Chapter 16 ...An illicit relationship

At 4.40 am on the morning of December 8th, the Whiteside's left their home for the Brisbane Airport. After waiting to be processed they departed for Christchurch at 8.15am and arrived at their destination by 11.15 am Australian time.

Armed with the information that was intended for Monica Barrett of ACAT, Crozier realised that with Bruce Whiteside 'out of the way', she would have to work fast.

Carole Crozier's relationship with Tom was such that over the previous wills her benefit had increased from 5% of the estate in 1996, to $5000, to $10,000 and finally $20,000. Yet Tom's attitude to Crozier was ambivalent compared  to Saraid Stafford, who unlike Crozier was a carer/domestic not originally employed by Blue Care. Tom's attitude to Stafford a single serious Irish girl was tinged with romantic overtures that were deftly but politely rejected by Saraid. She was in a way a de facto daughter who treated Tom as a father. Tom doubtless was generous to her, but when Saraid Stafford came under the umbrella of Blue Care as a result of some rationalisation, she came under the keen eye and scrutiny of Carole Crozier and another young lady a neighbour Belinda Leigh-Murdoch.

It is a matter of speculation but Tom in those same Wills originally left Stafford $20,000. Whether Stafford knew this or not is not known but Tom would have told her and I don't believe that she would have seen any documentation This was reduced to $10,000 and this became attached to Crozier's new benefit. Whilst Stafford's relationship with Tom was largely of his making, Crozier and Leigh-Murdoch's were not. Belinda Leigh-Murdoch observed that Stafford was taking Tom out in his car and became so concerned that she reported the matter to Blue Care. In fact Stafford was doing this in her own time, but Blue Care through Carole Crozier believed that she was becoming too 'involved with a client'. As a result Crozier saw to it that Stafford was removed. That this devastated Tom became apparent later when Bruce Whiteside took care.

Prior to December 7th 1999, Crozier and solicitor Andrew Smyth were not comfortable with the idea that a neighbour was 'looking after the old man'. Certainly the solicitors interest was not as he claimed 'looking after his client of long-standing' interests'. Indeed the main interest for Andrew Smyth's involvement was Tom Jowett's insatiable penchant for changing his Will, ...ten times in 30 months.

Now with the revelation that Bruce Whiteside had legal Enduring Power of Attorney, the alarm bells began to ring, irrespective of Tom Jowett.

With the Enduring Power of Attorney the responsibility for the health of Tom Jowett rested with Bruce Whiteside. This was why he made it known to both ACAT and Tom's GP Dr Ian Clark that he was concerned for his welfare whilst he was away and not only informed them both what the situation was but provided contacts and addresses in Christchurch where he could be contacted in an emergency.

So swift did events move that before the Whiteside's had arrived in Christchurch Tom Jowett had been forcibly removed under the Mental Health Act.

In a scenario that defies credibility, this is what happened.

Tom went walk about around the neighbours. Aware that he was upset by the absence of the Whiteside's, they sent him home, but he got into his car and went for a drive. When he returned he was reported to Carole Crozier by long-time 'overseer' Irene McPherson and informed that he had hit the brick letter-box. McPherson had long been a spying eye for both Crozier and more importantly solicitor Andrew Smyth. Confronted by Crozier Tom Jowett became angry at the interference by both women and feeling like a trapped animal was typically agro. Crozier contacted Dr Clarke who attended the confrontation and decided along with her to commit him to hospital. With that the die was cast and Crozier acted.

With flagrant disregard for the fact that she knew of the true position of the Enduring Power of Attorney and subsequently supported by the judiciary both of these two medical personnel, Crozier and Clark failed to recognise the fact that neither had the authority to act outside the law, yet this was upheld by none other than the chief legal brain in the State, the Hon Paul de Jersey. De Jersey's role leaves uneasy questions.

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