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[News] Post Office Scandal -



rippleman

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2011
4,733
Two things about his examination that immediately screamed at me he could have said that would have sowed a bit of FUD:

1. Something that Beer himself picked up: having deleted the third reason, just why did he not delete the reference lower down the page that referred back to system failures?
2. Something that neither man brought up: if you delete the third reason, and your intention is truly to completely delete the point, why do you leave ‘three reasons’ in the text? If absolute deletion was the objective, he would have changed ‘three’ to ‘two’.

I’m left feeling that there are two reasonable conclusions to draw:

1. Ward was absolutely involved in a cover up at that point and he’s really rather stupid because he only changed one of the three things that needed changing.

2. Ward wanted point 3 re-worded to not look as bad. He deleted the words, but didn’t intend for the point to be completely deleted.

Personally, I think he was/is a not particularly sophisticated man who was more in camp 2 rather than 1. He lacked the sophistication in his second examining to provide some reasonable FUD.

The whole thing is an unmitigated clusterfuck and cover up. Several people should, and probably will, be jailed. I’m not completely convinced that Ward is one of them.
Sorry, but I have to disagree. He was clearly part of a wider cover-up. A "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice" if you like. People did serious prison time and at least one took their own life as a result of this conspiracy to "hide" the failings of Horizon.

Ward changed documents to remove any reference to "systems failures". He changed the docs but didn't reveal that when he first gave evidence to the enquiry. Beer KC and his team have got Ward bang to rights. Not only with the initial cover-up but for lying to the enquiry.

Definitely camp 1 for me. He should be locked up.
 




Goldstone1976

We Got Calde in!!
Helpful Moderator
NSC Patron
Apr 30, 2013
13,882
Herts
Sorry, but I have to disagree. He was clearly part of a wider cover-up. A "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice" if you like. People did serious prison time and at least one took their own life as a result of this conspiracy to "hide" the failings of Horizon.

Ward changed documents to remove any reference to "systems failures". He changed the docs but didn't reveal that when he first gave evidence to the enquiry. Beer KC and his team have got Ward bang to rights. Not only with the initial cover-up but for lying to the enquiry.

Definitely camp 1 for me. He should be locked up.
Ok - fair enough.

A response, if I may.

There absolutely was a cover up, and I’d agree there’s strong evidence of a conspiracy. The consequences on the affected SPMs were and are profound. Justice needs to done and to be seen to be done.

Ward changed the proposed witness statement for sure. But he didn’t remove all references to ‘systems failures’; he removed one, and left one in. As I say in my post above, if his intent was cover up (or conspiracy), why would he do that?

Justice being done and being seen to be done compels us to not create scapegoats in our search for the true culprits.

It seems to me that there is some circumstantial evidence to suggest that the initial proposed altering of the witness statement was broadly along the lines that Ward (inadequately) tried to explain.

There is, of course, no defence to the lying first time round.

It would not be justice imo if we sweep everyone who had something to do with the travesty into the same bucket.
 


Bodian

Well-known member
May 3, 2012
12,695
Cumbria
Two things about his examination that immediately screamed at me he could have said that would have sowed a bit of FUD:

1. Something that Beer himself picked up: having deleted the third reason, just why did he not delete the reference lower down the page that referred back to system failures?
2. Something that neither man brought up: if you delete the third reason, and your intention is truly to completely delete the point, why do you leave ‘three reasons’ in the text? If absolute deletion was the objective, he would have changed ‘three’ to ‘two’.

I’m left feeling that there are two reasonable conclusions to draw:

1. Ward was absolutely involved in a cover up at that point and he’s really rather stupid because he only changed one of the three things that needed changing.

2. Ward wanted point 3 re-worded to not look as bad. He deleted the words, but didn’t intend for the point to be completely deleted.

Personally, I think he was/is a not particularly sophisticated man who was more in camp 2 rather than 1. He lacked the sophistication in his second examining to provide some reasonable FUD.

The whole thing is an unmitigated clusterfuck and cover up. Several people should, and probably will, be jailed. I’m not completely convinced that Ward is one of them.

Sorry, but I have to disagree. He was clearly part of a wider cover-up. A "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice" if you like. People did serious prison time and at least one took their own life as a result of this conspiracy to "hide" the failings of Horizon.

Ward changed documents to remove any reference to "systems failures". He changed the docs but didn't reveal that when he first gave evidence to the enquiry. Beer KC and his team have got Ward bang to rights. Not only with the initial cover-up but for lying to the enquiry.

Definitely camp 1 for me. He should be locked up.
Camp 1.5 for me!

It struck me that he was using track changes / delete, where he should really have used the Add Comment function - where you highlight the words and raise a question which shows to the side of the document. I think that's what he was trying to do - he wanted the third reason changed rather than necessarily wholly removed. BUT - the point is that really the reason he wanted the words changed - was because he didn't want the system failures to be described as 'normal'. The second bit later on avoided saying it was a normal occurrence, and defined it - which was understandably more acceptable, so he could leave it in.

What is entirely unacceptable is that he denied it the first time around - even though there was clearly a line through the words. That's what has caught him out, and will get him personally in trouble.
 


Goldstone1976

We Got Calde in!!
Helpful Moderator
NSC Patron
Apr 30, 2013
13,882
Herts
Camp 1.5 for me!

It struck me that he was using track changes / delete, where he should really have used the Add Comment function - where you highlight the words and raise a question which shows to the side of the document. I think that's what he was trying to do - he wanted the third reason changed rather than necessarily wholly removed. BUT - the point is that really the reason he wanted the words changed - was because he didn't want the system failures to be described as 'normal'. The second bit later on avoided saying it was a normal occurrence, and defined it - which was understandably more acceptable, so he could leave it in.

What is entirely unacceptable is that he denied it the first time around - even though there was clearly a line through the words. That's what has caught him out, and will get him personally in trouble.
Yeah; I would agree with your correction on both counts.
 






Weststander

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Aug 25, 2011
66,172
Withdean area
Thanks for posting this. Everyone remotely involved in any sort of legal work, or even amending stuff at whatever work you do should watch that - to fully understand the potential repercussions and consequences of our keyboard actions, and how they can come back to haunt us.

Mr Beer is rapidly becoming a hero of mine. How he manages to keep all this in his head is quite amazing (yes, I know he has support, but still). And the way he takes people through things makes it crystal clear what they were up to. Sometimes he skips over stuff, and the witness must think 'phew' - only for him to return to it. In this instance, he let Mr Ward say time and again that he wasn't aware of bugs or problems with Horizon etc. and hadn't been told. Only for Mr Beer to say at the end - Gareth Jenkins, the expert witness, was telling you here that there were system failures, so you were told - but you deleted it from his statement because it was potentially damaging to the prosecution. Ward kept trying to say he hadn't deleted it - but he clearly had - or even if he hadn't, he'd made it quite clear he wanted it deleted.

Vennells (fake Christian) and a couple of other women at the top, went for a very deliberate and long rehearsed routine of …. let down by others not keeping them in the loop, blame Fujutsu, I’m not tech savvy, too far back to recollect exactly.

Vile, furtive people, a horrible watch. I’ve personally come across that type of character before through work, they could smugly lie their way out of anything, at the same time believing their only lies. Usually ex posh public school boys, but these PO women seemed to have average backgrounds?

I hope for two things.
1. Criminal trials where expert police officers and witnesses, the CPS and brutally effective barristers get all their ducks in a row.
2. Through civil or internal PO actions, all pension rights are lost, hopefully damages claims too.
 


Official Old Man

Uckfield Seagull
Aug 27, 2011
8,730
Brighton
Heads up and here we go, the big one.
From 9:45 Tuesday 25th June for four whole days
Gareth Jenkins - former Distinguished Engineer at Fujitsu Services Ltd
He's the 'expert witness' used by the Post Office on behalf of Fujitsu who claimed that there was nothing wrong with Horizon and helped put 100's of inocent people in prison or a life of hell.
Don't forget the bingo card 'I can't recall', 'I wrote that, but didn't mean that', 'Hind sight', 'I didn't know how to use Horison', 'Only doing as I was told', 'I believed what I was told'
 


Bodian

Well-known member
May 3, 2012
12,695
Cumbria
Heads up and here we go, the big one.
From 9:45 Tuesday 25th June for four whole days
Gareth Jenkins - former Distinguished Engineer at Fujitsu Services Ltd
He's the 'expert witness' used by the Post Office on behalf of Fujitsu who claimed that there was nothing wrong with Horizon and helped put 100's of inocent people in prison or a life of hell.
Don't forget the bingo card 'I can't recall', 'I wrote that, but didn't mean that', 'Hind sight', 'I didn't know how to use Horison', 'Only doing as I was told', 'I believed what I was told'
Alternatively he might say ' I told PO about the problems, they changed my witness statements and instructed me what to say'.
 












fly high

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
1,422
in a house
Doubt it. Four days of shrugs and don’t know’s I sadly suspect.
His defence seems to be "I was only following instructions from the PO". Didn't work for the Nazis at Nuremburg.
 




Bodian

Well-known member
May 3, 2012
12,695
Cumbria
His defence seems to be "I was only following instructions from the PO". Didn't work for the Nazis at Nuremburg.
I think he actually has some fair points here. He was an IT expert, and he's being asked about 'why' he was asked to make changes. He's repeatedly said that he may have been told something about 'why', but he wasn't interested, because his job was the 'how' - so he hasn't retained any memory of it. And I can fully understand this. We have an asset management system built in-house. I'm often asking my IT guys to do tweaks here and there - sometimes I'll mention why, but often I won't. And even if I do mention why I want the change, it's unlikely to stick in their minds - because their brainpower will be going in to working out 'if' they can do the change.
 




KZNSeagull

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
20,389
Wolsingham, County Durham
I think he actually has some fair points here. He was an IT expert, and he's being asked about 'why' he was asked to make changes. He's repeatedly said that he may have been told something about 'why', but he wasn't interested, because his job was the 'how' - so he hasn't retained any memory of it. And I can fully understand this. We have an asset management system built in-house. I'm often asking my IT guys to do tweaks here and there - sometimes I'll mention why, but often I won't. And even if I do mention why I want the change, it's unlikely to stick in their minds - because their brainpower will be going in to working out 'if' they can do the change.
Part of his job should be to understand 'why' though as that will influence the solution. Maybe part of the issue here is that the system was being changed without understanding 'why' and having unintended consequences as a result. Any good system designer/engineer will know the business reasons behind every change to a system that they make.
 
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Westdene Seagull

aka Cap'n Carl Firecrotch
NSC Patron
Oct 27, 2003
21,310
The arse end of Hangleton
Part of his job should be to understand 'why' though as that will influence the solution. Maybe part of the issue here is that the system was being changed without understanding 'why' and having unintended consequences as a result. Any good system designer/engineer will know the business reasons behind every change to a system that they make.
Got to disagree on this. Techies will always confirm if something can or can not be achieved technically not if it's business viable. As an example, I've run network teams and I could ask them to ensure BGP is running across the internet side of the business and OSPF on the internal networks. They don't need to know ( or even care ) what the business reason is. They would just tell me if it was possible, how much it might cost in hours to complete and even the disadvantages of using these protocols over others.

Jenkin's has been lined up as a patsy not only by the PO but also by his employer.
 


KZNSeagull

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
20,389
Wolsingham, County Durham
Got to disagree on this. Techies will always confirm if something can or can not be achieved technically not if it's business viable. As an example, I've run network teams and I could ask them to ensure BGP is running across the internet side of the business and OSPF on the internal networks. They don't need to know ( or even care ) what the business reason is. They would just tell me if it was possible, how much it might cost in hours to complete and even the disadvantages of using these protocols over others.

Jenkin's has been lined up as a patsy not only by the PO but also by his employer.
Depends on the techies. Someone coding or configuring a system should absolutely know the business requirement.

Edit: I agree that he is a patsy though.
 
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Bodian

Well-known member
May 3, 2012
12,695
Cumbria
Part of his job should be to understand 'why' though as that will influence the solution. Maybe part of the issue here is that the system was being changed without understanding 'why' and having unintended consequences as a result. Any good system designer/engineer will know the business reasons behind every change to a system that they make.
I think the point I was making is that the 'why' wouldn't be the uppermost thing in his mind - so would be the first thing his mind would then drop. I would think it's the same in all professions - and indeed in life. You remember the doing, not always why/how you got there!
 






Bodian

Well-known member
May 3, 2012
12,695
Cumbria
Jenkin's has been lined up as a patsy not only by the PO but also by his employer.
Strikes me so far the Mr Beer is treating him as a 'sympathetic witness' - in that he's leading him to show that he was sort of kept in the dark or not made fully aware, and guided by what was wanted of him. All this about what an 'expert witness' is - I've been an 'expert witness' at public inquiries, I've never been given any guidance whatsoever on what that means legally. Mr Beer is effectively showing that Jenkins was used by the PO I think.
 


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