Re:- Freddie Andrews' Estate.
Properties owned by Freddie Andrews at the time of his father's death in August 1972.
Showroom situated at 61 to 65 Smithfield, ie, 61m 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68 and 69 Smithfield.
1, 3, 5, 9, and 11 Francis Street.
3 to 5 Little King Street.
14 Castlehill Road, the family home.
Ground rents 14/16 King Street and 12/14 Marquis Street.
5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21 Winetavern Street.
Very large open yard at rear of showroom.
Licenced Site at corner of Francis Street.
The first Official Solicitor involved, Mr. J. Drennan of Cleaver Fulton & Rankin, made no effort to investigate the illegal sales of these properties or have the properties returned to their lawful owner Freddie Andrews (jun.).
We put Freddie's affairs into the hands of the Official Solicitor in January 1979, yet sales were allowed to be completed to the Ryland Vehicle Group by the late Mr. C. Gilpin and his solicitor, Mr. H. Wright, late of Messrs Tughan & Company in August 1979 to January 1980.
The properties in Francis Street, Belfast were rented to the Housing Executive from 1982 until 1985 by Mr. C. Gilpin's estate agent McConnell and Martin when Freddie was a patient in care.
Who gave the late Mr. C. Gilpin's company, Neville Johnston, the authority to sell a piece of ground belonging to Freddie to Mr. Dowling of Central Merchants? Mr. Dowling then sold it to the Laing Group who got a £60,000,000 (sixty million pounds) grant from the EEC for the new Shopping Complex, part to be built on Freddie's ground.
There appears to have been a sale agreed in 1977 when 61 - 69 Smithfield, Belfast, and 1 - 11 Francis Street, Belfast, were sold. Messrs Tughan & Company acted for Freddie in this sale but could not produce a copy of the sale agreement to the fraud officer. This sale was not registered in the Registry of Deeds.
On October 14th 1977, £35.000 was credited to an account with the Industrial Bank in Bangor in the names of Gilpin & Wright, a partner in Tughan & Company. The £35,000 never passed through the vendor's solicitors, Tughan & Company, but was paid in direct by someone allegedly acting for Andrews & Company. Who instructed the sale and who acted for Freddie?
14 Castlehill Road, Belfast.
Instructions to sell were given by Tughan & Company and their client the late "Christian" entrepreneur Mr. C. Gilpin. Reports state that the house was sold on March 31st 1976 when in fact it was sold on November 14th 1975. The completion date was 16th February 1976 but Freddie was not credited with the balance until April 4th 1977.
Sir Adam Turner built this house sixty years ago for £37,000. Mr. Hall's valuer Mr. Deane, two years ago, valued this same house at the time of sale, at just over £38,000. Would the Attorney General consider this valuation bona-fide? Was this price quoted in order to make an illegal sale appear legal?
It has been suggested that £24,893.68 was paid towards settlement of a bridging loan. Where are details of the account recorded or referred to, by the Official Solicitor? Was this bridging loan in respect of 4 Norwood Gardens?
14/16 King Street & 12/14 Marquis Street, Belfast.
There is a record that the late Mr. J. Drennan the first Official Solicitor held the title deeds on December 15th 1979. The fraud squad have no record of the £50 rent having been received over the period since 1972 or any disposal of the asset.
3 to 5 Little King Street, Belfast.
This property was allegedly sold to a Mr. Dobbin on April 2nd 1974 for £7,500.
According to the fraud squad, Mr. J. Morris, a solicitor, made out two conveyances, one between Dobbin and Freddie and one between Dobbin and himself, Morris. According to the fraud squad, solicitor Mr. Morris bought this property.
5 to 21 Winetavern Street, Belfast.
Nine tenanted terraced shops with dwellings.
These properties were sold on February 16th 1979 for £17,000 by Blessington & Faire. Instructions to sell were given by Gilpin & Wright and also that it must be cash. Two higher bids were given but because they were not cash were not accepted. Freddie received no money from this 'sale' but £15,083 was credited to the Industrial Bank in Bangor on October 12th 1977 to an account in the names of Charles Gilpin and Bertie Wright.
In contrast to the above, the report of Official Solicitor Mr. Drennan, shows an annual rent income of £556.52 but there is no record in the accounts of what happened to these premises or of collection of rent since 1972 at the time of my father's death.
Could the Attorney General please let us know what is the criminal liability of persons who witnessed the forged signature of Freddie on the various deeds and agreements?
It is recognised by senior consultants in the medical profession and law society that Freddie was, and still is, incapable of managing his own affairs since 1972 and could not have understood the running of bank accounts or dealings in properties.
It must, therefore, stand that all property sales are void and the properties recoverable with full compensation from those who assumed power to sell.
Freddie did not and could not instruct the sale of any of his inheritance.
Clear accounts must be set out by Tughan & Company, and by the Official Solicitors, of receipts of funds on the patient's behalf and the application thereof.
The accounts inspected by the fraud squad and prepared by the first Official Solicitor for the first and second accounting periods are far from clear due to many errors.
After the death of Mr. J. Drennan, Mr. Brian Hall was appointed but stayed in the post as Official Solicitor for just two years. During Mr. Hall's time in office Freddie was left with no money and could have ended up in a Hostel because of the mismanagement of his valuable estate by all Official Solicitors. An attempt was made by Mr. J. Drennan's clerk, Mr. H. Doherty to put Freddie in a home and again by the present Official Solicitor Mrs. Deirdre Bowers. Why were these attempts made behind our backs? Would the Attorney General not agree that these actions overstep the powers bestowed on the Official Solicitors for the Supreme Court?
It is nine years since we put Freddie in the hands of the Official Solicitor. It was a retrograde step and one we would never recommend to any family of a mental patient.
We were disappointed that senior members of the R.U.C. told the experienced and dedicated fraud officer who worked with the family for three and a half years, to leave our case aside and to inform me of this action. He exposed fraud, forgery, misappropriation and malpractice five years ago, and handed all evidence over to senior officers and the D.P.P.
Now that the R.U.C. have been forced to re-open our case, when may we expect some action? Sir Barry Shaw, of the D.P.P. said in writing to me that it was a difficult case, but surely, no matter how difficult this case may appear, it should not take over seven years to solve, especially when all evidence of crimes committed against Freddie was handed to the office of the D.P.P. over five years ago. The ground work had been expertly dealt with by three experienced fraud officers.
We would like the Attorney General to help us have Freddie's affairs removed from the control of the Official Solicitors Office.
It might surprise the Attorney General to know that neither Mr. Brian Hall nor Mrs Deirdre Bowers has ever met Freddie and have made no attempt to have an open discussion with the family in order to solve this long saga. We are not even allowed to consult the Care and Protection Office although it is a public office. All has to go through the Controller Mrs Deirdre Bowers who has treated the family with contempt since her appointment.
We have been constantly threatened and intimidated but we will never give up no matter how long it takes. If the present situation is allowed to continue other mental patients could be at risk.
We fail to understand why Mr. Brian Hall and Mrs Deirdre Bowers have taken it upon themselves to persist in a personal vendetta against the family in order to cover up malpractice.
We have had to ask that help of senior consultant Dr. A. Lyons, who kindly set up one meeting in the Albertbridge Road, Belfast, Day Centre to discuss the state of 4 Norwood Gardens. He has now set up another meeting in the Law Courts, but Mr. Brian Hall has put this meeting off twice with different excuses.
I am now writing to Dr. Lyons to insist that this meeting takes place as arranged. I will also tell him of your meeting Roy, and the help you have given to Freddie and the family.
Mr. Brian Hall is to send up a surveyor to look over 4 Norwood Gardens but why should Freddie have to spend money on property to which he has no proper title? Freddie should never have been put in a house in such a derelict state. The late Mr. C. Gilpin was paid a fee of £46 on this sale. Mr. C. Gilpin, main shareholder in Messrs Neville Johnston and his solicitor Mr. H. Wright, had no proper title to buy or sell any property. They set themselves up as Trustees in order to plunder.
We would be willing to go to London to meet the Attorney General if necessary.