We, the undersigned members of the Andrews family, wish to put on record that Freddie's show-room, ground and Francis St., must be retained by him. We must be allowed to safeguard not only our Father's wishes for Freddie but also look after his interests which have been neglected for over seven years. We made Freddie a Ward of Court in order to get his properties back and we have no intention of giving them back.
This property has been occupied, as you know for some years, without any financial benefit. Keeping this property rented would avoid capital gains tax and would be a much better transaction. Freddie must be paid back rent with interest at Government Valuation.
We are shocked to learn that on the Monday after the Court Hearing on Friday 24th January, you, Mr. Hall, were still persisting in attempting to sell this without our knowledge and most important of all against the interest of our brother.
A copy of this letter will be sent to our Member of Parliament, a Mr. Millar who is Secretary to the Lord Chief Justice, Dr. Lyons and Mr. Chambers of the Care and Protection Office.
Freddie was declared a 'patient' under the Mental Health Act and John Drennan was appointed Official Solicitor and later Peter Rankin was appointed Deputy Official Solicitor.
When Brian Hall took over responsibility there was continuous blundering and negligence firstly by Drennan and then Rankin.
Despite continuous requests by the Dept. of Care & Protection they failed to complete the necessary reports of Freddies properties and assets. They failed to prepare proper accounts. They failed to discover that the Deeds of the Sales of Freddies properties had never been registered. Accounts which were eventually prepared were riddled with irregularities and omissions and to the present they have failed or refused to prepare accurate accounts.
Their reports to the Courts have been full of inaccuracies and were misleading and showed gross negligence towards the patient. Most, if not all of these irregularities have been passed to the Dept. of Care & Protection and to the police.
Cleaver Fulton & Rankin were negligent in failing to report the irregular practices of solicitor Herbert Wright, solicitors Tughan & Co., solicitor Patrick Jemphrey, solicitor John Morris, Charles Gilpin, Jackson Andrews & Co, accountants for Freddie, Mr. Jim Burnside.
In 1983 I had a consultation with Mr. McCracken. At this meeting I instructed him to represent Freddie in the forthcoming case where the affairs of our brother Freddie were to be heard in a court of the family Division. I requested Mr. McCracken to bring up several points about the mishandling of Freddie's affairs by the Official Solicitor and Messrs. Tughan & Co. This referred to a period from 1979 when Freddie was made a 'patient' under the Mental Health Act, and a period prior to this when Messrs. Tughan & Co. represented Freddie.
These matters referred to the immoral and unlawful selling of properties, failure to account for these sales, misappropriation of monies and titles to properties, failure of the Official Solicitor to investigate and make a full report to the Department of Care and Protection a number of omissions and irregularities on preliminary reports submitted by the Official Solicitor and his Deputy and the refusal of the Official Solicitor to discuss Freddie's affairs with any members of the family.
On a date shortly after this consultation there was a meeting arranged with Counsel. I was met with Mr. McCraken and taken to an office in the Law Courts. There were two men in robes and a junior Counsel who I knew as Mr. Bentley. I was given a seat but was not introduced to the two strangers. There was a brief conversation and then Mr. McCartney Q.C. came into the office. Mr. McCartney told me in a very abrupt manner, pointing at my face, that the Judge would not like me very much which I took to refer to the allegations I had made. Mr. McCartney left and as he opened the office door he repeated his statement. There was a further brief statement with Bently and McCracken. On February 24th 1984 the case was brought before a court at which Mr. Justice MacDermott sat. Only the value of one property of Freddie's was discussed. Mr.McCracken and Bently failed to raise the many points I had instructed them to raise. They refused to discuss the matters further and many subjects may be now closed due to their negligence. My brother Freddie has subsequently lost out due to their negligence.
On April 2nd 1974 title at 3-5 Little King Street, Belfast, was transferred to Thomas Dobbin. The solicitor allegedly acting for Thomas Dobbin was John Morris and the solicitor for the vendor (Freddie Andrews) was Tughan & Co., in the person of Herbert Wright.
Freddie Andrews did not authorise the sale of this property as he did not have the mental capacity to understand such a transaction. Freddie did not sign a 'sale agreement' or 'deed of conveyancing'. There was undue delay in making payment for the alleged sale. The sale was not registered at the Registry of Deeds.
The same property had been the subject of a Criminal Damage Claim in which Tughan & Co., acted for Freddie. There was undue delay in Freddie receiving the compensation. Payment had been made by the NIC some three years prior to Freddie receiving the money. Tughan & Co., refused to compensate for delay and negligence.
On February 16th 1978, title of property at 1 - 21 Winetavern Street, Belfast was transferred to Joseph Kavanagh. Freddie did not instruct this sale but a property developer by the name of Charles Gilpin did. Freddie did not sign the 'sale agreement' or 'Deeds of Conveyancing'. There was undue delay in making payment for the sale. The sale was not registered at the Registry of Deeds.
On November 14th 1975, title to property at 14 Castlehill Road, Belfast, was transferred to solicitor Patrick Jemphrey. Solicitor for the vendor was Herbert Wright of Tughan & Co.
Freddie did not authorise the sale of this property, nor did he sign any 'sale agreement' or 'Deed of Conveyancing'. The house was sold at a price very much below the market price and there was no payment made to Freddie. Freddie's valuable curtains and carpets should not have been given away to the buyer.
On or about October 1975, title to property 61-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis St., Belfast, was allegedly transferred to Neville Johnston, (Garages) Ltd. No 'sale agreement' or 'Deed of Conveyancing' was signed by Freddie. Again Tughan & Co., through Herbert Wright, allegedly acted in this fictitious sale.
Shortly after Mr. Hall was appointed as Official Solicitor for my brother Freddie, I requested, in writing, a meeting with Mr. Hall. A meeting was arranged for my brother Billy and my sister Vera and me at Mr. Hall's Office. This meeting was arranged on the understanding that the affairs of my brother Freddie would be discussed. A short time after being introduced, Mr. Hall requested us all to be quiet and not speak until he said the word comment. Every time any of us tried to make a point Mr. Hall said he had not said the word 'comment'. He kept insisting that we would get an opportunity when he had finished. Every time any of us tried to make a point Mr. Hall refused to let us be heard.
He kept insisting we would get an opportunity when he had finished. We were never given an opportunity when he had finished talking. We left in disgust.
Since that day I have written to Mr. Hall and related departments to have Freddie's affairs discussed but with negative results. We have always been denied an opportunity to discuss Freddie's affairs although Mr. Hall has stated to other people he has fully informed us of all relevant matters and kept me fully informed with the position, This is false and misleading.
Prior to the Court Hearing in February 1984 when Freddie's Affairs were brought before the Mr. Justice MacDermott of the family division, I informed Mr Hall in writing of a number of irregularities in the accounts prepared by Messrs Tughan & Co., and the previous Official Solicitor John Drennan and in Reports submitted by Mr. Drennan to the Dept. of Care and Protection. No explanation or discussion was given.
We the Andrews family object to Mr. Hall again using the Estate Agent Mr. Deane to set a rent for Freddie's large showroom, offices and Francis St., when Mr. Deane's valuation was not accepted by the courts for the sale of this property.
We demand that a government rental valuation must be requested by the Courts. One would not get a room for £5,000 per year, so why does Mr. Hall accept this low rent if he is working in Freddie's interest. We must protect Freddie and make sure he is provided with an independent valuer. No lease must be signed until a government valuation is obtained. Why protect the people who had the use of this place without paying rent for nine years?
We also object to £35,000 being given back to Messrs Tughan & Co. Is this the same £35,000 that was lodged in the Industrial Bank in Bangor under the names of Herbert Wright and Mr. C. Gilpin. Further investigation must be made as to why Freddie is made to pay this amount back. Was it not this firm plus their client who plundered Freddie's estate? Full accounts must be produced from the 1972 at the time of our father's death and when Messrs Tughan & Co. took over our mother's and Freddie's affairs.
We find it necessary to use unorthodox means to get our concern over to Mr. Hall. If we had been afforded a meeting with him we would not have needed to use these methods.
We do hope this information is given to the Judge as we don't know what Mr. Hall was appointed for and what purpose does his appointment serve and who is he representing?
We also wish the Judge to be aware that the family were not informed of what was to take place in the Courts on March 7th. W. J. Andrews was the only member of the family who was given the agreement on entering the Court giving him no time to peruse or discuss it with the family. We are sure the Judge was unaware that all had been agreed sub-rosa the day previous, without our knowledge.
Why have an expensive court hearing when the family are not given a chance to be heard? We are shocked at the treatment dished out to the family.
We have seen enough of this treatment over the past seven years since making Freddie a Ward of Court.
We feel there was never any intention of cleaning up the morass which came about by the incompetence and malpractice of all solicitors involved in divesting Freddie of all his valuable estate.
We repudiate this agreement in the strongest possible terms. Why was Little King Street and Winetavern Street disposed of in the same way without our knowledge? We will continue to fight for justice regardless of the fact that the court wishes it to be closed. We are determined to have Freddie's affairs removed form the jurisdiction of the court and will seek Dr. Lyons' advice on this matter. We the family have lost complete confidence in the way Freddie has been treated by the courts and will seek to have his affairs removed as soon as possible in order to have his affairs properly investigated.
In respect of the sale of the property at Little King Street, solicitor John Morris acted for a would-be purchaser Thomas Dobbin, a builder from the Falls Road area. Thomas Dobbin states he never reached a point of agreeing to purchase the property. He never signed any agreement or made any deposit on the property. Bearing these facts in mind, John Morris registered a Deed of conveyancing between Freddie and Dobbin and another between Dobbin and himself. Had Morris wanted to purchase this property he would obviously have had to make a better offer, thus he purchased this property under market value.
THE ANDREWS FAMILY.
A copy of this will be sent to our MP and to Dr. Lyons.