Chapter 21 ...The Roller Coaster
The EPOA was upheld by the Gold Coast Hospital lawyers, the Adult Guardian, the Bank ...but not Andrew Smyth. Tom Jowett was allowed to go home and for four months lived with the Whiteside's. For five weeks he fought bronchial pneumonia and survived. On the eve of Anzac Day he 'packed a wobbly' and after being fired up by neighbours who he had gone in to see was taken by police to the hospital.
For three weeks the hospital kept him. Iris Whiteside had had enough, Bruce Whiteside along with Tom's friend Sue Marshall hunted for suitable accommodation, but were stymied at every turn. In the end it was Whiteside himself who brought things to a head. He opted to care for Tom in Tom's own home. Mrs Whiteside's immediate response was to throw all her husband's clothes on the back lawn. Two Church Minister's advised Whiteside to quote, 'Get jack of him' and 'Walk away '. From that day on Bruce Whiteside became an avowed agnostic failing in a big way to understand how professing Christians, could be so un-Christ-like in their approach to human compassion.
Advertising for in-house care Whiteside came up with not only the long-term answer, but a woman who proved to be a real brick. In a mostly harmonious atmosphere, but sometimes tense relationship, Tom lived another eighteen months.
Tom had earlier rewarded all those parasitical female hangers-on, in his previous nine Wills. They had been gifted with much that had been the property of his late wife Sheila. One Irish lass ended up having her engagement ring and when she was subpoenaed to Court pleaded depression. She was never made to appear.
The lawyer, the Blue nurses, the organisation and the hangers-on gathered like a pack of voracious sharks, waiting for the kill.
On the last Sunday Tom Jowett sat in his back yard with his old mate and told him not to grieve when he died. He placed his hand on the younger man's shoulder and said, 'Thank you for being the son I never had.'
Joy who had been on a week-end break raced home. Tom died in hospital four days later.
For two and a half years Bruce Whiteside had looked after Tom Jowett like his own father. At times the going almost got too much, but by and large Tom remained good for most of the time and only on a few occasions proved difficult. Bruce spent endless hours with him, took him everywhere and attended to all his business. He would sleep over if Joy wanted a break When Joy Willis came on the scene she was equally devoted but not as emotionally involved as her employer.
Tom Jowett left it to Whiteside to recompense Joy after he had gone. It was decided between the two men that Tom would leave her his car.
Joy ended up a near broken woman, whilst Bruce Whiteside ended up being sued as a 'de son tort' by the charming Andrew Smyth. Even Whiteside's lawyer, if that is the correct label that should be given, did not know what the term meant.
Smyth of course had the benefit of being a lawyer, pitted against a layperson. He also had the benefit of being of the fraternity to who the equally charming Paul de Jersey was 'father'.
The sheer repugnancy, the sheer bastardry of Andrew Smyth attempting to accuse Whiteside as a criminal was demonstrated when he was accused as acting as a 'de-son-tort'. Whiteside's own lawyer who was confronted with this had no idea as to what it meant, so how in the hell was a layman to understand.
This story is about the rotten state of justice that exists in Queensland but before we get to that there are one or two things that took place in Tom's last two years that need mention. The purpose is to illustrate how ordinary people are drawn to believe that if something wrong happens then accountability and justice will follow.
When Tom who was 82 at the time went into to Woolworth's that morning to find out what was keeping his wife late, he found that she had taken a seizure and was being treated my a medico. It transpired that she had an undetected brain tumour which was subsequently treated. Whilst being treated at the hospital with chemotherapy she fell out of bed and broke her pelvis. Because they could not immediately operate this was left. When the operation did take place she subsequently died of complications due to infection. Sheila Jowett was only 68.
After this Tom who was no stranger to 'charming' women manage to second some into 'looking after him'. His immediate response was to redo his will which left his new found friends better off. Tom could be a cantankerous old bastard at times and when these 'flights of fancy' vanished rapidly off the radar, to be replaced by others, (some of whom came into some of his late wife's personal items ) were written into yet another will.
One such young woman of 38, a single mother with a young daughter whom we shall call 'Syl', became quite 'attached' to Tom. Not only did he take her on an aborted holiday, but she often frequented his home just before midnight, perform a strip tease and then sleep naked with him until five in the morning. It was harmless, it amused the old man, but because of it she fleeced him, (according to a very close nurse), of a figure in excess of five figures.
What is maddening about this was that the self-righteous Andrew Smyth claimed that he was looking after a client of long-standing. Of course he was. It was the fact that Smyth had seconded an unsuspecting Tom Jowett into leaving all his assets and estate to charities that he personally nominated. It was this development that worried Tom Jowett so much that eventually led to Whiteside being seconded into becoming his EPOA.
In a period when Sue Marshall was looking after his affairs and before the advent of Bruce Whiteside, Tom's account never missed a beat. When she fell out largely through other women whose motives for embracing Tom were questionable, money began to flow from his account. In a period of 18 months $38.000 was unaccounted for. Once again this was in the time that Andrew Smyth claimed that he was looking after a client of longstanding.
It was this same lawyer anointed by the blessing of the Chief Justice who questioned Whiteside's role in looking after Tom Jowett's affairs. Both Smyth and co- conspirator Carole Crozier continued to question Whiteside's integrity, thereby negating suspicion away from themselves. What the Chief Justice did not question is why did Jowett's account bleed $38000, in the time of the solicitors reign while in the time that Whiteside had control the balance went from $32000 to $64000.?
The same 'Syl' enticed Tom, who was at this time resident with the Whiteside's to join her for a cup of coffee and then held him for thirty hours denying him medication and taking him to see lawyer Andrew Smyth in a condition that saw him dishevelled and seemingly neglected. Tom was eventually delivered back to the Whiteside's by a neighbour after he had been found wandering on the road.
It was a condition of release into Whiteside's care that the Blue Nurses would attend to Tom in his new home. Whilst Whiteside agreed to this in principle he stated that on no account was Carole Crozier to be that nurse. Thirteen days after Tom had settle down Crozier appeared standing behind Whiteside as he spoke to Tom over morning tea. It was Tom who alerted him. How long she had been standing there was anyone's guess, but Whiteside immediately ordered her off the property. Crozier responded by asking to deal with Mrs Whiteside, who as it happened was not home. Crozier refused to leave. Whiteside went in rang the Blue Nurses who in turn told him to advise Crozier to leave. Belligerently she stalked away and in doing so yelled out in a voice for all to hear 'we know what you are up to and you are not going to get away with it'. In seeing her to the gate she continued to scream out 'don't you lay a hand on me' and in case the message was lost the first time reiterated the claim that we knew what he (Whiteside) was up to.
After Whiteside had made a complaint to Crozier's superiors she was first removed from Tom's visitations and on further investigation was stood down on full pay for nine months. When she reapplied for her job she was told that it no longer existed. Crozier never worked again for Blue Care. (see Ch 18 ...letter)
There was no love lost between Crozier and Whiteside, but he believed that Blue Care were completely gutless and duplicitous in their dismissal of her. Had they been upfront, tackled the reason why she was suspended and been honest enough to sack her there and then he would have applauded their action but even though both the resources Manager and the BlueCare manager went to Whiteside's home and personally agreed to co operate with the police in the matter they opted in the end to do nothing and refer his questions to their self-serving lawyers. BlueCare became aware that if Crozier was going to benefit from their client's will so were they. It could be argued that as a charitable institution they were entitled to some compensation but they had no scruples in seeing that the man who had really looked after Tom Jowett would be the end loser. To this end they proceeded.
A fortnight before Tom died he approached Debra Canning to lodge with the Court application to uphold the EPOA. Canning who had left Whitehead Payne was a very sloppy lawyer. Whiteside believed that she did everything possible to facilitate Andrew Smyth. Whiteside a comparative novice in litigation matters impressed upon Canning to lodge an application for probate before Smyth. She kept discussing these matters with Smyth who played her for the simple lawyer she ultimately proved. In the end she neither beat Smyth to the punch nor did she ever get around to logging the claim for the EPOA.
Bruce Whiteside has a very good friend whose father many years before had been a police prosecutor. Norm Barrington an articulate accountant by profession and unlike the legal profession that were called on in the case here Whiteside v Smyth had one redeeming feature that the others did not; in a word, honesty.
When lay people are drawn into the legal fraternity they become fair game. The greatest myth is that because we are dealing with law there is this belief that only lawyers are trained to deal with it. However there is one very good reason why this myth has been allowed to fester into accepted fact. Lawyers do not deal with the truth, lawyers are not trained in law only but rather how to manipulate the English language to convince largely the lay people of the jury that black, not withstanding that it does not reflect light is in fact pure white. This is the underlying dishonesty that is inherent in lawyers, no matter whether he is a pillar of an Anglican Church, a President of the Cancer Society or a respected member of Society. If he were an honest man such a profession grounded in deception, dishonesty and injustice would not appeal to him. That it does, puts him in the position of having his integrity questioned on the basis of the nature of his calling. In a popular book written on how to deal with lawyers, written by a disenchanted man who became a highly successful corporate sports organiser this is written on the dust cover.
|A law school
graduate is like a rookie who has studied everything about the science of
hitting but has never swung a bat.|
|Lawyers don't only
feed a need but breed a need|
|In a world where
time is money, lawyers are masters at stalling|
|When you pass
matters on to an attorney, your not just delegating authority, you are
courtesy is a system whereby lawyers make life easier for themselves and for
each other, generally at the expense of their clients.|
|If your lawyer is
obnoxious you're obnoxious by association.|
|The longer a case
goes on the less it is worth, except to your lawyer.|
|The notion that free advice is worth nothing does not suggest the expensive advise is necessarily worth a lot.|
In the words of George Bernard Shaw: All professions are conspiracies against the laity. How true this is!
For a lucrative fee any lawyer will argue that 'the legal profession is a conspiracy against the laity'. and therein lies its corruptness.
On the Sunday before his death Tom and Bruce Whiteside spent a couple of hours sitting out in the afternoon sun, discussing life and its journey. There was nothing about Tom's conversation that hinted of the problems that Smyth and de Jersey were to allude to later. A poet might call the interlude; reflections. It was at the end that Tom told his friend 'Don't grieve for me when I am gone', and then leaned over to the younger man and simply said, Thank you for being the son I never had'. It was a poignant moment as the two slowly walked inside the house.
Tom suffered a turn during the night and was admitted to the Gold Coast Hospital . For two days he was beyond reach. On the evening of July 5th, Sue Marshall visited him as did Saraid Stafford, both had been invited to do so. Saraid was moved as she sang to him his favourite song Danny Boy. For all the world Tom appeared comatose, but when she struggled with the emotion of the moment Tom sang the last verse with her. Bruce Whiteside was his final visitor. He spent two hours with him and much of this time was spent massaging cold feet. Unlike the previous two days Tom was tranquil. When the time came to leave Whiteside put him to bed, tucked him in and then kissed his forehead. Turning at the door he stopped looked back at Tom and smiled. He went back to the bed kissed him again and whispered a last goodbye. Tom squeezed his hand.
When Tom Jowett died Whiteside was rung at 6.15am on the morning of July 6, 2001, by the Gold Coast Hospital. Whiteside spoke with Doctor Bevan who had certified the death and was taken to the morgue to identify the body. Later he was given Tom's valuables, signed for them and placing them in the glove-box of the Toyota Celica and returned the car to the garage at 5 Frangipani Street Miami. The battery was disconnected and was never driven again for over two years when it was seized by order from Andrew Smyth.
From the day of Tom Jowett's death July 6th 2001, until the day of the commencement of the Court hearing on October 25th 2002, Andrew Smyth of Robbins Watson a duly appointed officer of the law never once became involved with the estate left by Tom Jowett.
It was left to Bruce Whiteside to arrange the cremation, the funeral arrangements, the church service and all the ancillary details. The order of service was a little different in that Tom Jowett had been in his boyhood days a member of the famous Halle Orchestra of Manchester, so a recording of Where Sheep May Safely Graze as sung by that orchestra was played. When Whiteside rose to read the eulogy, (foot of page) facts came to light that few were aware of. The most unsavoury aspect of this solemn occasion was the frenetic scribbling of Andrew Smyth during the reading. Smyth the consummate professional lacked both the common courtesy and decency of either making himself known to Whiteside or even speaking to him as he did others.
There was much other work that needed doing in relation to War Veteran Pensions in Britain, Pensions in Australia, finalising bank accounts, maintaining council rates, power and arranging for burial at the Southport Cemetery. On one occasion the water-main burst and Whiteside because the accounts were frozen had to pay this cost himself. He arranged for interest bearing account that saw the money in the bank did not sit idle. All of this was done yet it was Andrew Smyth who in trying to justify his imposition on Tom Jowett's affairs when Whiteside was in New Zealand did so by glibly telling the Queensland Law Society that he did this because of his need to protect a client of long-standing. Where was that altruistic desire now? His complete silence and total inaction in this matter at a time when he was doing his level best to disassociate a legal Enduring Power of Attorney from his duty, by insisting with no legal authority to do so that Whiteside was in fact acting illegally, was consistent with his own personal mindset. That agenda was to seize Tom Jowett's estate.
The first inkling that Bruce Whiteside received that the Tom Jowett's will was going to be contested was when the day after the requisite notice appeared in the paper announcing intention to apply to the Supreme Court for Probate was the next day when Smyth declared by similar notification his intention.
To illustrate just how cosy solicitors are, there was a time when Smyth through an oversight allowed the caveat of intent to lapse. This being the case one can legally proceed without the other party being heard. This actually happened and my instructions to my lawyer who was supposed to be taking instructions from me refused and rang Smyth and told him of situation, My lawyer insisted that had he gone ahead it would have been interpreted by the judge, magistrate or what ever as being 'sharp practice'. What a gutless position to take, 'to hell with the client let me protect my fraternity'. Why was this matter of delicacy, when it was brought about by incompetence on the part of the legal firm of lawyers. Is there no bounds to how far these bastards will go to protect their own?
Whiteside now found himself in a position totally unfamiliar. His first reaction was one of a complete betrayal of what Tom wanted. Tom's intention was clear and simple. Bruce Whiteside had looked after him for none months with no other motivation but to see that an old man was cared for. He had been abused by his solicitor, by the staff of a respected organisation and had run the gauntlet of so many women who had opted to care for him that he had made out ten wills in thirty months. Never in that time did his lawyer, his 'caring nurse' or others ever conclude that Tom might have been suffering some impairment. And why would they? Control of the estate, a benefit upon death. It was only a matter of time and waiting. When Tom died they would carve up the estate. No wonder they resorted to blackening the character of a man who Tom after nine months came to trust. No wonder the nurse kept and destroyed the letter that notified the authorities that an EPOA had been created that scuttled their intent.
When Whiteside was made EPOA and sole beneficiary of Tom Jowett's estate a new ploy came into play. Tom Jowett became the target of evil intent. In a GCH Report numbering some 464 pages, obtained under FOI, not one mention is made of dementia, pre December 7th 1999. NOT ONE!!!
Andrew Smyth now used this tack as the means of not only discrediting Whiteside, but of using it to say that his client lacked testimony capacity. In other words he was perfectly normal whilst he was engaging his client in yet another will and its associated fees, but now having been passed over for another solicitor had suddenly become 'lacking in testimony capacity. It is fair to ask although the 'best legal brain in Queensland', refused or was too ignorant to do so: Why was this observation now forcibly detailed? Why was Tom's testimony capacity not in question when making out ten wills in thirty months? The question answers itself
When Whiteside was faced with contesting the will, he knew that he could not afford it. The cost would be outside anything he could afford. Enter two solicitors, two barristers and Father Superior.
Warwick Chesters I thought was a pretty nice sort of chap; that is until the Chief Justice delivered his judgement.
It goes like this; "Mr Whiteside we will fight the case for you on a basis that if we win and I think you have a great chance, the money will come out of the estate. You will receive the balance. If you lose and here again we believe that you have a great case, the money will come out of the estate. How much? Ah, I would say $50,000".
The figure, to put it in vulgar terms shared 'the daylights out of Whiteside'. He wanted no part of this as he believed it was dishonest, immoral yet at the time with no inkling of what was to come and believing without question the integrity of the person he was dealing with allowed him to proceed.
After dragging the whole fiasco out for fifteen months the final account was not $50,000 but $114,000. The estate which at the time it was bequeathed to Bruce Whiteside was worth a maximum of $250,000. By the time the estate was wound up after a boom in house prices that same estate netted over $630,000.
Between the Chief Justice, the two legal firms and their barristers, Whiteside, the man who had been left the estate was refused by Smyth his legitimate claim for $33,000 and issued with an account for $6,605 to be paid to Mr Smyth and was then issued with a notification that Robbins Watson were going to involve Whiteside in a legal battle on the grounds of him being a 'de-son-tort'.
Given what has been written above about Andrew Smyth's attention to Tom Jowett's death, this has to convey just how unprincipled and dishonest lawyers can be. Here is the definition again:
This of course came the day after the Chief Justice delivered his judgement. One must ask: Where was Andrew Smyth? Where was this sworn officer of the law who was present at the funeral, was present at not one but two hospital meetings that he had no legal right to be there, where was this man who went into Tom Jowett's home with no legal authority. Where was he when he was if as he claimed but lacked the guts to test in court, the legal guardian?
These words could be considered by law defamatory, but these words are the result of a concerted and protected effort by those in the distribution of law who have failed and criminally failed to uphold what the system of justice was created for. This applies equally to the Chief Justice. It is not good enough to pay homage to position as of right if that proponent of law is found to have feet of clay but survives because the law that they create and administer is firstly used to protect their very existence. This is not barrister speak' this is plain unencumbered and understood by the laity. Because of that it contains more than an element of truth.
When Whiteside saw his lawyer and discussed the finding, he realised that that both his solicitor and barrister were in complete agreement with the Chief Justice. Chesters warned against an appeal, but in the end said that he would commence it until the money ran out.
Tom Jowett, fought for five and a half years in the RAF in Hurricanes. In his last years he did not want to go into a nursing home at any cost. Bruce Whiteside stood between high handed bureaucrats, lawyers and the health system and honoured the pledge that Tom had sought of him. In serving and fighting the strength and ferocity of Nazi Germany, Tom helped preserve the freedom that allowed people like Paul de Jersey, Conrick, Clark, Chesters and Smyth to study the law that enabled them to deprive a dying airman his last wish. This is the nature of their profession.
These proponents, all of them are beneath my contempt.
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