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Daylight robbery in Smithfield.

Official Solicitor Brian Hall wrote the following letter to solicitor Gwendoline Sullivan dated 22 November 1985.

So, Mr. Hall, in November 1985, was prepared to accept 110,000 for 62-65 Smithfield, 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street on Freddie's behalf. What happened between November 22nd 1985 and October 1st 1987? Here is page 4 of the Conveyance and Assignment approved by Official Solicitor Bowers and Master F Brian Hall dated October 1st 1987 and the value of Freddie's property has gone up from 110,000 to 150,000.
Hall, as Official Solicitor in November 1985 was recommending the Court to approve the sale at 110,000 and here he was less than two years later approving the sale at 150,000? Why was there a delay in the sale of almost two years from Hall wrote to solicitor Gwen Sullivan? Did someone realise that their scam was just too barefaced, too mean?

First of all Charles Gilpin offered my father 315,000 for Smithfield some years before my father died in 1972. My father refused this offer. Gilpin knew that he would have to make my father a proper offer for his showroom and yard at Smithfield as my father would have taken no nonsense from anyone, especially Gilpin. Seven years, at least, later, and after my father died, Charles Gilpin and his friends made my brother Billy so ill that he did not realise he was losing his shares in the family firm to Gilpin's enforcement team. Gilpin got the Andrews & Co business shares for a shareholding of 192,000 plus the miserly 35,000 he offered Billy for the title of Freddie's most lucrative and freehold property, the car showroom and workshops, a total of 227,000 - less, of course, the value of the two expensive cars, a Peugeot 604 and a BMW 320, that Gilpin got from Billy and refused to pay for and the cheque for 26,183 which was already made payable to Mr. C. Gilpin and which Billy was forced to sign at the 'meeting' in the offices of Tughan & Co where Billy was also forced to sign over his shares and was refused his request to contact Gwen Sullivan his solicitor.

That is not the end of this little story.

Charles Gilpin paid the above 35,000 into the Northern Ireland Industrial Bank in Bangor, but instead of paying the money into an account in Freddie's name, Gilpin paid the 35,000 into an account in the names of Charles Gilpin and Herbert Wright as Trustees for Frederick Andrews. So in fact Freddie did not even get this 35,000. On top of this as you will have seen or will see now, Official Solicitor Hall gave this 35,000 back to Charles Gilpin via Tughan & Co - Gilpin's solicitors - which meant that the money that Andrews & Co cost Gilpin at that time was not 192,000 plus 35,000, but 192,000 plus 35,000 minus 35,000 (because this 35,000 was paid into Gilpin's own account with Wright) minus another 35,000 (because Hall gave Gilpin back 35,000 out of what should have been Freddie's compensation from Tughan & Co), minus the value of two (unpaid for) expensive cars - say, 40,000 at a guess - minus a cheque for 26,183. I will try to find out the exact cost of those two cars. This does not include the interest earned on the 35,000 over the years which Hall also included in his generosity to his fellow solicitors Tughan & Co and therefore to Gilpin, which I will estimate over about ten years was 20,000. So that Mr. Gilpin's outlay was not 192,000 plus 35,000 but around 70,817.

Quite a bargain! Solicitor Gwen Sullivan put a damper on the sale of the building and ground of Freddie's showroom to Gilpin, however, by telling Billy that Freddie's property could not be sold because of Freddie's mental incapacity. Of course Billy didn't get his shares back.

Herbert Wright and Charles Gilpin, however, when they thought they had bought the THREE properties which made up Freddie's 'Smithfield', actually sold it "between the 1st day of August 1979 and the 31st day of January 1980" to the Ryland Vehicle Group for 375,000, which would have made Gilpin a profit of around 300,000, but look at the 1987 Summons issued against Herbert Wright:

This is the charge against solicitor Herbert Wright which was heard in the County Court in Belfast on September 28th 1988.

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE Obtaining property by deception, contrary to section 15 of the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

Herbert Wright, between the 1st day of August 1979 and the 31st day of January 1980, in the County Court Division of Belfast, dishonestly obtained from Ryland Vehicle Group Limited 375.000 with the intention of permanently depriving the said Ryland Vehicle Group Limited thereof by deception, namely by falsely representing Neville Johnston (Garages) Limited had a good and marketable title to premises known as 60/65 Smithfield Square, Belfast.

You can see for yourself that while Official Solicitor Hall was prepared, in November 1985, to accept 110,000 for 62-65 Smithfield, 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street on Freddie's behalf, Herbert Wright was charged in the High Court for obtaining 375,000 from the Ryland Vehicle Group for, wait for it, just 60/65 Smithfield between the 1st day of August 1979 and the 31st day of January 1980, six years earlier. In other words, one set of properties, 60-65 Smithfield, had a market value in November 1979 of 375,000 and yet Mr. Hall who was supposed to be looking after Freddie's interests, was prepared to take less than one third of that amount, 110,000, for that same property 60-65 Smithfield, PLUS the two other properties, 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street SIX YEARS LATER, and therefore with a further six years of increased value on all three sets of properties. This is exactly what happened with the so-called sale of 14 Castlehill Road and Freddie's property in Little King Street, both of which were purchased by members of the legal profession.

You will see above, a Smithfield address as 62-65 and another as 60-65. This is basically the same property address. 62-65 Smithfield at some time became 60 Smithfield which seems to have caused some confusion.

Here is a copy of the actual Court Summons:

Remember that the letter from Official Solicitor Hall to solicitor Gwendoline Sullivan at the top of this web page was dated 22 November 1985.

Now read this following letter TO Official Solicitor Hall from estate agent Deane and note especially the date which is 27 November 1985, five whole days AFTER the above letter was written!

As you can see, Mr. Hall wrote to solicitor Sullivan informing her of the offer of 110,000 for Smithfield FIVE DAYS BEFORE he received the letter from Deane. A very fast worker is Mr. Hall. The question has to be asked, "who was informing who"? Could it possibly be that Hall was running this whole show and using the very 'helpful' Deane to do his bidding? Was Hall setting not only the standards but also the prices?

Now very carefully, read these following two documents, both prepared by Official Solicitor Hall for the High Court. Each document consists of two pages. This first document was dated 19/12/1985. I will refer to it as "Document 19/12/85".

This second document was dated 6/3/1986 and I will refer to it as "Document 6/3/86".

In Document 19/12/85, Official Solicitor Hall stated that it was agreed between himself and Tughan & Co that the sums, 378.00 of debt repayment, 4,095.00 of unsecured income and 41,165.00 for rental, totalling 45,638.00, would be paid by Tughan & Co to Official Solicitor Hall on behalf of Freddie.
Yet, in Document 6/3/86, Official Solicitor Hall stated that the sums, 378.00 of debt repayment, 4,095.00 of unsecured income and 45,125.00 for rental, totalling 49,598.00, would be paid by Tughan & Co to Official Solicitor Hall on behalf of Freddie.

While the first two sums in each Document are equal, the third sum shows a difference of 3,960.00.
There is of course, a difference in the dates given for the unrecovered rental in both documents.
In Document 19/12/85, Official Solicitor Hall stated that the 41,165.00 was for unrecovered rental from 1 October 1977 up to 31 December 1985.
In Document 6/3/86, Official Solicitor Hall stated that the 45,125.00 was for unrecovered rental from 1 October 1977 up to 28 February 1986.

Given that there are only two more calendar months in the timescale of Document 6/3/86 than in the timescale of Document 19/12/85, the estimate of an extra 3,960.00 for two months rental is totally wrong. This is so typical of what has been going on since Freddie's affairs has been taken over by the Office of Care and Protection and therefore the Office of the Official Solicitor.

Document 6/3/86 states at paragraph 1, quote, "In addition to the sums of 378.00 and 4,095.00 referred to in the Order of The Honourable Mr Justice MacDermott made on 23 December 1985 ........ a further sum of 45,125.00 will be paid by Tughan & Co, subject to the approval of the Court ....."
Document 19/12/85 was prepared for that 23 December 1985 hearing before Mr Justice MacDermott by Official Solicitor Hall on 19/12/1985 and as can be seen in this document above, the third sum of 41,165.00 was also stated as being presented to the Judge. According to this paragraph 1 of Document 6/3/86, this third sum of 41,165.00 was not presented to the Judge which means that the content of Hall's signed Document 19/12/85 was not presented to the Judge and that a variation of the content of Document 19/12/85 was given to the Judge.

If, as seems to have been the case, that the Judge was prevented from seeing the sum of 41,165.00 in the hearing of 23/12/1985, then I have to assume that the Judge was prevented from seeing the sum of 45,125.00 in a hearing subsequent to Hall's preparation of Document 6/3/86. So what does all this add up to?

A sum of 45,125.00 plus 378.00 plus 4,095.00 which adds up to 49,598.00 would not be petty cash to even a big-time operator like Tughan & Co and the most likely provider of such a large sum would likely be an insurance company. My honest sister Vera Douglas took great exception to these exorbitant figures that Mr. Hall quoted for rent arrears.