for themselves. 3 years later. With no-one checking anything in relation to this money. For 3 years.

    Someone who is not Paula Vennells needs questioning. The sort of systemic fraud involving systems that the FD should be on top of.

    Funny how the PO was making a loss before privatisation. Then made a Profit just in time for the sell-off. Lucky, that.

    Now it could be that Mrs Vennells was party to all of that. Although if she is a criminal mastermind, or indeed any sort of mastermind, she is a brilliant actress.

    But my money is on her believing it was her leadership and skills that turned it around. Then. Just not now.

    Phil you are just embarrassing yourself.
    I'm so sorry.
    What was I thinking?
    I bow down to your superior knowledge. And your superior Morality.
    No you sound exactly like her, going off at a tangent and generally attempting to distract.
    I am not claiming any superior knowledge, or morality.

    There you go again.
  • Options
    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,368
    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    So someone who was not Paula Vennells put money into an account.

    Then someone else who was not Paula Vennells either gifted this money to the Shareholders or nicked it for themselves. 3 years later. With no-one checking anything in relation to this money. For 3 years.

    Someone who is not Paula Vennells needs questioning. The sort of systemic fraud involving systems that the FD should be on top of.

    Funny how the PO was making a loss before privatisation. Then made a Profit just in time for the sell-off. Lucky, that.

    Now it could be that Mrs Vennells was party to all of that. Although if she is a criminal mastermind, or indeed any sort of mastermind, she is a brilliant actress.

    But my money is on her believing it was her leadership and skills that turned it around. Then. Just not now.

    Phil you are just embarrassing yourself.
    I'm so sorry.
    What was I thinking?
    I bow down to your superior knowledge. And your superior Morality.
    No you sound exactly like her, going off at a tangent and generally attempting to distract.
    I am not claiming any superior knowledge, or morality.

    There you go again.
    I am nothing like Paula Vennells.

    Been CEO of a couple of companies-nothing of the size of the PO.

    What I do possess is about 35 years' experience of defending, dismissing and cross-examining people like Paula Vennells.

    In the real world, the first thing you realise is that people like Mrs Vennells are not crooks. They are not "dishonest". Simply because they receive enormous pay packets for what they do.

    Their main motivation is to prove their worth. To keep the cheques rolling in. So-for example-when a CEO seeks to limit the role of anyone checking up on stuff, they overwhelmingly do that to keep their Salary. And keep their Power. That is more important to them than whether or not someone might get hurt.

    I don't think I have ever cross-examined anyone for 3 days straight. But I have done so for 2 days on several occasions. You have no idea what that is like. To suspect that I know your deepest fears. To be asked questions that do not seem particularly pertinent. Then the growing realisation that I had asked the seemingly irrelevant questions so that those answers have prevented you being able to answer the questions you feared in the way that you hoped. Then watch that legal noose get tighter. And tighter. So that you want to die.

    Been there, done that. And that KC is rather better at it than me.

    You do not understand the purpose of his cross-examination. Simply because you have zero experience of this.

    So-what exactly is the goal he has been given?

    It is not to Dismiss her. She went. 5 years ago. By agreement.
    It's not to discredit her. She has already voluntarily handed back her CBE
    It's not to prove she didn't spot stuff that perhaps she should have-with foresight, as opposed to hindsight.
    He is making her look stupid. But that does not appear overly difficult. She is low hanging fruit-the current CEO has a current vested interest in avoiding stuff, and has current access to expensive lawyers provided by his Employer. She does not.

    Now-you may think all this is a "tangent". But that is precisely because you have no experience of all of this. 1of us used to charge £500 per hour +VAT for this sort of stuff. Now? I do it for fun. And when it comes to this topic, believe me when I say you are really no fun.

    Paula Vennells comes across as a rather pathetic creature. It really doesn't take 3 days cross-examination to destroy her. We are 2 days in. And-in my considered opinion, there are only 2 possible reasons why this is going for 3 days:-

    1. They want a big showy win on 1 of the players to give them more time to go after the real perpetrators; or
    2. Tomorrow is going to be fun. In a way the first 2 were not

    I'm not embarrassing myself. I was attempting to provide insight as to the machinations behind these sorts of things.

    But-it has stopped being fun. So people can just read your next 1000 posts. Or not. I have better things to do.
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Ex-Post Office boss agreed with PR who advised her to ditch review into 'past cases' to avoid 'front page news'
    Ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells agreed with a PR adviser who called on her in 2013 to drop reviews into "past cases" involving sub-postmasters because it would "fuel" media interest, the Horizon IT inquiry has heard.



    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/news/ex-post-office-boss-agreed-with-pr-who-advised-her-to-ditch-review-into-past-cases-to-avoid-front-page-news/ar-BB1mW2j7?ocid=BingNewsSerp
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Paula Vennells denies shielding board from Post Office's 'dirty laundry'


    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-69042928
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    edited May 24
    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    So someone who was not Paula Vennells put money into an account.

    Then someone else who was not Paula Vennells either gifted this money to the Shareholders or nicked it for themselves. 3 years later. With no-one checking anything in relation to this money. For 3 years.

    Someone who is not Paula Vennells needs questioning. The sort of systemic fraud involving systems that the FD should be on top of.

    Funny how the PO was making a loss before privatisation. Then made a Profit just in time for the sell-off. Lucky, that.

    Now it could be that Mrs Vennells was party to all of that. Although if she is a criminal mastermind, or indeed any sort of mastermind, she is a brilliant actress.

    But my money is on her believing it was her leadership and skills that turned it around. Then. Just not now.

    Phil you are just embarrassing yourself.
    I'm so sorry.
    What was I thinking?
    I bow down to your superior knowledge. And your superior Morality.
    No you sound exactly like her, going off at a tangent and generally attempting to distract.
    I am not claiming any superior knowledge, or morality.

    There you go again.
    I am nothing like Paula Vennells.

    My apologies, I shouldnt have said that.

    Been CEO of a couple of companies-nothing of the size of the PO.

    What I do possess is about 35 years' experience of defending, dismissing and cross-examining people like Paula Vennells.

    In the real world, the first thing you realise is that people like Mrs Vennells are not crooks. They are not "dishonest". Simply because they receive enormous pay packets for what they do.

    I am not sure that you can make that generalisation.



    Their main motivation is to prove their worth. To keep the cheques rolling in. So-for example-when a CEO seeks to limit the role of anyone checking up on stuff, they overwhelmingly do that to keep their Salary. And keep their Power. That is more important to them than whether or not someone might get hurt.

    Or that one.

    I don't think I have ever cross-examined anyone for 3 days straight. But I have done so for 2 days on several occasions. You have no idea what that is like. To suspect that I know your deepest fears. To be asked questions that do not seem particularly pertinent. Then the growing realisation that I had asked the seemingly irrelevant questions so that those answers have prevented you being able to answer the questions you feared in the way that you hoped. Then watch that legal noose get tighter. And tighter. So that you want to die.

    I appreciate the point, but feel you may be over dramatizing.

    Been there, done that. And that KC is rather better at it than me.

    He is very good.

    You do not understand the purpose of his cross-examination. Simply because you have zero experience of this.

    I have a basic understanding of the purpose of his questions, and the reason for asking them in the order he has.

    So-what exactly is the goal he has been given?

    It is not to Dismiss her. She went. 5 years ago. By agreement.
    It's not to discredit her. She has already voluntarily handed back her CBE
    It's not to prove she didn't spot stuff that perhaps she should have-with foresight, as opposed to hindsight.
    He is making her look stupid. But that does not appear overly difficult. She is low hanging fruit-the current CEO has a current vested interest in avoiding stuff, and has current access to expensive lawyers provided by his Employer. She does not.

    Ok.
    I will bow to your superior knowledge.


    Now-you may think all this is a "tangent". But that is precisely because you have no experience of all of this. 1of us used to charge £500 per hour +VAT for this sort of stuff. Now? I do it for fun. And when it comes to this topic, believe me when I say you are really no fun.

    I am clearly not clever enough to appreciate your insights.
    I have never been paid £500 per hour.


    Paula Vennells comes across as a rather pathetic creature. It really doesn't take 3 days cross-examination to destroy her. We are 2 days in. And-in my considered opinion, there are only 2 possible reasons why this is going for 3 days:-

    1. They want a big showy win on 1 of the players to give them more time to go after the real perpetrators; or
    2. Tomorrow is going to be fun. In a way the first 2 were not

    We will have disagree on the real perpetrators.
    As far as the hundreds of people that have had their lives ruined, I am certain they hold the PO responsible.
    It is not illegal to have an IT system that doesnt work properly.
    I am sure this was, and still is commonplace.
    However it may well be illegal to not disclose the faults, capabilities, and what effect it may have had on the individual accounts of the sub postmasters.
    The PO was desperate to minimise publicity.
    As time went on the crisis grew.
    There were more cases.
    More people suffered injustice.
    Making the information more difficult to disclose.
    I wouldnt be surprised if Fujitsu were pressured by the PO, over the dodgy evidence.
    The PO had a vested interest in the truth not coming out.
    Although this was a very short sighted view, as it was bound to at some point


    I'm not embarrassing myself. I was attempting to provide insight as to the machinations behind these sorts of things.

    But-it has stopped being fun. So people can just read your next 1000 posts. Or not. I have better things to do.
    I appreciate that a CEO does not play a huge part in the day to day running of any business.
    Although you would expect them to be appraised of the important stuff by their senior staff.
    It is clear that the PO maintained that remote access was not possible.
    Once you admit that this was untrue it surely becomes impossible to convict any postmaster of false accounting?
    If other people have access to his log in, and are making adjustments, how could he be legally responsible for any shortages?
    The PO were aware this was possible, and were instructing Fujitsu to carry out adjustments.
    You would assume that this was being done by the accounts department.
    It was being done on a regular basis, after hours and in secret.
    Surely, one simple phone call by the CEO to the head of the accounts department could have established that this was possible, and being carried out regularly.
    Maybe that is too simple.
    Although this was a massive problem, which a competent CEO would have got to the bottom of.
    What about the money that wasnt stolen.
    If it wasnt stolen, it had to be still there.
    Why wasnt this picked up, or perhaps it was.
    Money doesnt disappear in a puff of smoke.
    Some of the sums involved were huge.
    This would also been exacerbated by the fact that some of those that didnt steal any money, paid back the sums they hadnt stolen.

    Her evidence has been peppered with, I cant remember, yes I received that email, but didnt know what it meant, or it meant something different at the time.
    She is trying to sew the seeds of doubt, about what she knew, when.
    This has been very unconvincing.
    For instance when she told MPs that the PO had been successful in all their court cases, up to 2015.
    This was incorrect because they had been unsuccessful in 5.
    She claimed she was unaware of this.
    If you were about to give evidence to a group of MPs, wouldnt you at least ensure that the evidence was true.
    There is no excuse for this.
    When they started the review of the cases, they intended to go back 10 years, and review every case.
    This was gradually reduced to 2 or 3 recent cases.
    Once Second Sight established that there were systemic faults with Horizon in 2015, they were fired.
    With all the problems they encountered, you would have thought that a Deloitte audit of the whole system, would have been preferable, logical, and more sensible.
    Unless of course you have something to hide.


    She is decietful.
    She was more concerned about headlines, than the people whose lives they ruined.


  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Essexphil said:

    HAYSIE said:

    Essexphil said:

    So someone who was not Paula Vennells put money into an account.

    Then someone else who was not Paula Vennells either gifted this money to the Shareholders or nicked it for themselves. 3 years later. With no-one checking anything in relation to this money. For 3 years.

    Someone who is not Paula Vennells needs questioning. The sort of systemic fraud involving systems that the FD should be on top of.

    Funny how the PO was making a loss before privatisation. Then made a Profit just in time for the sell-off. Lucky, that.

    Now it could be that Mrs Vennells was party to all of that. Although if she is a criminal mastermind, or indeed any sort of mastermind, she is a brilliant actress.

    But my money is on her believing it was her leadership and skills that turned it around. Then. Just not now.

    Phil you are just embarrassing yourself.
    I'm so sorry.
    What was I thinking?
    I bow down to your superior knowledge. And your superior Morality.
    Is this the 'smoking gun' that proves there was a Post Office cover-up amid the Horizon IT scandal? Shamed boss Paula Vennells was told postmasters may have been wrongly convicted back in 2013, leaked emails and tape reveal


    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13443543/post-office-scandal-paula-vennells-email.html
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    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Post Office knew legal case was likely to bankrupt Horizon IT victim, lawyer says
    This article is more than 7 months old
    Inquiry into scandal told company wanted to use Lee Castleton’s case to dissuade others from pursuing claims




    The Post Office knew a post office operator would probably be bankrupted by a legal case he brought but wanted to send a warning message to others, a solicitor who worked for the company has admitted.

    Lee Castleton was made bankrupt by the Post Office after a two-year legal battle. His case is one of the most high-profile in the Horizon IT scandal, which has been described as the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history.

    Castleton bought a post office in Bridlington, east Yorkshire, in 2003. However, within a year his computer system showed a £25,000 shortfall, despite him calling the Post Office’s helpline 91 times as he suspected the Horizon IT system was at fault.

    He was taken to court by the Post Office, where he had to represent himself as he could not afford a lawyer, and was ordered to repay the money and pay costs of £321,000, which bankrupted him.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/sep/21/post-office-knew-legal-case-was-likely-to-bankrupt-horizon-it-victim-lawyer-says
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    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,368
    No. It is not. Vague potential problems like this happen all the time. And hindsight is not foresight.

    You know I said that sometimes people ask seemingly irrelevant questions, in order to set up the real ones?

    I've been Head of Legal in Companies. Thankfully, I have never worked for a Company or been involved in Criminal Prosecutions for a Company with that power.

    But I do know the Law in relation to them. Because, in the past, my continued membership of a profession might hinge on it.

    Here are the questions I would be fearing if I were advising Mrs Vennells:-

    1. Were the Head of Legal and whoever headed up the Prosecution team made aware of the doubts about previous convictions from prosecutions brought by your Company?

    2. If No, why not? And did you take advice about whether they should be informed?

    3. If yes, what advice did you receive in relation to informing relevant authorities about an unsafe conviction?

    4. Were you made aware, by your Legal Department or anyone else, why Criminal Law differs from Civil Law in relation to duties to notify in relation to evidence that comes to light after conviction?

    Is that going to happen today? Maybe. Maybe not. I always preferred to know the answers before I asked the questions ;)
  • Options
    Tikay10Tikay10 Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 163,250

    More & more, when I see Ms Vennells struggling to answer questions, I'm reminded of the Peter Principle. I'm pretty convinced she fits that bill.

    It does not make her more or less guilty or innocent, but it would explain a lot.

    She certainly seems to be the fall-guy (lady).
  • Options
    EssexphilEssexphil Member Posts: 8,368
    Tikay10 said:


    More & more, when I see Ms Vennells struggling to answer questions, I'm reminded of the Peter Principle. I'm pretty convinced she fits that bill.

    It does not make her more or less guilty or innocent, but it would explain a lot.

    She certainly seems to be the fall-guy (lady).

    Definitely.

    A CEO normally has no legal training. But they normally know when to go to people who do.

    When you have a potential legal problem and you want a solution, you go to PR
    When you have a potential legal problem and you want an answer, you go the the Head of Legal or the Head of the Specialist Legal Team

    It's been established she wanted a solution...
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    HAYSIE said:

    Post Office knew legal case was likely to bankrupt Horizon IT victim, lawyer says
    This article is more than 7 months old
    Inquiry into scandal told company wanted to use Lee Castleton’s case to dissuade others from pursuing claims




    The Post Office knew a post office operator would probably be bankrupted by a legal case he brought but wanted to send a warning message to others, a solicitor who worked for the company has admitted.

    Lee Castleton was made bankrupt by the Post Office after a two-year legal battle. His case is one of the most high-profile in the Horizon IT scandal, which has been described as the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history.

    Castleton bought a post office in Bridlington, east Yorkshire, in 2003. However, within a year his computer system showed a £25,000 shortfall, despite him calling the Post Office’s helpline 91 times as he suspected the Horizon IT system was at fault.

    He was taken to court by the Post Office, where he had to represent himself as he could not afford a lawyer, and was ordered to repay the money and pay costs of £321,000, which bankrupted him.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/sep/21/post-office-knew-legal-case-was-likely-to-bankrupt-horizon-it-victim-lawyer-says

    Despicable.
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Essexphil said:

    No. It is not. Vague potential problems like this happen all the time. And hindsight is not foresight.

    You know I said that sometimes people ask seemingly irrelevant questions, in order to set up the real ones?

    I've been Head of Legal in Companies. Thankfully, I have never worked for a Company or been involved in Criminal Prosecutions for a Company with that power.

    But I do know the Law in relation to them. Because, in the past, my continued membership of a profession might hinge on it.

    Here are the questions I would be fearing if I were advising Mrs Vennells:-

    1. Were the Head of Legal and whoever headed up the Prosecution team made aware of the doubts about previous convictions from prosecutions brought by your Company?

    2. If No, why not? And did you take advice about whether they should be informed?

    3. If yes, what advice did you receive in relation to informing relevant authorities about an unsafe conviction?

    4. Were you made aware, by your Legal Department or anyone else, why Criminal Law differs from Civil Law in relation to duties to notify in relation to evidence that comes to light after conviction?

    Is that going to happen today? Maybe. Maybe not. I always preferred to know the answers before I asked the questions ;)

    I appreciate that there will be subtleties.
    Although much of the time he seems to be trapping her, by asking many seemingly innocent questions early on, followed later by the killer ones.
  • Options
    HAYSIEHAYSIE Member Posts: 33,364
    Tikay10 said:


    More & more, when I see Ms Vennells struggling to answer questions, I'm reminded of the Peter Principle. I'm pretty convinced she fits that bill.

    It does not make her more or less guilty or innocent, but it would explain a lot.

    She certainly seems to be the fall-guy (lady).

    The legal guys are much tougher today.
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