Renault knows the number. The details
were all in my Witness Statements. So
Renault could have wiped the floor with me on this one, all it had to do was produce
Renault Croydon’s telephone bill at the Trial and show that the call never happened.
If I had been in Renault's position I would certainly have done that. It
would have been a massive blow to my credibility as a witness, as I had made detailed
claims about the conversation with Toby Johnstone in
my Witness Statements and a huge element of my reputation and credibility as a witness
stood or fell on this point.
But no, strangely, no telephone bill was ever produced. I
wonder why Renault didn’t produce it? Unless,
of course, the telephone number was on the bill.
But back to Toby's testimony.
So Toby, after the phone conversation, what did you do with this new e-mail and its
attachment? Well, he sent it back to
me. Why? He
just sent it back to me as it wasn’t an order. Then
why send it back to me, why not delete it? He
just sent back to me.
Now by this time even His Lordship, who had already put up with the denials of Steve
Wilson and Carolyn Sample for two days, was getting
rather exasperated with Toby. He asked
why Toby hadn’t simply deleted the e-mail. Toby
couldn’t explain why. But Laura could. Toby
had sent the document back to me to show me what I had mistakenly sent to him, so
I could see the order confirmation document for myself.
And what happened next? I sent Toby the
actual order for the car. The same car
as in the order confirmation document I had mistakenly sent to Toby and which Toby
had just sent back to me.
And what did Toby do with the order for a car that he knew was for a car broker, not
for a BALPA member? Why he processed
it as normal.
But didn’t he think it odd to have just received an order for a car which he knew
was the same as the one being sold by me to a broker? No.
Hadn’t he just seen the order confirmation document sent to the broker for exactly
the same car? He didn’t think about it
like that, he just took the order. Knowing
it was for a car broker? But still using
the BALPA account?
And so Laura’s cross-examination of Toby went on. Remorseless. And
absolutely pitiless. As it deserved to
Laura continued. On 16 August I sent
Toby orders for four more cars, all of them in the same e-mail. Four
Renault Megane 1.5dci Oasis 5 door models. The
cars were identical except for the colour. Absolutely
identical. Now who orders batches of
identical cars? Why companies do, for
the fleets they run to provide company cars to their employees.
Let’s face it, the chances of four airline pilots simultaneously ordering the same
cars on the same day by coincidence are probably less than my chances of growing an
extra penis (notwithstanding my temporary extra scrotum following the previous weekend’s
impromptu flying lesson).
And there was more. When these four cars
were ready to be registered, I sent Renault Croydon the insurance cover note for the
cars. In the name of RHA Telecom, of
. So the insurance certificate wasn’t
even in the name of an individual (who could then, conceivably, be a pilot), but a
telecoms company (which couldn’t).
So Toby denied seeing the insurance certificate. These
went to the support staff at the dealership, he claimed. Yet
as the account manager he would have had day-to-day use of the files for every car
order as he went about his account management business, and even if he had missed
the insurance certificate in the file, what about the support staff outside his door? Didn’t
any one of them raise the issue of orders allegedly for airline pilots being supported
by an insurance certificate in the name of a telecoms company? No,
Toby said it wasn’t their job and no one discussed these sorts of things.
But if the support staff never talked about these things, then how come, as I set
out in my second Witness Statement, Toby Johnstone told
me that one of the support staff, Jennie Tomlin, had wandered into Toby’s office one
day and jokingly expressed her surprise at seeing an order actually for BALPA? (The
association had actually ordered a company car for one of its employees.) How
come knowledge of what was going on with the BALPA account was so widespread at Renault
Croydon that the staff found it to be a joke that a car going through the BALPA account
was actually a genuine BALPA car?
Toby said it wasn’t true, the conversation with Jennie Tomlin had never happened. I
must have made it up. In which case Toby,
as you had advance notice of this evidence in my Witness Statement, why wasn’t Jennie
Tomlin asked to give a Witness Statement to deny what I had said? Perhaps
because Renault couldn’t persuade Jennie Tomlin to lie?
And so it continued. Why had the staff
at Renault Croydon not queried any of the other ‘unusual’ insurance certificates for
cars ordered through the BALPA account? The
other ones in company names for SMMS Ltd and Advantage Business Group Ltd?
Why had Toby’s boss, Pam Hillman, first telephoned me, and then e-mailed me, to let
me know that one purchaser, The Gas Transportation Company, had called her? They
had asked her to arrange for a car that was being ordered for them through the BALPA
account to be registered to them at their company address, rather than in the name
of one of their employees, as had originally been put on the order form sent to Renault
Croydon. And Toby, didn’t this mean that
your boss Pam Hillman knew all about what was going on as well?
There was just no let up for Toby on the witness stand as Laura hounded him. Point
after point. A car ordered for a Mr Kelly
was covered by an insurance certificate in his name but addressed to him care of the,
by now, very well known eCarservices.
And then Toby, what about an e-mail to me from one of the other Renault Croydon support
staff, Lisa McSherry? Lisa had e-mailed
me about a customer who was proving to be a problem at the car delivery handover. When
presented with the handover documents to sign off, she had said to the delivery driver
that, in Lisa’s words, she ‘…. does not want to sign the keeper/reg doc paperwork
as it states c/o fleetpro but she has no idea who you are! Can you explain the situation
Well, if the customer was an airline pilot, Toby, and buying through BALPA’s appointed
affinity scheme agents, my company FleetPro, how come she didn’t know who we were? Surely
she would have known who she was buying a car from? Unless
of course she did know exactly who she was buying the car from, but she was buying
the car from the broker to whom I had sold it. And
because of this she wouldn’t have had a clue about who we were, as we were the unseen
‘middlemen’ in the deal.
And Toby, how many doctors does it take to fly an airplane? Because
six of them bought cars through the BALPA account and all had their cars registered
by Renault Croydon under the title ‘Dr’ followed by their names. Why? Because
that was what was on their insurance certificates.
Well, Toby thought that it wasn’t unreasonable that pilots could be married to doctors. OK,
Toby, maybe, but six doctors out of just two hundred and twenty orders? Crikey
Toby, how many doctors do you think there are in the county, and how many of them
do you think are married to pilots, and how many of them would have wanted to buy
a Renault in the short life of the BALPA account? And
what about the car for a Professor? Professor
of what? How to flap your arms and fly?
And then there was the case of the dud diesel engine. Remember
the one that Steve Wilson had already been cross-examined
about? When Toby was asked to sort out
a demonstration car for the customer, didn’t he think it odd that a steel fabrication
company had bought a car through the BALPA account? No,
And then there was ….. well, I’m tempted to go on with Toby’s cross-examination, but
I think you are probably getting the message by now. It
was not a pretty sight.
And all I can say is that, having seen what we’ve done to Toby, if this is a preview
of what’s waiting for me at the hands of barrister Andrew Bruce, well it
has scared me fartless. And I’ve only
been sitting back as a spectator to this carnage. So
God knows what it’s done to Toby, as he was in it. Right
Laura has trailed him and nailed him, hounded him for hours and now that he’s left
the witness stand Toby Johnstone must be punch drunk
from denying everything that has been put to him. It
wasn’t me, I knew nothing, these things did not concern me, I didn’t get involved. On
the Witness Stand and in his Statements, over and over the denials have just kept
coming, all variations on the same theme. And
none of them believable.
And yet, Toby, you trousered the commission cheques all along. And
you made sure you could keep the money by saying anything that you could think of
to try and weasel your way out of any responsibility for what happened with the BALPA
account. And you knew it was all lies. Shame
on you. Shame on you.