Jump to content

The UK sub Post Office Scandal


Gardian
 Share

Recommended Posts

The enquiry has started.  Rather late, most of us would say, and just how long will it be before there’s any conclusion?

I suspect that for most of us, it beggars belief that the Senior Management of the the Post Office could ‘witness’ 700 or so alleged cases of fraud over 10 or so years ......... and not say to themselves, “There’s something not right here - there’s just too many cases for it to be really true”.

These people suffered extreme financial loss, social stigma and in some cases, imprisonment.

IMO, this needs a very rapid solution and compensation (I know that this happening in some cases) for everybody affected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If they can be proved then criminal charges at least should be brought or at the least corporate manslaughter. Any staff involved in the cover up should be hauled out of whichever well pensioned or paid hole in which they are cowering and brought before the courts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason that this situation developed to the scale of 918 postmasters successfully prosecuted between 1991 and 2015 was that the Post Office had a possibly unique position acting as it's own investigator and private prosecutor. 

IE -  It was prosecuting it's own postmasters to cover up it's own dishonesty over the known faults in the Horizon software which falsely displayed accounting shortfalls.

Example - Bates v Post Office Limited - Judgement  - Mr Justice Fraser

"the Post Office paid “no attention to the actual evidence, and seem to have their origin in a parallel world” [§138], that the Post Office “seemed to adopt an extraordinarily narrow approach to relevance, generally along the lines that any evidence that is unfavourable to the Post Office is not relevant” [§34], feared “objective scrutiny of its behaviour” [§28] and operated with a “culture of secrecy and confidentiality” [§36]."

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=90a78f05-55b5-4dc0-972b-3f0b6083b24b

Had the PO not had the licence to investigate and prosecute, any evidence of fraudulent accounting by postmasters  would have had to be investigated by the police and the file passed to the CPS, which would probably have resulted in far fewer prosecutions due to lack of proper evidence and a realisation that many complaints by the PO meant something else was wrong, prompting a much earlier investigation of the facts.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, anotherbanana said:

If they can be proved then criminal charges at least should be brought or at the least corporate manslaughter. Any staff involved in the cover up should be hauled out of whichever well pensioned or paid hole in which they are cowering and brought before the courts.

Corporate manslaughter is a non-starter.

The offence being considered and bandied about by various legal bods is "perverting the course of justice"

That'll do nicely. 

The maximum sentence a judge can impose on a defendant convicted of perverting the course of justice is life imprisonment. It is a common law offence that must be tried before a jury in a crown court.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the same theme, if you can watch the 2022 documentary "Downfall the case against Boeing" it will give you a chilling view into the corporate mentality that puts profit above all else.  As with the Post Office, management knew there was a system that had the potential to fail, with a devastating outcome.  

In the Boeing case, no one has been prosecuted, the CEO left with a $28 million golden parachute.  I sincerely doubt that anyone involved in the Post Office scandal will be prosecuted.  The Government is ultimately responsible for the PO.  And how do you compensate someone for 20 years of their life lost to this appalling situation. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, anotherbanana said:

Surely, if the PO knowingly illegally prosecuted someone and that person committed suicide, then that is corporate manslaughter?

Probably not because there would be a lack of what is called " mens rea" (guilty mind) together with "actus reus"(guilty act) occurring at the same time in order to prove manslaughter.

Perverting the course of justice is much easier to prove.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the judgement in the case I referred to, and the judge's comments, you can see that perverting the course of justice is what they undeniably did, and there has to be a legal record of that somewhere.

I don't much care which they are charged with as long as some of them go to prison for a significant term pour encourager les autres.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, anotherbanana said:

Agreed entirely.

Were you a lawyer in another life?

No - but I have a personal interest.

An explanation.

Paula Vennells was chief executive officer of the Post Office Limited from 2012 to 2019. Under her leadership, the Post Office prosecuted hundreds of subpostmasters for fraud, despite knowing that the relevant financial discrepancies actually arose from computer errors for which the Post Office was responsible.

From 2002 to 2005, Vennells trained for Holy Orders on the St Albans and Oxford Ministry Course. She was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 2005 and as a priest in 2006. She has served as a non-stipendiary minister at Church of St Owen, Bromham in the Diocese of St Albans. She was reported to have 'stepped back' from duties in 2021. She also resigned from the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group.

 My wife and I were brought up in that village of Bromham and we were married in that church. 

And that disgusting hypocrite Vennells was later on a minister at that church, preaching all the good stuff that ministers preach.

She probably referred to the ninth commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness" etc.

At the same time she was in charge of the prosecution of innocent postmasters knowing full well that they were innocent.

That's why I want to see her behind bars.

 I'm not any more religious than the next man, but it just seems so wrong.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...