Judges have quashed the convictions of 39 former postmasters after the UK's most widespread miscarriage of justice.

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
Is any of the above particularly unreasonable, considering how this situation came to be?
No - seems a reasonable set of demands. Note that the Post Office refuses to accept the CWU as a representative body for Subpostmasters.
I was actually remarking on the National Federation of Subpostmasters' approach to this which is discussed in this podcast @20.39
View: https://soundcloud.com/privateeyenews/page-94-the-private-eye-podcast-going-postal

A useful 'Page 94' insight from Feb 2020.
Covered here as well: https://www.postofficetrial.com/2019/12/nfsp-attempts-reverse-ferret.html
 
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This can only be resolved by a Royal Commission with investigatory powers including summoning people to testify under oath. The Crown Prosecutors, the Police and the Post Office, all state organs so there is a need for neutrality to avoid conflict of interest. The Laws provide for it.

I note that Royal Commissions have fallen out of favour in the UK but are used in Australia and NZ with great results as late as late year. This is arguably the worst miscarriage of justice ever and the victims list is extensive and the damage caused immeasurable.

Royal Commission will appoint independent and qualified individuals such as High Court Judges with silks assisting. A secretariat is formed so they have well resourced support.

I hope Johnson and Starmer do the right thing.
 

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
No - seems a reasonable set of demands. Note that the Post Office refuses to accept the CWU as a representative body for Subpostmasters.
I was actually remarking on the National Federation of Subpostmasters' approach to this which is discussed in this podcast @20.39
View: https://soundcloud.com/privateeyenews/page-94-the-private-eye-podcast-going-postal

A useful 'Page 94' insight from Feb 2020.
Covered here as well: https://www.postofficetrial.com/2019/12/nfsp-attempts-reverse-ferret.html
Sounds like the nfsp is a yellow union. No wonder the Post Office would rather deal with them than with a proper union.
 

Bromptonaut

Rohan Man
Location
Bugbrooke UK
As the Court of Criminal Appeal points out there were numerous breaches of codes of practice put in place after previous miscarriages of justice to ensure information that might assist the defence was shared. There was also a practice of abandoning theft charges in exchange for a guilty plea to a lesser offence but made conditional on not using deficiencies in Horizon when mitigating.

What's the test to charge people with Perverting the Course of Justice?
 
If you come out with stuff like this (which was taken from an speech of hers) professing to conduct your business life to "christian" values, meanwhile having knowledge of what the very organisation you were leading was doing to ruin (and in some cases end) people lives and pocket £5m in the process, then I think its very relevant.
She's a bloody hypocrite.
OK, I can see you might have a problem with that. But may I ask; do you think agnostic/atheist/lips-zipped CEO types don't have morals? Can you give me an example of holding them to a similar standard of consistency?
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
What's the test to charge people with Perverting the Course of Justice?
I suppose one could look up the definition - doing an act tending or intending to...etc - and there may be some guidance for prosecutors on the CPS website, although some of that type of stuff is 'trade only'.

But I don't think perverting the course is relevant here.

Pre-trial negotiations are common practice, and such negotiations should be fair given that both sides are equally represented, and there is occasional input from the judge.

As the Court of Appeal points out, disclosure is a mixture of legal requirements and a code of practice, so it's implementation is inevitably subjective and varying from case to case.

Much focus, quite rightly, has been on the conduct of the investigating authorities and prosecution lawyers, but some defence lawyers may also have some uncomfortable questions to answer, should anyone get around to asking them.

The conduct of Ms Vennells has been rightly scrutinised, and there's no doubt she didn't cover herself in glory.

But in common with the others in this sorry tale, I cannot see any criminal offence for which she might reasonably qualify.
 
What's the test to charge people with Perverting the Course of Justice?
I'd have though that continuing with the prosecution of a bunch of individuals where it had been known for some time that there was an alternative and more likely explanation for the supposed "evidence" against them came pretty close to satisfying that definition, as well as being cruel and cynical. Allegedly.
 

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
I suppose one could look up the definition - doing an act tending or intending to...etc - and there may be some guidance for prosecutors on the CPS website, although some of that type of stuff is 'trade only'.

But I don't think perverting the course is relevant here.

Pre-trial negotiations are common practice, and such negotiations should be fair given that both sides are equally represented, and there is occasional input from the judge.

As the Court of Appeal points out, disclosure is a mixture of legal requirements and a code of practice, so it's implementation is inevitably subjective and varying from case to case.

Much focus, quite rightly, has been on the conduct of the investigating authorities and prosecution lawyers, but some defence lawyers may also have some uncomfortable questions to answer, should anyone get around to asking them.

The conduct of Ms Vennells has been rightly scrutinised, and there's no doubt she didn't cover herself in glory.

But in common with the others in this sorry tale, I cannot see any criminal offence for which she might reasonably qualify.
Vennells' conduct is reprehensible in that her leadership facilitated the environment where those prosecutions were pursued for so long despite what should have been mounting evidence for there not really being a case to answer. That, as you say, is likely not criminal.

The conduct of the internal post office investigators, fujitsu, and to some extent the CPS and the police involved, should be examined much more closely, though.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
This can only be resolved by a Royal Commission with investigatory powers including summoning people to testify under oath. The Crown Prosecutors, the Police and the Post Office, all state organs so there is a need for neutrality to avoid conflict of interest. The Laws provide for it.
Neither the police or crown prosecutors were involved in the matter.

The Post Office are able to investigate and prosecute internal fraud themselves without recourse to the dibble or CPS, and did so in these cases - the prosecutions were brought solely by Post Office Security and Investigation Services using their own powers of private prosecution, and the Feds and CPS had no involvement.

All the people that need to testify either worked for the Royal Mail directly, or were contracted to them. No conflict of interest there then, eh ?:wacko:

The Post Officemis still, technically, in Government ownership. However, it is a Ltd company and exists to turn a profit, and abides by company and commecial law, notmgovernment policy. In that sense it is a state organ in ownership only, and is under no legal imperative to act with impartiality, or for anything other than its own financial wellbeing.

Bit I must agree with the essence of what you are saying for sure. The Post Office and Fujjitsu personnel involved must be held accountable, and once any potential criminal legal process is completed there should be a public enquiry over this matter. I think Paula Vennells should be stripped of her CBE for displaying such a lack of moraity over the whole affair.
 
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Neither the police or crown prosecutors were involved in the matter.

The Post Office are able to investigate and prosecute internal fraud themselves without recourse to the dibble or CPS, and did so in these cases - the prosecutions were brought solely by Post Office Security and Investigation Services using their own powers of private prosecution, and the Feds and CPS had no involvement.

All the people that need to testify either worked for the Royal Mail directly, or were contracted to them. No conflict of interest there then, eh ?:wacko:

The Post Officemis still, technically, in Government ownership. However, it is a Ltd company and exists to turn a profit, and abides by company and commecial law, notmgovernment policy. In that sense it is a state organ in ownership only, and is under no legal imperative to act with impartiality, or for anything other than its own financial wellbeing.

Bit I must agree with the essence of what you are saying for sure. The Post Office and Fujjitsu personnel involved must be held accountable, and once any potential criminal legal process is completed there should be a public enquiry over this matter. I think Paula Vennells should be stripped of her CBE for displaying such a lack of moraity over the whole affair.
Thanks for the clarification @Drago. Appreciate the detailed explanation. Still shaken up by the fact so many people were convicted / jailed / lost their livelihood.

Agree on stripping PV, this should not be delayed. It was on her watch.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Thanks for the clarification @Drago. Appreciate the detailed explanation. Still shaken up by the fact so many people were convicted / jailed / lost their livelihood.

Agree on stripping PV, this should not be delayed. It was on her watch.
I tried to find a list I've seen online about the number of organisations which have the statutory power to prosecute the citizen.

There are dozens, although most rarely use it.

Common ones you will see include the Health and Safety Executive, the RSPCA, RSPB (typically nest raiders), and whatever the vehicle inspectorate is called these days.
 

Bromptonaut

Rohan Man
Location
Bugbrooke UK
I tried to find a list I've seen online about the number of organisations which have the statutory power to prosecute the citizen.

There are dozens, although most rarely use it.

Common ones you will see include the Health and Safety Executive, the RSPCA, RSPB (typically nest raiders), and whatever the vehicle inspectorate is called these days.
DWP are another. As a benefits/general adviser I can help to a degree but if it's an interview under caution then time for a lawyer.
 
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