IN THE MATTER OF FREDERICK ANDREWS - 1978 No 516
Points raised in Mrs Wright's letter of 5 May 1987 to Dr H A Lyons
1. The unequivocal medical opinions as to the Patient's incapacity expressed both by Dr Lyons and by his colleague Dr James F Perry are a matter of record. The point was clearly acknowledged in paragraph 5 (on page 3) of the Official Solicitor's report dated 30 January 1984 in the following terms:
"A central feature of this case must, of course, be that of the Patient's capacity to manage his affairs and, in particular, to comprehend any dealings with proterty or income which had been provided for his benefit and support by his father during the latter's lifetime. I am satisfied, from medical reports provided by 2 consultant psychiatrists in November and December 1978, that the Patient was incapable of managing his affairs at any time since the date of his father's death on 14 July 1972, and it also appears that he would never had had [probably should read, "have had"] capacity following the first manifestations of mental illness in 1946 when he was aged 17 years. I am satisfied that this incapacity was known to all the members of the Patient's family at all material times."
2. It is also known that in the years following the death of his father members of the Patient's family chose to ignore the clear advice given by their experienced solicitors, supported by the opinion of counsel, and did not apply to the Court for the appointment of a Committee (now Controller) to act for him. One of the reasons which led to the decision to appoint the Official Solicitor (then Mr Drennan) as Committee in January 1979 rather than a member of the family was that it was quite apparent that individual members were highly critical of the actions (or inactivity) of other members during the preceding 7 years.
3. It is incorrect to suggest that the Court is not concerned to protect the interests of Mr Andrews (or other patients). At the end of an extensive and comprehensive review of this case the Judge indicated at the last (ninth) formal hearing that any party with an interest is at liberty to make a further application to the Court if so advised.
4. The final report submitted to the Judge indicated the extent of compensation (together with interest and costs) which had been recovered on behalf of the Patient. It was accepted both by the Judge and by the profesional representatives of all the members of the family at tha hearing that the amount recovered represented the full entitlement of the Patient and the settlement was duly approved.
5. So far from the affairs of the Patient being conducted in secret all applications affecting any of his assets, including the recent sale of his properties at Smithfield/Frances Street, have been considered at formal sittings in Court before the assigned Judge upon notice to all interested parties who have had independent advice and representation.
6. It is not clear from the last paragraph of Mrs Wright's letter who would [still] try to take the Patient's last property (presumably a reference to 4 Norwood Gardens) from him or for what reason. As to the question of the maintenance of that property Mrs Wright is fully aware of the responsibility of Mrs Deirdre S Bowers, the present Official Solicitor, as Controller for the Patient to provide for his personal and domestic needs out of the current resources which are available. It is open to Mrs Wright at any time to communicate direct with Mrs Bowers and it is, therefore, both unnecessary and inappropriate for any other person or agency to become involved in matters of domestic detail.
15 May 1987.