Dear Mr. Hall,
Thank you for your letter of the 21st. and 22nd. April 1986.
First I would like to remind you and others concerned that this, shall I say, saga, revolves round my brother Freddie. This is of the utmost importance and I must insist that this is made clear at all times. If my brother had been mentally sound, none of these bogus deals etc, could have taken place. Freddie was made to sign documents both because of and in spite of his mental incapacity.
I would like this to be the prime factor taken into consideration inside the Courts and out. This fact has been and still is being totally disregarded. I am of the opinion that Mr C Gilpin died too soon to accomplish and finish what he started.
We were never told or advised by anyone that we could either make submissions or appeal the Judge's reserved Judgement. We would certainly have made many submissions and appeals on many issues and against the Judge's reserved findings if we had been made aware of Court procedure and had known what the Judge's findings were. We were not even made aware that you had a pre-hearing on the 6th March or advised of what took place on that date until my brother Billy was handed a typewritten sheet on entering the Courts on the 7th March giving us no time to object or make submissions.
If you had listened to the family and allowed the Fraud officer a voice when he was in your office, as he was the only one fully conversant with Freddie's case since 1972, you would have been given valuable information and seen evidence of Fraud and Malpractice. But for some reason best known to themselves, Senior Police Officers, perhaps the ones you spoke to, told this Officer to leave our case aside.
We understand Laing & Co. have now control of the Smithfield Complex and Francis St. If this is correct, could this be the reason why Mr Deane your Estate Agent agreed to accommodate this firm by attempting to sell Freddie's Smithfield properties to this firm. F or your information my sister Betty owns a part of Francis St and Millfield which was legally given to her by my father in 1966 but she has been unable to get her deeds back from Tughan & Co., since leaving them in that Office for safe keeping years ago. Although she wrote continually over a long period she was unable to get a reply or her deeds.
Freddies properties must not be sold until all this is resolved.
We will not accept Mr Deane's figure for back rent because of his constant undervaluing of Freddie's properties and also because he is not an independent valuer. Mr Deane must not take part in any deals connected with Freddie.
£5,000 is nowhere near a fair or just rent for Freddies town properties. Mr Deane must not be conversant with modern day values. My brother must not be penalised because of the mismanagement of his affairs.
May I quote Paragraph (3) of your letter of the 3rd April 1986.
"I have already written to Mr Fearon representing your sister Mrs Wright explaining that it is not the function of the District Valuer to understand negotiations on behalf of parties to private commercial lettings".
In your letter of the 21st inst you state that the District Valuer can set back rent for four months since February '86. Why then can the District Valuer not set the back rent for nine years? We were not told that all this was agreed on the 6th March so it must be set aside.
The District Valuer does not need to understand negotiations on behalf of parties to private commercial lettings, though I am sure this in not beyond their capabilities.
All the family were employed at different times in my father's well respected business and are conversant with business acumen.
Who was supposed to 'mislead' Mr C Gilpin a property tycoon and developer connected with about 20 companies? If you say he was misled by his solicitor Mr Bertie Wright who acted for him in the Smithfield deal then why does his Company Neville Johnston not seek damages from Tughan & Co., as did the Ryland group.
There was never any Trust Deed or Trust Account unless Mr C Gilpin and his solicitor invented one. Trustees were never appointed for Freddie. My father would never have allowed a mere business acquaintance or a solicitor he did not know to take control of Freddie's Estate. These men came in to pillage Freddie's estate and duped my elderly mother into believing they were 'Christians' and would help her. Yet you and the previous Official Solicitor have persisted in protecting these people and accepting their word. Freddie's signature is not valid on any document and according to the Fraud Squad some were not even signed by Freddie but by someone other than him.
You did not discuss with us at the only meeting in your office anything about the criminal aspect which has been ignored since 1979. If you are so convinced that nothing fraudulent or criminal took place why then are you in constant touch with senior Police Officers and the D.P.P?
Why did you deny Freddie the right to be protected by the Care & Protection Office just because the Master Mr Gerry Davison was my brother -in-law.
Mr Chambers was not kept informed of what you were doing.
Little King St. was not a correct deal and we still insist Freddie did not receive any money for Winetavern St. We have never withheld any useful or relevant information from you, or the previous Official Solicitor. We had close liaison with a fraud officer for almost four years who was well aware of fraudulent and criminal acts.
It is not incorrect to state that on 12/10/77 £15,083 was credited to the Industrial Bank in the names of Gilpin and Wright. We have previously stated that there were no trustees or Trust Account.
The family have signed a letter to Dr Lyons explaining the situation and why we wish to have Freddie's affairs removed from the Jurisdiction of the Court. We hope by now the reasons for doing this will be apparent to the Judge, and that the Judge, Dr Lyons, the Care and Protection Office will respect our wishes. Making Freddie a Ward of Court was a disaster and if the Courts persist in not protecting Freddie we will have to engage a Solicitor and accountant who will.
We should not have had to go to any Court or make submissions when Freddie has had two Official Solicitors and two Senior Counsels engaged and paid for Freddie's protection. Why was this not done and why do you expect the family to continually keep you up to date with information for over a seven year period? No family should ever be expected to have to go through all this on their own without any assistance except for one Fraud Detective who expected after his long investigation for all to be handed over at the first Court Hearing to Police Headquarters for further investigation.
We would need to go back to the time of my father's death in 1972 and start again.
(Mrs.) Vera Douglas.