It wasn't until late 1978 that my elder brother Billy and I went on behalf of our family to talk to Freddie's psychiatrist when we eventually realised that we were helpless to stop what was happening. As a result, Freddie was put into the care of the Courts both for his own protection and for the protection of his estate. Unfortunately, again when it was too late, we realised we had made matters worse. Official Solicitor Mr. Drennan of solicitors Cleaver Fulton & Rankin was appointed Committee over Freddie's affairs on 11 January 1979 and the Care and Protection Agency literally carried on where Charles Gilpin and Tughan & Co had left off. It must be borne in mind that in subsequent hearings in the High Court involving my brother's welfare and estate, Official Solicitor after Official Solicitor refused to inform the High Court Judges of the criminal activity involving Gilpin and solicitors Tughan & Co which had been identified by the RUC Fraud Squad officers. Incredibly, the RUC top brass backed up the Official Solicitors' conduct by refusing to take proper punitive action against Gilpin and Tughan & Co. The main investigating Fraud Squad officer who died of a gun-shot wound to the head, his hands and feet having been tied, had already accused his superiors of being members of the Freemasons.
The following is an extract from my brother Billy's statement to the RUC
"As a result of information given to me by D/Constable Patterson [This was the Fraud Squad officer who was shot dead in questionable circumstances.] I understand that in 1977 I on behalf of the company bought properties 61 to 69 Smithfield and 1 - 11 Francis Street, Belfast from my brother Freddie and sold them to Neville Johnston Garages on 30 September 1977. I emphatically deny all knowledge of this alleged transaction. I now produce a copy of an agreement which has been marked WJA1 which relates to the sale of the company shares to Neville Johnston Garages and dated 30/9/77. On pages 12 and 15 of the said agreement I identify the signatures of my wife son and myself. I have examined them at the back of the agreement and this suggests that we sold some of Freddies property in this agreement. This is false as I or the company never owned Freddie's showrooms and therefore could not have sold them. I can not offer an explanation at present but I suspect that this agreement has been tampered with. At the time I allegedly signed this agreement I was in a state of deep depression and can not clearly recall the transactions. There were a number of irregularities over this day which have been referred to in another statement."
This is a letter from my brother Billy to Assistant Chief Constable dated 16.8.1983.
I sent statements to the Fraud Squad in Holywood some time ago regarding the fraudulent takeover of Andrews & Co. Ltd., and so far have not heard how the case is progressing.
I would appreciate answers to the following questions:-
How were confidential documents such as Balance Sheets, Deeds etc. obtained by Mr. C. Gilpin? Where had these documents been kept?
Who in the Northern Bank, High Street, Belfast, made out the cheque for £26,183.00 and under whose instructions? What was this cheque for?
What solicitor represented Mr. Gilpin?
Who purchased No. 60 Smithfield Square and when did the sale take place? What was the purchase price and who was the solicitor involved?
Who took possession of the large piece of ground, Francis Street, Smithfield, used as a car-park?
Who lodged "payment" for Andrews & Co. Ltd. in the hire purchase company, Central Avenue, Bangor, otherwise known as the Industrial Bank?
Why was I not at any time able to take possession of any Deeds relating to my properties? How was Mr. Gilpin able to obtain Deeds and other documents that I had been unable to see or possess?
How did our accountant balance his books when Mr. Gilpin took a Peugeot 604 and a BMW 320 and refused to pay for either even though accounts were sent to him? This, of course, would make a considerable difference in the value of Andrews & Co. Ltd. Who received payment for them when they were resold? In whose name were they registered and who filled in the tax forms, and what dealer's stamp was used (being used cars)?
I was taken to the office of Tughan & Co. (after being threatened by Mr. Gilpin as to what would happen to me otherwise) by a colleague of his, and a Mr. Wright of Tughan & Co. was present with other members of the Company. I was forced without my solicitor being present to sign some documents which I knew nothing about. How then can the takeover of Andrews & Co. Ltd. be legal when, although I requested the presence of my solicitor, I was told that I did not need her.
Since the death of my Father I was under constant undue pressure and threats from Mr. Gilpin and his friends with the result that I had a breakdown. Is this in any way the normal procedure for the takeover of a large Company? Is it not more the way crooks and gangsters would behave?
As stated above, I have never had possession of any documents. Could you find out who would have them?
I would be only too glad to have an interview with you at any time if that would help to expose the fraudulent takeover of my Company.
It is now two years since the Fraud Squad took over so, naturally, I am getting anxious to see some result.
Nothing, absolutely nothing was ever done by the RUC regarding these statements by my brother Billy and now he is no longer alive to get anything done himself. This is a total and absolute disgrace. Here is a situation where, by omission, the RUC have colluded with criminal activity instead of taking swift action against those who broke the law. This is just one example of how our family members were used and abused, all because we had some money and property which other people were jealous of us having and were prepared to stop at nothing to get their hands on it all.
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.
Re: Frederick Andrews Junior,
Showroom & Offices with large Yard at rear,
Nor. 59/65 or 62/69 Smithfield Square (now known as No. 60 Smithfield),
presently occupied by Neville Johnston (Garages) Limited.
This two-storey building is occupied as a car showroom on the ground floor. There is also excellent car accommodation on the 1st floor which is served by a ramp at the rear of the building.
The Offices and toilet accommodation are also on the 1st floor.
Special piling was used to support the considerable number of cars which this floor accommodates.
The entrance is by a concrete passage on the North side, leading to the ground at rear. There is also a gateway entrance in Frances Street.
Ground Floor = 3,122.00 Sq. ft. approx.
First Floor = 2,930.00 Sq. ft. approx.
Yard at rear = 6,200 Sq. ft. approx.
The brick-built building is framed in steel and has an ashphalt roof and is in very good condition. We understand it was in a similar condition in 1977.
The plate glass windows are set in aluminium sections.
The open Yard is surfaced in tar-mac and concrete.
The premises occupy a prominent position convenient to Royal Avenue, and Upper North Street.
Net Annual Value
Held, we are informed under a long Lease or Fee Farm Grant.
In our opinion the value of the property in 1977 was £52,500.00.
(Fifty two thousand, five hundred pounds).
You will see from the above letter from my brother Billy to Assistant Chief Constable dated 16.8.1983 where one of Billy's questions to the Assistant Chief Constable states, "Who took possession of the large piece of ground, Francis Street, Smithfield, used as a car-park?"
In the above valuation by Macrory & Jefferson dated 3/11/1983, it states "Showroom & Offices with large Yard at rear". Yet Official Solicitor F. Brian Hall stated in his Comprehensive Report to the High Court that Freddie did not own the large yard the family spoke of.
During the reign of Mrs. Deirdre Bowers as Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court in Northern Ireland she was very involved with my brother Freddie's case. Mrs. Bowers took an injunction out at one stage stopping me from writing to her Office. She must not have liked the questions that I was asking. On another occasion she came into 4 Norwood Gardens, looked around and said that there were people in this house that she was not responsible for. She then left. My elderly mother was downstairs in bed but Mrs. Bowers did not see her and the only others present were one of my sisters and a neighbour's child from across the road. Mrs. Bowers is even quoted in a letter dated October 2nd 1987 as stating that I was dangerous and inaccurate and that it was best not to make any reply to my letters. As you can see from the above link, this letter from solicitors Carson & McDowell was sent to
Nick Sadler, Esq.,
John Laing Developments Limited,
London NW7 2ER.
John Laing Developments Limited were the people needing Freddie's land for their multi-million shopping complex in the centre of Belfast - CastleCourt - and Carson & McDowell were the solicitors acting here in Belfast for Laings. This same firm of solicitors, Carson & McDowell, was actually retained by the Official Solicitor Mrs. Bowers, to prepare the Conveyance and Assignment for the sale of Freddie's property to Laings. In fact and in practice, Mrs. Bowers caused Carson & McDowell to represent the owner of the property, Freddie, through Mrs. Bowers as Freddie's Controller, while at the same time Carson & McDowell were representing the purchaser of the property, Laings. As you can see above, the letter was addressed to Laing's man, Nick Sadler, at
John Laing Developments Limited,
London NW7 2ER.
While Tughan & Co was Northern Ireland's number one firm of solicitors, it seems from this report in the Belfast Telegraph (date to be obtained) that Carson & McDowell, or Carson McDowell as it states in this report, was number two in Northern Ireland's 30 top firms of solicitors. The conduct of both these legal firms casts a long, long shadow over the legal profession in Northern Ireland and casts a shadow over the Law Society which recommended Carson McDowell to two businesses. It also casts a very dark shadow over the conduct of both Official Solicitor Bowers and F. Brian Hall, now Master.
On February 26th 1987, Bowers issued this summons to the High Court. She was certainly in a hurry. Deane sent a letter dated February 24th 1987 to her recommending the offer which was accepted by the High Court Judge. She would just have had time to read it before issuing the Summons, but as you can see from her sworn statement she had not yet received the confirmation of the figure of £150,000 from the Valuation Office which was sent to her dated March 3rd 1987. Yes, Mrs. Bowers was certainly in a big hurry.
As you can see from the pages of the Conveyance and Assignment prepared by solicitors Carson & McDowell below:
on page 1, the sale of Freddie's property was made out to Project Assessment and Development Limited,
and on page 2, the address of the registered office of Project Assessment and Development Limited is given as
Why did Carson & McDowell leave out part of the address above, namely, John Laing Developments Limited?
Why did Official Solicitor Bowers and F. Brian Hall, Master, allow this omission? John Laing Developments Limited and Project Assessment and Development Limited were one and the same party!
The official solicitor Mrs Bowers caused the solicitors Carson & McDowell, whose treatment of me, Freddie's sister, can only be classed as abusive, to act in this rip-off of my mentally-handicapped brother Freddie, when she knew that the same solicitors Carson & McDowell were also acting for the business giant, Laing, who needed Freddie's land to make many more millions of pounds.
This is not only unprofessional, it is sick, criminal and any other base term that comes to mind.
You will also see on page two up along the border on the left-hand-side of the page that all this has the signed approval of none other than F. Brian Hall, Master.
Continued below the following pages.
It must be remembered that PART of this property had already been sold, by an illegal sale confirmed here by the County Court in Belfast on September 28th 1988. As can be seen from the foregoing link, solicitor Herbert Wright was convicted of the offence, namely,
"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."
It seems that this illegal property sale was never properly resolved because the £375,000 paid by the Ryland Vehicle Group for 60/65 Smithfield Square, Belfast was paid into the account of solicitors Tughan & Co, a fact confirmed by County Court Judge in the above case, Judge O'Donnell, and not into the account of the owner of the property who was and is my handicapped brother Freddie Andrews. The Ryland Vehicle Group could not get their money back when they discovered the fraud so they held on to the Deeds. The Official Solicitor and RUC could not make a fuss about it all because that would have exposed the fraud which all were implicated in.
It seems that the Official Solicitor obtained new Deeds for this property in 1987 which allowed the Ryland Vehicle Group to hold on to the original Deeds until they got their money back and probably a lot more as confirmed in this newspaper article when they sold Freddie's land illegally to the Laing Group after the above County Court case. At the time of the above sale by Official Solicitor Bowers, therefore, there were TWO sets of Deeds for Freddie's property, one held by the Office of Care and Protection/Official Solicitor, and the other held by the Ryland Vehicle Group.
I sent this letter to Official Solicitor Bowers one month before Bowers's sworn statement below.
Here is Official Solicitor Bowers' sworn statement of March 6th 1987, eighteen months before the above County Court hearing of September 28th 1988.
As you can see, John L Deane was still involved in plunder of Freddie's property.
You can also see that Mrs. Bowers swore that John L Deane received, from Mr Alan Wilson for the representatives of John Laing Developments Limited, a letter of offer to purchase 62-65 Smithfield, 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street, Belfast, for the sum of £150,000, a figure which Mr. Deane and the Valuation Office recommended Mrs Bowers to accept.
Mr. Deane had already sent this letter to F. Brian Hall dated November 27th 1985.
Estate agents Osborne King and Megran sent this letter to Deane of Alex Murdoch & Deane dated February 1987.
As I have mentioned elsewhere, how could all these people justify the valuation of £150,000 for all three properties in 1987 when solicitor 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."
Tughan & Co received £375,000 for just one of the above three properties in 1979 when Official Solicitor was in charge, yet Official Solicitor Bowers accepted £150,000 for the very same property AND TWO OTHER PROPERTIES eight years later!!!!!
ENTER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT!
This is a Department of the Environment's Vesting Order Notice published in the major Northern Ireland press and dated 16th day of December, 1983.
As you can see, this Vesting Order includes the addresses 1-23 Francis Street and 1-45 King Street.
My brother Freddie and my sister Betty Hamilton between them owned 1-19 Francis Street and Betty owned 14-16 King Street from which Freddie is said to have been entitled to the rent.
Here is a letter from me to the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland and here and here are letters from Laing Developments Limited to me.
Now, can you tell me what went on regarding the sales of Freddie's - and Betty's - properties, because as sure as truth, I cannot tell you?
The Belfast County Court case revealed that ONE of Freddie's properties was sold in 1979/1980 to Ryland Vehicle Group for £375,000.
Official Solicitor Hall tried in 1985 to sell this one property plus two others for £110,000.
Official Solicitor Bowers DID sell this one property plus two others in 1987 for £150,000 while in 1983, the Department of the Environment charged Laings £300,000.
ON TOP OF ALL THIS, I received this letter
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND
OFFICE OF CARE AND PROTECTION
IN THE MATTER OF FREDERICK ANDREWS
Let all parties concerned attend at Chambers of the Honourable Mr Justice MacDermott at the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast on Friday 6th day of March 1987 at 2.00 o'clock in the afternoon upon the hearing of an application on the part of the Official Solicitor for an Order authorising the Official Solicitor, as Controller for the Patient, to sell the Patient's properties at 62-65 Smithfield, and at 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street, Belfast to John Laing Developments Limited for the sum of £150,000 upon such terms as the Court may approve.
Dated the 26 day of February 1987
This summons was taken out by the Official Solicitor of Bedford House, 16-22 Bedford Street, Belfast BT2 7DS
Messrs McCloskey & Co
Solicitors for Messrs Tughan & Co
39 Castle Lane, Donegall Place, Belfast BT1 5DH
Messrs James Boston & Sullivan
Solicitors for Mr William J Andrews
40 Victoria Square, Belfast BT1 4QJ
Messrs McAteer & Co
Solicitors for Mrs Minetta Andrews
1A Bloomfield Road, Belfast BT5 5LR
Messrs Alex Stewart & Co
Solicitors for Mrs Betty Hamilton
36 Frances Street, Newtownards, Co Down BT23 3DS
Mrs Vera Douglas
2 Dehra Grove, Flat 6, Sydenham Avenue, Belfast BT4 2DW
Mrs Eileen Wright
4 Norwood Gardens, Belfast BT4 2DX
Peter J Rankin, Esq, Deputy Official Solicitor
c/o Messrs Cleaver, Fulton & Rankin
50 Bedford Street, Belfast BT2 7FW.
[Just WHAT was going on here! The Official Solicitor asked the High Court on March 6th 1987 for permission to sell Freddie's Smithfield properties at 62-65 Smithfield, 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street, Belfast for £150,000.
At this point in time, the first property mentioned above, namely 62-65 Smithfield (60-65 Smithfield) had already been sold to the Ryland Vehicle Group eight years previously. In fact, on September 28th 1988 in the County Court in Belfast, solicitor Herbert Wright was to be charged and convicted that, "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."
Why did the Official Solicitor seek permission from a High Court Judge, the Honourable Mr Justice MacDermott, to sell property which was to be the subject of a County Court case 18 months later? When was the Ryland purchase found to be fraudulent? Who found it to be fraudulent? Why was that fraudulent Ryland purchase never mentioned by any Official Solicitor? If answers to these questions are not known, why did the above request to Judge MacDermott go ahead? Why was the above request on behalf of the Family Division of the Office of Care and Protection not signed by an Official Solicitor?
The Ryland Vehicle Group paid £375,000 for 60/65 Smithfield in late 1979 and here is the Official Solicitor who is supposed to be looking after Freddie's interests asking a mere £150,000 for not only 60/65 Smithfield but 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street as well AND SEVEN YEARS after £375,000 was paid for one part of these properties. What were the Court officials playing at?]
Here is a letter from Official Solicitor Bowers to me dated 4/3/1987.
I wrote this letter to Freddie's Social Worker unaware that she was later to be convicted in Court for 'fleecing two elderly ladies' and given a suspended jail sentence.