Chapter 19 …Hitting the Wall
Three days after the meeting of 16 December the GCH received a phone call from Christchurch. It was by way of one of the many calls Whiteside made while overseas to Tom Jowett . Nurse Tuesley recorded in the Hospital Progress Notes that he had sought information about the patient and was told that none could be given . She also said ‘he stated that Mr Jowett’s doctor was ‘privy ‘to information regarding his position.
Here again was ignorance of the hospital staff as to Whiteside’s position.
On the 23 December 1999 Angela Channels had reason to ring Dr Ian Clark and during the conversation obtained from him Bruce Whiteside ‘s contact phone number in Christchurch. She made contact and questioned a surprised and be wildered Whiteside who was astounded to realise that since Tom Jowett incarceration that nobody knew who had the EPOA She related to the meeting that had been held on the 16 December and the consensus of opinion that permanent residential care was recommended. No mention was made of Crozier or Smyth and the impression created was that those at the meeting were domestic staff in attendance with Tom in the hospital. She noted that Mr Whiteside had made a commitment to Tom Jowett and was not prepared to endorse the actions of the meeting. It was put to Mr Whiteside that a meeting would be arranged for the day after he arrived home, namely 6 January 2000.
Later in the day Angela Channells put in place arrangements for the meeting upon Whiteside’s return.
The following day Whiteside was rung again and asked to make arrangements to have Tom Jowett removed from hospital. This instruction had come down from Dr Chai.
Considering the way that the hospital had failed to contact him in fifteen days, this sudden request prompted Whiteside to seek permission from the hospital to keep Tom in hospital until 6 January 2000 at least. This was granted.
In the days ahead Dr Fraser attended to Tom Jowett.
Interim reports were generally that Tom was well behaved, often expressed his annoyance at being kept in hospital and had a few restless nights.
On the day of 16 December the author (writing in the third person) relates how cosy the association between Carole Crozier and Andrew Smyth was. Here is a copy of the reply given by Smyth in a three page response to the Queensland Law Society, over complaints lodged with them by Whiteside. The transcript is printed here for clarity but is reinforced by the scanned copy of the letter.
In a please explain letter from the Queensland Law Society, Andrew Smyth responded thus:
2. Further light can be shed upon the allegations by reference to this firm’s file relating to Mr Jowett. On 16 December 1999 there was delivered to the writer by a Blue Nursing staff (note the emission of specifics here) member a package which I was informed contained property of Mr Jowett. The writer believes the package was delivered to this firm in good faith as a means of preserving for Mr Jowett’s benefit items which had been at his house which may have had some value.
3. The writer opened the package on 16 December and inventoried the contents. The contents were then placed in Mr Jowett’s safe custody packet within the firms safe custody room where they remain to this day. Included in the items within the packet were photocopies of various wills prepared by the writer on behalf of Mr Jowett over the course of his association with the firm. It is to these photocopies that we assume Mw Whiteside refers in his correspondence.
4. Also in the packet were a large number of keys.
AS to entry upon Mr Jowett’s property:
1. At the meeting that occurred at the Gold Coast Hospital on 16 December 1999 concerns were raised by the Blue Nursing Sister that numerous people were known to have access to Mr Jowett’s property, and unsubstantiated third party reports indicated that people had been seen entering and leaving the property and removing items from it. There was real concern amongst the members of the meeting that valuables of Mr Jowett maybe misappropriated while he was hospitalised. There was some discussion as to whether any person had the authority to change the locks on the property in order to preserve what items were there.
2. Subsequent to the meeting , on the same day the writer
determined to conduct an inspection of Mr Jowett's property to determine whether
arrangements needed to be made to establish the security of that property and to
try to determine whether the property had been ‘looted’. The writer was
accompanied during that attendance by a member of this staff.
3. By that inspection it appeared that there had certainly not been any wholesale ransacking of the premises. It did not appear that items of value or otherwise had been removed from the home and the property appeared reasonably secure. The writer then removed any perishables from the refrigerator and placed them in a rubbish bin for collection and turned of both refrigerators. With the exception of the perishable items placed in the rubbish bin no items of property of any kind were removed by the writer or his staff member from Mr Jowett's premises.
4. The writer was moved to undertake this investigation because of his knowledge that Mr Jowett was not personally in a position to take steps for the preservation of his own property, the complainant was overseas and not able to be of assistance and the writer was seeking to assist one of his long standing clients.
We trust that this addresses any concerns that the Society may have with respect to the writers conduct.
This letter written on 21 February 2001, some thirteen months after Tom Jowett’s forced incarceration is according to Bruce Whiteside a cosmetic treatment of the facts.
“Smyth’s involvement was activated by the unspecified Blue Nurse, Carole Crozier. He became a working partner by association when he accepted a parcel known to have been removed from Mr Jowett's property. That Mr Smyth accepted this delivery, was explained away by the myth that valuables were at risk. A Blue Nurse as distinct from the organisation to whom she represented acted alone purely on the premise that as her benefit in the old man’s last known will was in the house she of her own volition uplifted those documents and financial papers, delivering them to Andrew Smyth. He accepted them and by doing so became an accessory.
This action was contrary and counter to the Conduct Standards and Laws of the organisation.
Crozier had no right to enter Mr Jowett's home. As is seen by Smyth’s letter:
The writer believes the package was delivered to this firm in good faith as a means of preserving for Mr Jowett’s benefit items which had been at his house which may have had some value.
But wait a minute, didn’t Crozier state that she took instructions from Tom Jowett, to enter the house and seize papers, namely wills? Didn’t she claim that Tom Jowett was suffering dementia, yet was able to act on those instructions even though Smyth the solicitor who was now a conscious recipient of what was stolen property. The truth was of course that Tom Jowett was never asked and Crozier took it upon herself to go into the house and look for the ‘folder with the wills.’
Bruce Whiteside continues: ‘Because of the unknown eventualities of Tom’s sojourn on his own, certain actions were put in place like arranging meals, accounts to be paid and securing of documents. These and cheque books were placed in secure, but not obvious positions in the house. The documents that were hidden were the ones that were delivered by Crozier to Smyth.
If as is claimed that Tom Jowett gave instructions to Blue Nurse Crozier, then what did that say about a man who was suffering extreme memory loss or possibly Alzheimer’s as some had claimed? If he didn’t give these instructions then Crozier’s search for the documents had nothing to do with preservation of valuables. It had everything to do with making sure that these documents did not fall into Whiteside’s hands.
This house entry occurred on 16 December 1999. Crozier had already insisted that Tom Jowett’s old solicitor be invited to the hospital meeting, two days before. Smyth knew of rumours that Bruce Whiteside had an EPOA, yet although he knew Whiteside was overseas did nothing to ascertain what the position was.
Crozier created (falsely as it turned out) the bogey that people were ransacking Tom Jowett’s house. Crozier knew of the EPOA, Smyth had heard rumours to that effect but failed in his ‘honest letter of events’ to tell the Law Society that he had acted not on the altruism of concern for a long serving client’, but rather on uncorroborated mischievous fabrications of a dishonest woman. Smyth as he had done when making out previous wills for Mr Jowett's made judgements that he had no right to make. On at least two occasions he made notes of his clients condition and waved these observations aside in pursuance of making further wills. He was well aware that he had cajoled Tom Jowett into making benefits out to a host of organisations that Tom Jowett did not want.
Bruce Whiteside: It was because of this festering sore that Tom Jowett sought my help and led to him going to another solicitor. In spite of any claims to the contrary Tom believed that Smyth was ‘bleeding him’.
At 1 December 1999 Bruce Whiteside was made Tom Jowett ‘s legal EPOA. By his own admission Smyth claimed that as ‘the complainant was overseas and not able to be of assistance’
When this letter was written it had been long established as a matter of legal fact, yet solicitor Smyth chose in his ‘credible account' to refer to Whiteside, not as the legal EPOA of Tom Jowett but simply as ‘the complainant’.
Smyth refused ever to either challenge the legality of the EPOA in a court of law or recognise it either to Solicitors Whitehead, Payne, Paul Whitehead, Debra Canning, the Adult Guardian or as in this instance the Queensland Law Society. In doing so he negated the possibility of not being able to contest the legality of the 1999 will, if the EPOA was upheld. As it was at the time of his death Tom Jowett had instigated court action to that end.
What Solicitor Smyth did not follow up was the avenue that Crozier and Channells had at their disposal, was that Dr Clark already had been advised that in an emergency that Whiteside had made arrangements for an immediate return should the necessity arise. Contacts were available, but for reasons that only Solicitor Smyth would understand chose to make no contact. This according to Whiteside was not only criminal. but tends toward having longer term motives. Smyth's comment that the complainant was overseas and not able to be of assistance’, indicated that he did not even bother to try. If Whiteside was an irrelevancy, then why make the incorrect assumption that he could not be of assistance. If Smyth had bothered to contact Dr Ian Clarke he would have been informed that in fact not only was Mr Whiteside, Mr Jowett's legal Enduring Power of Attorney, but that he had left strict instructions to be contacted in case of emergency. His criminal neglect to not do so not only smacked at his lack of professional conduct as an officer of the Court, but brought into question his motivation for not doing so.
Return to Book Index