The Microsoft employee scheme had produced only 5 cars in total and the most successful,
the Civil Service Motoring Association (‘CSMA’) scheme, produced only 200 cars per
annum for Renault from 250,000 eligible members.
Yet here was the BALPA account turning in nearly 220 cars in just nine months from
only 10,000 eligible members (less than one twentieth of the membership of the CSMA). If
those sales had been genuine then it would have been astonishing and something that
Renault would surely have been keen to examine in more detail so that it could try
and replicate the technique elsewhere in other schemes? Unless,
of course, Renault already knew that the sales weren’t genuine and therefore didn’t
bother to look into it.
But when it comes to corporate accounts being misused, Carolyn
Sample reckons that Renault is pretty quick off the mark to stamp out corruption;
she says that Renault spotted cars being sold illicitly through another account intended
for employees of the opticians, Specsaver, and that Renault had closed it down in
a couple of weeks, preventing 30 cars from being sold outside the terms of the account. According
to Carolyn something similar had happened with the affinity scheme for The Association
of Golf Secretaries. Renault stomped
on each of them ASAP, and effectively.
So Carolyn has now explained to the Court that she knows exactly how affinity schemes
are monitored, how they can go wrong and just what to do when it happens.
And as far as the BALPA account was concerned, Carolyn
Sample says that she had suspicions all the way back in September 2005. She
says she thought ‘this isn’t right any more’ after a meeting that she and I had back
then when I was introduced to Steve Wilson. Carolyn
says that she had told Steve Wilson to contact me again
to arrange another meeting. And how often
did Renault usually meet corporate clients? Two
or three times a year according to Carolyn.
But hang on Carolyn, hadn’t Steve Wilson said in his
earlier testimony that it was four or five times a year? Yes,
she had, but that was a lie. Oh? And
who had told Steve to say it. Carolyn
owned up that she had told him to say it. Ouch.
OK Carolyn, so if you suspected something was wrong with the BALPA account, why didn’t
you do something about it straight away, close it down in a couple of weeks like Specsaver?
Well, said Carolyn, they had tried to do something about it. But
it took from September 2005, when Carolyn’s alleged initial suspicions were raised,
to May 2006 when the last cars were delivered, rather than a few weeks as in the case
of Specsaver. And you just have to ask
yourself 'Why?'. Nothing to do
with Renault’s desperation to make sales targets then?
Now Laura wants to know about the web site hacking incident.
Yes, Carolyn admits that she had seen the private web site I used to sell cars to
brokers. The user ID and password used
to illicitly gain access to the web site had apparently come to her through a colleague,
Andy Watkinson (the same Renault area manager who had been responsible for SteerFast,
and for one brief moment I wondered if Dopplegänger was behind all of this in some
kind of revenge attack).
Andy Watkinson had passed the log-in details to Carolyn
Sample by e-mail and she had then passed them on to Steve
Wilson. They had then visited the
web site. Then Carolyn said that each
one of the three of them had destroyed their copy of the e-mail. Not
only that, but according to Carolyn, the Renault e-mail system would no longer have
a back-up of anyone’s copy of the e-mail either ‘because it doesn’t work that way’.
Hmmm. How convenient. All
copies of the e-mail deleted and no back-up. But
isn’t destroying evidence of a crime such as computer hacking a criminal offence in
itself? Well, I guess only time will
tell on that one.
But Carolyn’s head is well and truly in the noose now, not least as the deliberate
destruction of evidence in a civil case is also a serious infringement of the Civil
Procedure Rules that govern how court cases are managed. His Lordship has made no
comment on the antics of Carolyn Sample and her colleagues,
but I'm guessing that they will not have gone unnoticed.
And so, there is only one more thing to ask Carolyn and Laura will allow me to deliver
the coup de grace. I’m up on my feet
and asking Carolyn the same question that I asked Steve
Wilson. The one when I challenged
Steve about whether he had ever really asked me about who was buying the cars sold
through the BALPA account.
So, Carolyn, what exactly was I asked about at the meetings? Carolyn
is thinking for a moment, she looks me in the eye and somehow I know she can’t lie
here and now, under oath, no matter how humiliating it might be to change her story.
‘We asked about the web site.’ she says.
The trap door opened under Carolyn, the noose tightened and that was that. Carolyn
Sample had finally told the truth about what had been asked at the meetings, which
meant Steve Wilson had lied under oath on the Witness
Stand and in his Witness Statements.
I sat down with the heaviest of hearts. I
had been vindicated by someone who, somehow, I knew just wouldn’t be able to lie to
my face under oath. But I still wondered
just what had caused the myth to be perpetuated until now by Carolyn
Sample and Steve Wilson about what had gone on in those meetings.
Just what was it that scared Carolyn Sample so much
that she was, for so long, prepared to lay down what I’m sure were very high personal
standards and, because of that, cause so much misery for me and for my family?
doubt that I will ever know. In fact,
I don’t think that I ever want to know. And
anyway, despite her admission, the Trial still isn’t over and whatever Carolyn
Sample has just said, I can’t believe that Renault will give up. No. Not
at all. Not for one single moment.