The Integrity of Seema Misra
Earlier this year, on the 14th February 2022, the Daily Mail printed an article which they claimed was written by Seema Misra. Below is a screen grab of the headline the newspaper chose to use, underneath the header are the words allegedly written by Seema Misra.
Seema Misra’s name appears to have been put on the article to give the impression she was the author but in reality, it’s more than likely someone else wrote it for her, similar to the CV she paid for to help her get the job as sub-postmistress at the West Byfleet post office in 2005.
Below is an extract from the transcripts of Seema Misra’s trial, where prosecutor Warwick Tatford asks Seema about her CV (Beginning on page 138 here);
- Warwick Tatford: Can I ask you to look at the CV that you were asked questions about?
Judge Stewart: Before you do that, just to ensure that the jury have the picture because Mrs Misra has referred to her first trial–
- Warwick Tatford: Yes
- Judge Stewart: I don’t think there has been a trial actually take place?
- Warwick Tatford: No
- Judge Stewart: Have I got this chronology right, that she had initially solicitors after she was charged. The first defence statement, the one that is much shorter than the current one, was prepared by solicitors in early last year and a date for trial was fixed for a date in June last year?
- Warwick Tatford: Yes
- Judge Stewart: Then on the day that that trial should have begun there was an application on behalf of Mrs Misra to adjourn it because of this further information that she had located from her researches. The Recorder who was sitting on that day allowed that application and that led to all the researches and reports and so on from Professor McLachlan and Mr Jenkins and so on and it has taken from then until now actually to get down to the trial itself?
- Warwick Tatford: Yes, that is right. That is very helpful
- Judge Stewart: The longer defence statement was served by new solicitors after the date when the first trial was due to begin after June last year, so there has not actually been a trial before, has there?
- Seema Misra: No
- Judge Stewart: No
- Warwick Tatford: That is very helpful, your Honour. Thank you. (to the witness) Can I ask to have a look at your CV, please, I think exhibit 13? Have you got that there?
- Seema Misra: Yeah
- Warwick Tatford: I just want to understand what you are saying about this because you went through all the entries with Mr Hadrill. You supplied this CV to the Post Office in support of your application?
- Seema Misra: That is right, yeah
- Warwick Tatford: Is this CV meant to tell the truth?
- Seema Misra:That is the CV what I have done
- Warwick Tatford: Yes, I know you have done it, but is it meant to be true?
- Seema Misra: As far as I know, yes. (inaudible)
- Warwick Tatford: Do speak up. I cannot hear
- Seema Misra: As far as I know that is all I have done in the time period it stated
- Warwick Tatford: Were you trying to mislead the Post Office about your expertise?
- Seema Misra: No
- Warwick Tatford: So when you say at the top looking at “personal profile”, “I have considerable business experience with strong administrative management and retailing and accounting skills
- Seema Misra: Yeah
- Warwick Tatford: You say it was not your words, but is it true?
- Seema Misra: I have not done the CV myself. I got it done
- Warwick Tatford: Is it true, Mrs Misra? You can read the words. Are they true?
- Seema Misra: Yeah, I have been running my business since 2002 to 2004
- Warwick Tatford: Mrs Misra, again just try and look at the words and I just want to know if they are right or wrong. Do you have strong accounting skills?
- Seema Misra: I have done the VAT returns on my home décor business
- Warwick Tatford: So do you have strong accounting skills, yes or no?
- Seema Misra: I am not a professional accountant. I have done like shop accounts
- Warwick Tatford: Looking at the bullet at the bottom of that box, are you computer literate, yes or no?
- Seema Misra: I do word processing, Excel. I have done – what I would say there I have done word processing. I got Dognet programming. I do spreadsheet. I do data dissemination
- Warwick Tatford: When you are a director of the company, the import trading company, is it right that you handled all aspects of business management, VAT returns and accounting?
- Seema Misra: I have done the VAT returns, yeah
- Warwick Tatford: All aspects of business management, VAT returns and accounting. Is that a truthful summary or not?
- Seema Misra: I remember doing most of the business management and like it is not very big, huge scale business. Like I normally doing the returns myself and filing papers myself I remember that
- Warwick Tatford: Mrs Misra, a CV is relied upon by the person it is sent to. You are meant to tell the truth in it
- Seema Misra: It is the truth there, like I am managing my own business here and I am doing all what relates to in my business I am doing it myself
- Warwick Tatford: All right. Can I ask you about when you worked for Bedfordshire Police?
- Seema Misra: Yeah
- Warwick Tatford: Were you responsible for producing analytical reports including complex calculations?
- Seema Misra: Okay. These are the wording from my job specification which they give that when you get a job that this is your – that is your title and that is the job. The reports, I click off button and the reports comes out
- Warwick Tatford: Mrs Misra, it says you have done it on the form. Did you do it or not?
- Seema Misra: It is these are all the (inaudible) for my job specification, that that is my job. That is what I am doing. Like when I got a job that these are things that I am going to do, and I done reports like a click of button, like this is a programme set there, so basically example you need to find out how many office, which officer had which complaint more, so like just put name and then give in the report
- Warwick Tatford: Had you done complex calculations whilst working for the police, yes or no?
- Seema Misra: I done the reports which I mention
- Warwick Tatford: Yes, I asked you about complex calculations, Mrs Misra. Had you done them or not?
- Seema Misra: Them in that report, yeah. These are the wording. I didn’t created it. It was for my job specification
- Warwick Tatford: All right. You used the Police National Computer, did you not?
- Seema Misra: Sorry?
- Warwick Tatford: You used the Police National Computer. Is that right?
- Seema Misra: Yeah, I think like I put the input, computer
- Warwick Tatford: Yes, You input information in?
- Seema Misra: That is right, yeah
- Warwick Tatford: So if somebody came to you and said “I want to make a complaint about an Officer” they told you about the complaint and you have recorded it into a computer. Yes?
- Seema Misra: No. They don’t physically coming. The form comes in off the ring thing(?) with complaint, so there is —
- Warwick Tatford: So you are hearing in an earpiece are you, about the complaint?
- Seema Misra: Yeah
- Warwick Tatford: And are you are typing the details in?
- Seema Misra: Not straightaway. They give me details, yeah, and then pass it on to my manager and she give me more details to put it into the system, like the details putting in the system
- Warwick Tatford: What I am trying to get at, Mrs Misra, it is important when recording somebody’s complaint to get the details right, isn’t it?
- Seema Misra: Yeah. I am taking the calls coming for to make a complaint, taking as much information then passing it on to my manager. They, I don’t go out and do the interview, go and speak to them. They do and then I get a form to do inputting
- Warwick Tatford: Right. I will not ask about that again, but on the assistant finance manager between 1997 and 2001 did you design – the third bullet point is perhaps a better example – did you design and implement a database using file marking pro?
- Seema Misra: We, I did put the information into the data
- Warwick Tatford: Did you —
- Seema Misra: But design means like, like which way the picture should goes in and all that
- Warwick Tatford: So designing the company’s website at the bottom bullet, that just means putting photographs on it, does it?
- Seema Misra: Designing and managing
- Warwick Tatford: Sorry?
- Seema Misra: Designing and managing
- Warwick Tatford: Does it mean anything more than putting some photographs on the website?
- Seema Misra: Photographs and whatever information I have been given, to tap it in
- Warwick Tatford: So designing and managing company’s website is a rather grand title for what you were doing, isn’t it, or do you think it is truthful?
- Seema Misra: That is my specification of what I have been doing
- Warwick Tatford: I see. It is a similar point. I had better deal with this. Did you ever have any understanding the English directions that were printed out on the Horizon screen?
- Seema Misra: I think my English understanding is okay. I can cope with the —
- Warwick Tatford: You did an English degree, Mrs Misra?
- Seema Misra: No, I was in my second year when I came here
- Warwick Tatford: Yes, English Literature. So did you study Shakespeare, for instance?
- Seema Misra: I remember studying Jane Austen and —
- Warwick Tatford: Right. You understood that all right, did you?
- Seema Misra: It is a long time back. I did pass my first year exam
- Warwick Tatford: Did you read a Jane Austen novel?
- Seema Misra: Yes
- Warwick Tatford: ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or something like that?
- Seema Misra: Yeah. I must have been
- Warwick Tatford: Did you understand it when you read it?
- Seema Misra: I am not saying my understanding of English is bad. I understand. I think I understand
- Warwick Tatford: Yes. So your English is very good, isn’t it?
- Seema Misra: For me it is okay. I didn’t, I never struggle to understand English to be honest
- Warwick Tatford: Did you ever struggle understanding what the Horizon screen was saying to you?
- Seema Misra: I stopped understanding it in mid 2006
- Warwick Tatford: You didn’t even bother reading it?
- Seema Misra: No reading it, understanding it because when I could not find anything out, I stop understanding it. I didn’t bother to understand it basically because it was in such a great mess
- Warwick Tatford: Right. Can I ask you about Saturday 12th January?
- Seema Misra: Saturday 12th January
- Warwick Tatford: Two days before the audit
- Seema Misra: Okay
- Warwick Tatford: On that day £1240 was handed over in the counter to be put into a giro account
- Seema Misra: Yeah I remember that
- Warwick Tatford: Do you remember it because you were there?
- Seema Misra: Yeah I remember that, yeah
- Warwick Tatford: Did you deal with the customer?
- Seema Misra: Yeah
- Warwick Tatford: Why didn’t you, Mrs Misra, put that transaction into the Horizon system?
- Seema Misra: That is from our business customer Harvester (inaudible) and they usually come. When we close the post office everything was locked. All the safe was locked over. They usually do that. The normal practice is they do trust and they always leave it – they came in, post office closed. They just leave the bank money there. Because the safe was locked I could not open it and put it in the safe so I just put it on the counter and they knew that even when we put it on Monday because it was closed
- Warwick Tatford: Why could you not open the safe? It is your safe
- Seema Misra: It is just everything is locked. I just leave it there
- Warwick Tatford: Did you tell the customer that?
- Seema Misra: Yeah, They knew that. Even on Christmas time as well like even they were leaving the banking with us and they come in later on to get the slip
- Warwick Tatford: Who was this customer?
- Seema Misra: Harvester, West Byfleet
- Warwick Tatford: From a pub?
- Seema Misra: Yeah, that is right
- Warwick Tatford: The Harvester restaurant and pub?
- Seema Misra: That is right
- Warwick Tatford: All right. But why didn’t you put the transaction into the computer though?
- Seema Misra: Because everything was locked when they come in. There was like if it is locked. I was, we were just about to go, and they just came in. It is (inaudible) change, there was coins in there
- Warwick Tatford: Mrs Misra, you were not going to be there on Monday. You were visiting relatives
- Seema Misra: Yeah
- Warwick Tatford: So how was anybody supposed to know when they came into the office what the £1240 was?
- Seema Misra: They had the giro slip. They had like the paying in book, giro slip with it as well. They know like what to do. They do it so many time before as well. Even with a queue as well they will just drop, leave the banking with us
- Warwick Tatford: Mrs Misra, there is an advantage for a dishonest person in not putting cash into the system. It is so that the Horizon does not know the cash is there
- Seema Misra: No. I didn’t say it was my cash. It said a slip on it, that is my Harvester. It is the banking
- Warwick Tatford: But by receiving the money without putting it into Horizon the account system has no idea the money has been deposited?
- Seema Misra: But it got the slip. I didn’t say that is my cash. It just say when the original (inaudible) that is for the banking customer
- Warwick Tatford: So you could have used that money for any purpose at all?
- Seema Misra: But why would I?
- Warwick Tatford: If you were running short on your cash till in the shop you could put it in there to cover any short term loss?
- Seema Misra: No. My shop is doing fine. My shop was doing fine. I had – I ran the shop – I lost the post office on 14th January 2008 and I sold the shop in March 2010
The Rebranding of Seema Misra
The online Daily Mail article in question can be read in full here, however below are a few interesting excerpts which are allegedly written by Seema Misra;
After years of being fobbed off and lied to, at long last I – and so many others – might finally get the answers we’ve been denied for decadesExcerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
A read through Seema Misra’s trial transcript from the day she gave evidence back in October 2010, which begins at page 27 here, suggests the fobbing off and lies she refers to are her own.
Seema Misra wants answers yet hasn’t provided any in relation to the questions in this blogs series, for example;
WHY did Seema Misra choose to blame her staff members for stealing around £89,000, and HOW exactly did she catch these staff members ‘red handed’ allegedly stealing £89,000?
WHAT caused the September 2005 flood, mentioned in Part 6 here, which led to the West Byfleet post office closing between the 24th of September 2005 until the 27th September 2005?
WHAT damage did the September 2005 flood cause to the West Byfleet post office and shop, three months after Seema Misra took over as sub-postmistress and were Seema and Davinder Misra insured?
I am one of those betrayed and scapegoated subpostmastersExcerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
WHAT about the betrayal and scapegoating of Javed and Nadia Bakiwalia*, for example, both of whom were briefly mentioned in Part 3 of Hornswoggler Nick Wallis & His ‘Great Post Office Scandal’ here. *More about Javed and Nadia will feature in a forthcomimg blog.
Seema Misra accused Nadia Bakiwalia of being an illegal immigrant. If these allegations were true, WHY did Seema Misra have Nadia working in the post office and shop, HOW much were Davinder and Seema Misra paying her and HOW was Nadia provided with payslips?
As much as my lawyer might remind me I’m not attending as a criminal, and that my conviction for fraud and false accounting has been overturned, the trauma I carry means I’m still serving a lifetime sentence.Excerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
Seema Misra had seven convictions, not one, as suggested in the Daily Mail article and although all of Seema’s convictions were overturned and deemed unsafe by the court of appeal, unsafe convictions do not equate to actual, factual innocence, as pointed out in Part 6 here.
I was found guilty of theft and false accounting after £74,609 disappeared from the post office accounts in West Byfleet, Surrey, where I was a subpostmistress.Excerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
Seema Misra pleaded GUILTY to six charges of false accounting and was found guilty of theft, which she claimed her ex employees had been responsible for – £89,000 worth.
I’d been called a thief by strangers on the street and Davinder attacked because he was my husband.Excerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
WHAT about Javed and Nadia Bakiwalia?
According to Seema Misra’s trial transcripts, Javed was forced to go to the police after rumours were apparently spread around the local community by Seema and Davinder Misra accusing Javed of being a thief, which apparently led to him being harassed.
Forced to move to escape the harassment and unable to work thanks to my ‘criminal’ record, I was too ashamed to even tell my son’s friends’ parents my surname, in case they Googled me and discovered my conviction.Excerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
Again, WHAT about Javed and Nadia Bakiwalia and WHY do they appear to have been forced to return to India? WHAT is there side of the story?
I have received just one bland, copied-and-pasted letter of apology, last May, from Post Office chairman Tim Parker.Excerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
WHERE is Javed and Nadia’s apology for being wrongly accused of stealing £89,000?
Those responsible for this catastrophic miscarriage of justice have always worried more about saving their skins than saying sorry.Excerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
Seema Misra’s convictions were overturned on technicalities and, as above, she blamed her ex employees for stealing £89,000 in order to save her skin.
Not that I believe the Post Office won’t try to delay or confuse the facts again. Even before my 2010 trial, the Post Office had discussed a potential ‘bug’ in its software – but didn’t make their memo available to my solicitor.
When it was revealed in 2019 that software bugs, errors and defects did exist, it emerged key evidence had been withheld and documents shredded.Excerpt allegedly written by Seema Misra – published by the Daily Mail on 14th February 2022
WHO is confusing the facts?
The criminal cases review commission can and do magic away main and crucial facts of a prosecutions case, as is evidenced in the Quite A Hall Tale blog series on the innocence fraud of Joan Albert’s killer, Simon Hall here.
The criminal cases review commission were responsible for referring Seema Misra’s convictions back to the court of appeal, even though the supposed ‘receipts & payments mismatch’ bug, which was not disclosed to Seema Misra’s legal team, did not affect the West Byfleet post office branch or any post office branch before 2010.
Seema Misra was suspended in January 2008.
Who Wrote Seema Misra’s Daily Mail Article?
It is not known if Nick Wallis, Nick Gould, or someone else wrote the Daily Mail article instead of Seema Misra, but comparing and contrasting the language Seema used during her October 2011 trial and during the 25th February 2022 post office IT inquiry, which can be listened to from approximately 51:37 here, or alternatively the transcript can be found on page 9 here, it is difficult to believe the Daily Mail article was Seema Misra’s diction.
During a podcast with host Maeve McClenaghan (Which aired on the 14th April 2022, transcribed here) Nick Wallis stated;
Seema had a commendation from the police for her excellent work while she was working for the police up in Luton in Bedfordshire and everything about her career to that point had smacked of diligence and honestyNick Wallis
Why was there no mention of Seema Misra’s alleged commendation from Bedfordshire police during her trial?
On the 12th of November 2010, the day after Seema Misra was found guilty of theft and sent to prison, John Twomy, for the Express newspaper here, reported briefly on Seema’s trial and commented on her job with Bedfordshire police stating;
Misra, who denied theft but admitted false accounting, had earlier held an important job with Bedfordshire police, collating complaints against officersExcerpt from John Twomy’s article for the Express newspaper
Nick Wallis mentioned Bedfordshire police during his book in his chapter called, ‘The Misra’s’ yet he chose to omit Seema’s commendation;
Although the Misras were happy as a family, Davinder wasn’t satisfied with how much money he was making. His brother was working in logistics up in Bedfordshire. The pay there was better and the cost of living much lower than London. With Aditya a babe in arms, the Misras let their Finsbury Park house and moved to Luton, where they began renting again. Seema took a job on the staff of Bedfordshire police and Davinder found a job working in the same company as his brother.Excerpt from Nick Wallis’s book The Great Post Office Scandal
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