(1) I never recovered them. I was quite stunned to find out that Mr. Gilpin had possession of these old papers in his office. We had a large family safe in Tara House, it disappeared after my father's death. I don't know how or by whom this was removed. These documents may have been in this safe. Mr. Gilpin had made contact with my mother at the earliest possible date.
(2) On coming into the office after lunch it was clearly overheard, Mr. Gilpin giving Mr. Patterson these instructions - to run up debts.
(3)I accepted Mr. Gilpin's advice for one member of staff, who was giving me some trouble at that time. It did not appear at the time to be wrong to accept what I thought was well meant advice from a very successful business man. One does not easily suspect one who in every way appears, and in fact informs everyone that his is "Good Living" to be up to any unscrupulous deeds.
(4) Accounts were sent to Mr. Gilpin for two cars, a Peugeot and a BMW. I instructed Mr. Patterson to have the cars charged out, so they must have shown a debit. I often discussed the non-payment of this account with Mr. Patterson.
Mr. Gilpin came into the office with these accounts in an envelope in his hand and informed me that in no way was I being paid for these cars. I then told him I would get in touch with you, Miss Sullivan, but he in a most aggressive tone told me that no solicitor in town could touch him, which I know to be true. Mr. Patterson backed him up in the same manner.
(5) There were no negotiations for the selling of Andrews and Co. after all my mother owned part, my brother had the show room so I couldn't possible have put Smithfield up for sale. It wasn't all mine to sell. I had constant and continual harassment and pressure put on me. I also had phone calls asking me when I was going to auction my cars. When I asked who was speaking the phone was put down. I did say I would buy any cars they had to offer, but I certainly was not disposing of them in the manner they suggested.
(6) I cannot, unfortunately recall the contents of the letters from Neilson and Park, I may have passed them on to you Miss Sullivan. If so perhaps we could have further discussions to refresh my memory. Mr. Park had retired but it would appear that he was doing odd favours for Mr. Gilpin from his home in Bangor.
(7) There was no prospective purchaser. I didn't know at the time that the reason for the constant harassment and interference was to wear me down and so enable him to become the new owner of Smithfield. My mother was also being contacted and given totally wrong information eg. my business was going bankrupt etc. my business was at no time put on the market for sale. I would have had many prospective buyers if it had been put on the market.
(8) I advertised in the local press for an office manager, I received quite a few replies and had interviewed some clients. Mr. Gilpin either saw my ad in the paper or knew the previous manager had left. He approached me about a good christian boy whom he would highly recommend. He told me he worked for the firm of solicitors Crawford and Lockard. Would it be possible to find out now if he did work for this firm? Mr. Patterson, he said was very well versed in all office work including V.A.T. I was also told not to contact Crawford and Lockard as they would be very annoyed at losing such a good and reliable worker.
It was difficult for me to refuse such a highly recommended person. I was also informed by Mr. Gilpin that he could start immediately. Now, unsuspecting to me Mr. Gilpin had a contact from the inside who could inform him of the healthy state of my business and my private details he would have no other way of finding out.
(9) I knew of Mr. Gilpin when he worked in his father's furniture shop. My father would call on him mostly on Saturday evenings and some of the family usually accompanied him. I was just a young schoolboy at the time. He did on occasions call on my father at Smithfield but he rarely bought cars from him. If my father bought property Mr. Gilpin usually made a point of calling to see him - you may have details of some of these deals. We would never have known him as open and friendly but he did attend my sister, Mrs. Hamilton's wedding, he also offered my father £315,000 for Smithfield some years before his death.
(10) My wife did not know him at all and had no contact with him. He phoned her to tell her that he could buy her property and it could make her £10,000 then he had second thoughts and said that the property was not good enough. He also told me that he could get the house, 4 Norwood Gardens, at the cheap price although my mother at that time was already living in it.
My wife told me of the proposals made to her by Mr. Gilpin and when I contacted him he denied saying anything of the kind.
(11) I had no preparation for retiring at the age of 59 years, and cannot recall Mr. Gilpin having any influence in this matter. Perhaps you could let me know of my contacts with you at that time.
(12) I did not discuss retirement with Mr. Gilpin or any retirement pension scheme.
(13) My mother as we now know was under the influence of Mr. Gilpin since my father's death, he was using her as a lever to create diversion and confusion.
He I believe told her that I was going bankrupt. You Miss Sullivan know this to be totally untrue.
(14) Your assumption would be correct about the Company and Mr. Tom Bailey.
(15) I did have the property valued. I could get in touch with Mr. Walker to refresh his memory.
(17) No - I did not know at this time that Mr. Gilpin had the control of the Northern Ireland Franchise for Toyota cars.
(18) Mr. Gilpin must have been informed by Toyota of my request or perhaps Mr. Patterson told him. Mr. Gilpin phoned me and told me in no way would I receive a Toyota agency. He then in an aggressive tone informed me that I did not know what was in front of me and slammed down the phone.
(19) No I did not discuss it because at this time I was totally exhausted because of the constant pressure.
(20) Mr. Burnside (Jackson & Andrews) did call at my home but as he became very aggressive, ignorant and had a total lack of understanding of my position I had to ask him to leave. He actually threw a taxation book from one side of the room to the other. I understand he had a breakdown after this and had to retire. He was of no help whatsoever.
(21) I do not remember any request to see Mr. Burnside in Mr. Wright's office on the 26th March. Mr. Gilpin is always on holiday when things become a little difficult.