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  • Lord Orsam

Those Pesky Horizon Defenders

Watching the questioning in the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry recently, I wondered if Lead Counsel to the inquiry, Jason Beer KC, has a sneaky interest in the Maybrick Diary, for he threw out the shocking allegation that a prominent former Post Office employee was suspected by her boss of being a Horizon Defender.


According to the official transcript of the proceedings, during his questioning of former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells on 22 May 2024, Mr Beer asked her point blank about her former colleague Angela van den Bogerd:



"Was it simply that she had worked for the organisation for a very long time that caused you to write this or was there anything more specific, which led you to think that she may be, by default, a Horizon defender?"


Vennells replied: "I don't believe so".


I took a screenshot of the live transcription.


According to Nick Wallis on his blog (postofficescandal.uk), at a recent talk in Walton-on-Thames, Ian Henderson of Second Sight described Angela van den Bogerd as bright, able, hard-working and "completely brainwashed"': words which could be used to describe any Diary Defender, as much as a Horizon Defender.


Wallis posted his blog on 22 May 2024:


"Today we found out that Bogerd was so completely insane, even the Post Office could not trust her."


The words "completely insane" would also be appropriate for just about any diary defender you care to mention.


From the evidence revealed by the inquiry, it would seem that over a period scanning two decades the Post Office was infiltrated by a large number of Horizon Defenders who loudly and righteously declared that there was no incontrovertible, unequivocal and undeniable fact which refuted the robustness of the Horizon IT computer system. It was for the 'Horizon critics', apparently, to produce such a fact but, in the absence of such an incontrovertible, unequivocal and undeniable fact, the diary was genuine....er, sorry I mean the Horizon computer system was robust and, to prove it, many innocent people had to go to prison.


PUBLIC MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE HORIZON INQUIRY


Talking of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry reminds me of something I've commented in the past relating to the spread of misinformation about that inquiry but is certainly worth repeating.


On 11 January 2024, which was the day Stephen Bradshaw, a member of the Post Office Investigations team (and long-time Horizon Defender), gave evidence to the Inquiry, Caroline Morris posted this on Casebook:



As we can see from the final paragraph she wrote:


"Listening to Stephen Bradshaw today, testifying at the Post Office Inquiry, I can understand why he was compared by some wag to a private investigator from the 1970s."


For someone who frequently posts important new information about the Maybrick diary based only on her memory, this is alarming because she was talking about something she had heard only earlier that very day, yet her memory had let her down in two key particulars.


The person she described as "some wag" was actually Counsel for the Inquiry, Julian Blake, who had been questioning Bradshaw. If she was listening to Bradshaw testifying in real time, she must surely have known that the person she was talking about wasn't "some wag" but the very barrister asking the questions. Furthermore, the question Mr Blake actually asked Bradshaw was this, from the official transcript:



"Again, concentrating on words used in interview, “pack of lies” sounds somewhat like language you might see in a 1970s television detective show. Was “pack of lies” something you would say to defendants?"


Somehow, within a few hours of hearing this, "a 1970s television detective show" had transformed inside the warped brain of Caroline Morris-Brown into "a private investigator from the 1970s" not just changing "detective" to "private investigator" but missing out the television show reference completely.


Julian Blake obviously meant a TV show about police detectives from the 1970s like The Sweeney, but that wouldn't have worked for Caroline Morris-Brown's analogy, so her Alan-Gray-obsessed mind changed "television detective show" to "private investigator" so that she could make her silly point about Stephen Bradshaw sounding like private investigator Alan Gray.


Caroline Morris Brown was known on Casebook as "The Great Misremember". I was personally at the receiving end of her false memories as she accused me of saying things I'd never said. Frankly, anything she has ever posted which begins "IIRC" or "If I recall correctly" should be treated with as much suspicion as if Mike Barrett had begun a sentence that way. Her memory is useless. And, like I say, it's really alarming because she posts so much unsourced information about the diary on Casebook which can't be independently verified and which appears to have come from her memory alone. When questioned, she invariably snaps at the questioner for daring to challenge her, usually refusing to provide any verification in response.


But we can see from the Stephen Bradshaw article where she only had to remember something that had been said a few hours earlier how dreadful her memory actually is. Just like Mike Barrett, nothing she ever says should be trusted or relied up without documentary corroboration.


ONE OFF AT THE INQUIRY


No inquiry would be complete without a one off. I captured an example in a screenshot during the evidence of Alisdair Cameron on 17 May 2024 which quoted from an email of Paula Vennells saying "I expect it is a one-off":


The live transcription couldn't quite cope with it and, unfortunately for diary defenders, the email in question was written in 2015 not 1888.


TWO PENISES AT THE ENQUIRY?


The live transcription for the enquiry can't always be relied upon. I captured this screenshot during the evidence of Mark Davies on 14 May 2024:



It's certainly an unusual rendering of him saying "I'm putting my two penn'orth in here".


Paula Vennells later got into the act of slipping in a sneaky sexual reference via the live transcription during her evidence on 23 May 2024.


Who does she think she is slipping in a crude sexual reference into her speech? Caroline Morris-Brown?


It has to be said, though, that the live transcription at the inquiry is rather abusive. At one point during the questioning of Alice Perkins on 5th June, Paula Vennels was known as "Miss Venom".



Hmmmnn, "Miss Venom" seems to better suit a certain Ripperologist and Maybrick diary expert who shall remain nameless.


LORD ORSAM

13 June 2024

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Gast
13. Juni
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How appalling - the post office mass corporate cruelty spills over....ln the interests of fairness, however, I too have relied on my memory and made errors. It's a pride thing; when I was young my memory was so remarkably detailed and accurate that people nicknamed me "The Elephant Man" (at least... I hope that's why I acquired that moniker?) but I have no excuse at 60...

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Lord Orsam
26. Juni
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Currently giving evidence at the inquiry is Gareth Jenkins, the Horizon expert, and original Horizon Defender hero, who has been wrongly described by a barrister, and others, as "Dr Jenkins" even though he doesn't have a PhD.


How funny considering that Alec Voller, the Diamine expert, beloved of Diary Defenders, has been wrongly described by the Chief Diary Defender amongst others as "Dr Voller".


Despite being the acknowledged "expert" on Horizon, Gareth Jenkins is currently admitting to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry that he made a number of mistakes in his evidence.


These so-called experts, you can't trust 'em!


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