Dear Mrs Wright
I write on behalf of the Lord Chancellor in reply to your letter of 12 December 1983 about the affairs of your brother, Frederick Andrews.
When concern about the management of your brother's property and income was drawn to the attention of the High Court late in 1979 [Should this not read 1978?] steps were taken to obtain a definitive medical report from a consultant psychiatrist and shortly after it was received the Lored Chief Justice made an Order (on 11 January 1979) appointing the Official Solicitor, then Mr John G Drennan, to act as committee for the patient.
Mr Drennan was required by the Order to undertake a full investigation of your brother's affairs and he submitted his first report on 15 December 1979. It was necessary for Mr Drennan to continue his enquiries but unfortunately in the summer of 1981 he suffered a serious illness which prevented his continuing to act in the case and his partner Mr Peter J Rankin was appointed to deputise for him. [So, Mr. Drennan spent oven two years investigating the handling of my brother's estate between 1972 and 1979 and could not even inform the RUC of the shocking theft that was carried out by Charles Gilpin assisted by Tughan & Co!]
During the next two years Mr Rankin did not complete the investigation required by the original order or submit a further report but in November 1982 the Lord Chancellor, recognising that it was necessary to provide additional assistance in the management of the affairs of patients generally, appointed a full-time Official Solicitor whose professional duties related exclusively to the needs of the court. [Then Mr. Rankin spent a further two years covering up the events Mr. Drennan refused to take action on!]
Commencing last August and working under the direction of Mr Justice MacDermott, the newly appointed Official solicitor, Mr F B Hall, has been conducting his own investigations in the case. [Why was the traditional safeguard of having a Master act as a a conduit between the Official Solicitor and the Judge done away with? The reason is obvious.]
You are already aware of initial reports made to the Judge by Mr Hall at hearings in chambers on 24 October and 2 December, when you (and other members of your family) were represented by solicitors and counsel. Since the second review hearing Mr Hall has made further enquiries which will enable him to present a comprehensive report to the Court at a hearing listed for Monday 13 February next. [Mr. Hall wasted no time! Just six months into his new job, Mr. Hall didn't spend much time on his investigations, nor did he even use the findings of the RUC Fraud Squad investigations. Mr. Hall set aside all the legal safeguards in place for the protection of Patients and their belongings and 'rubber stamped' the criminal conduct of those who stole from my brother Freddie Andrews. In doing so he became a party to that criminal conduct. This has left Mr. Justice MacDermott in a rather sticky situation as he must take responsibility for Hall's actions.]I am informed that you attended with your solicitor at a preliminary meeting with Mr Hall at his office on Thursday 19 January when you indicated that you are now satisfied [This is not true. Your information, Mr. Steele, is completely flawed!]that the case may properly be reviewed by the Judge at the next adjourned hearing.
I realise that the delays in reaching this stage have been most frustrating for Mr Andrews' family and trust that you now realise that everything possible is being done to bring matters to a conclusion.
J M STEELE