Albert Park Rest home was the third Gisborne Development for the family. As a precaution, given the actions of the corrupt cops damaging the financing of the other projects, this development had been ring fenced to protect it from attack (specifically designed by the most artistic in the family to yield results decades later) – but Malcolm Thomas had somehow managed to obtain confidential detail of the loans and the dollar value of the project (lol).
The separate development company had arranged funding through Farrow finance a quite distinct lender from the now insolvent Registered Securities Limited (RSL). Farrow Finance had been informed of the corruption but had nevertheless agreed to complete the development and actively encouraged the men to transfer assets from the now defunct Gladstone Park Rest home and attempted to inveigle new creditors to supply products to Albert Park.
Unbeknownst to the brothers it was Farrows intention to seize the chattels and blame the men. Farrow finance was notified upon completion of the project, as agreed, when it was ready to accept patients and the balance of funds to pay creditors was supposed to be advanced. Farrow immediately double crossed the men and surreptitiously appointed receivers Ferrier Hodgson, (who the brothers had previously been lead to believe by Farrow were involved only to produce a viability report) in an attempt to seize the property and chattels.
Farrow via Coombe’s had however been chatting to Dr Margaret Guthrie in Wellington, prior to being appointed receiver of Lew Holdings. Guthrie had again maliciously stuck the knife into the families reputation and convinced Coombe, Ferrier Hodgson and Farrow to to abandon the deal with the brothers. Guthrie, despite having had her decision to cancel Gladstone Parks license slammed by the courts had been actively working to defame the family and fatally damage the business’s. Guthrie was aware that during the court proceedings the judge had been highly critical of her allegations and the health departments witnesses which had lead the crown law office to settle.
The judge however, obviously unhappy with the settlement, had indicated that he believed the matter could well lead to a damages claim, given the health departments unconscionable behaviour. Following his comments, in an unusual step for any court, that judge advised that the court would visit Gladstone park and that he himself would take evidence, interviewing the staff and patients. The judge then immediately adjourned the proceedings and reconvened the court, on site, at the at Gladstone Park.
Following the visit and interviews with staff and patients judge Elliot concluded that it was his opinion that Gladstone Park was a lovely place. Guthrie knew only to well what had been said of the home and the family by the judge in Court, the compliments, positive affirmations and favorable conclusions his honour had noted for the record. More importantly, she was aware of the judges scathing opinion of her own evidence and the evidence of her malicious witnesses – Union organiser Paul Martens had been the principle witness.
As a point of interest, the allegedly underpaid and disgruntled staff that Martens had purported to represent disliked him intensely – to the point of placing an advertisement in the local paper expressing their support for the family. Despite the fallout the staff continued to work for the family, even when the corruption had totally desimated the families ability to continue to paying wages the staff remained loyal refusing to leave. Many labouring into the small hours of the morning to assist in the removal of chattels to a place of safe keeping; to prevent Detective Malcolm Thomas and ex-cop Steve Dimery continuing with the burglary and theft of the families property.
Guthrie, instead, decided to rely on the articles written by Jenni McManus, whilst knowing the information to have been wholly false, to defame and damage the families businesses. Guthrie and McManus knew each other well, they had been corresponding for months and McManus was sending Guthrie (a civil servant) copies of every defamatory article she wrote. Evidence of this sub conspiracy was collected by the brothers (employing a simple ruse)
Following the brothers call, Dr Guthrie, short of credible witnesses and thinking she had another party ready to complain had informed the Crown Solicitor (Richard Shaw) who then telephoned the crown solicitor in Gisborne, Phil Cooper. Guthrie was advised that she had stuffed up big time. Guthrie was in breach of a court ordered moratorium – she should not have been saying the things she had let alone providing Coombe or Farrow with more false information on a completely unrelated company – Guthrie could not help herself she, the department and the crown solicitor had been humiliated and shown to be fools in the court action only weeks before.
The Brothers moved quickly to get more evidence by again calling Dr Guthrie on the day of the receivership; evidencing her part in causing Farrow to breach its agreement and place the business in receivership. During the second call to Guthrie she is highly evasive, she does however admit contact with Coombe’s weeks before Lew Holdings was placed in receivership; in breach of the court ordered moratorium that she and the Crown law office had desperately sought following the hiding they had received in court.
The receivers (Australian) employee, Brian Coombe, inexplicably knew who to contact and yet again we see the entry of the very corrupt Detective Malcolm John Thomas on the evening of the 12th October 1988. Sergeant Ta’ala notes Detective Thomas’s request in his report, not at the end of his shift of the 13th as one might expect, rather a number of days later – no doubt because things had not gone as planned, the good Sergeant had been privy to the discussions between Coombe and the brothers.
We suspect with a strong gut feeling that he might need to rely on this contemporaneous document at some later date, perhaps the instinct of self preservation – they appeared to be hurriedly typed. Any request for Police assistance is normally handled by uniformed police in the first instance ,which Sergeant Ta’ala would have known, but in Coombe’s case he like everyone else knew to contact Thomas first and had immediate access. Thomas then organised for Coombe’s to be escorted by the good sergeant and other uniformed Police . The visit by police (all apparentlyhonest uniformed cops) early on the morning of the 13th October achieved little. During that first visit the Director of Lew Holdings asked Coombe why Farrow had reneged on the agreement and acted in breach .
Brian Coombe claimed that it had been as a result of information received, in particular claims that the fire certificate for Albert Park had been fraudulently obtained, which needless to say were false. He declined, however, to nominate his informant; the brothers didn’t need to guess who had been behind it, Dr Guthrie had already let slip that she had inside information whilst chatting to Jonathan Egglestone, aka the brothers, weeks earlier. Coombe and his police mates then left Albert Park after a call to the families solicitor.
The solicitor, Tony Crisp, had warned Sergeant Ta’ala that the recievers had no right to be evicting anyone, warning the good Sergeant of the fact that the matter was purely civil and as such the police had absolutely no jurisdiction – legal constraints that had previously not bothered nor stopped Detective Malcolm Thomas in pursuit of his corrupt objectives – the web of crime that he had created was however now under considerable strain. Mr Coombe’s, however, would not take no for an answer, he insisted that Police escort him to the home of Tony Crisp, only to be told the same thing. The Police and Coombe’s were sent packing.
Detective Thomas was more determined than the honest men in uniform. Thomas then set Coombe’s, who was as I have already said, Australian and a complete stranger to town, up with another ex-cop mate Brian McBreen. McBreen had earlier been involved in the unlawful break and entry of the restaurant and thefts by conspiring to conceal a stolen set of keys for Dimery and Thomas- That was confirmed by another honest repossession agent Wayne Butcher – who had telephoned to apologise for his behaviour – given the power Thomas wielded and the climate at the time; Butcher had displayed a degree of integrity, but was obviously afraid of cops who would not have thought twice about kidnap and torture. In Butchers own words:
Coombe’s then called at Albert Park with his gaggle of heavies masquerading as security to again attempt to evict the brothers. Coombe’s Knew that the brothers had a residential lease on areas of the property and Thomas had told him that the brothers had been “Eviction Agents” in Christchurch. Thomas had again lied he had known the brothers owned a property management company, Matt Willcox had told him as much; they however, did have an in depth knowledge of tenancy and property law.
Coombe in a brief call he made from Albert Park, not realising that all the telephones in the building were taped, discussed the glitch with his boss, Ian Ferrier, to quote Ferrier: “You’ve just got to get them out Brian; Mate just f*@king bluff them” to which Coombe’s responded “but Ian, you don’t understand, there’s a large dog involved”. Coombe under Ian Ferrier’s instructions and with Thomas’s assistance had been attempting to act in serious breach of the property law act
It, however, appeared that Coombe had a pathological fear of dogs. incidentally, the large dog involved was a Great Dane, a rather dosile and very friendly family pet – not the trained attack dog that one might have expected; given Coombe’s, obvious, but inexplicable fear.
Ian Ferrier, obviously agitated during the call, had no doubt believed (via his mates at Kensington Swan and their agents Woodward Isles also the crown solicitors in Gisborne), that they would get the full support of Detective Malcolm Thomas, resulting in a smooth transition. Thomas, however, knew that his plans were beginning to unravel.
Thomas had already been given to believe by Willcox that the brothers would simply run; Willcox had hoped, overwhelmed by the collapse he had engineered. That, unfortunately for Thomas and Coombe, was not happening and Thomas desperately needed to do something about it. The brothers refused to leave the property, rightly so, citing a genuine residential lease and the Residential Tenancies Act; frustrating the plans of Farrow Finance, Ferrier Hodgeson and Detective Malcolm Thomas.
The men in accordance with undertakings they had given the creditors, Cubro Products and Howard Wright Pacific and Polygon, following a call to Farrow and the Health Department had already taken action to return the chattels to the suppliers. Following discussion with both companies plans were set in place for the safe removal and return of their goods, goods that had not been paid for.
Farrow had been told in September that Detective Thomas was behind the problems and had incited the repossessions but despite that advise the brothers had now collected evidence suggesting that Farrow was also now using Thomas bent services and with what Thomas had been doing the men were not going to risk more false charges of theft being laid against them. Farrow and their reciever, armed with the properties site plans had appointed Teleguard Security and others to guard what they thought were the only two entrances to the large complex, unawares that there was in fact a viable but concealed third entrance.
The property was actually on two titles and the third right of way or entry could be obtained by removing the panels of a fence and having the trucks, sent by the creditors, use that entrance; then driving through an orchard at the rear of the main complex. The 2 am, very early morning, operation went like clock work – McBreen and Thomas later attempted to stop the vehicles; after being alerted to the fact that several large pantechs had exited a property on Gladstone Road. To late the drivers had the documentation to prove ownership – All of that had been put in place following a conversation with Michael Barber of Farrow Finance in the days before the receiver had been surreptitiously appointed – Michael Barber of Farrow was not at all an accomplished lier.
Dr Margaret Guthrie the corrupt Health Department official had also been having a little trouble keeping her mouth shut when chatting to the brothers, even after the crown solicitor Richard Shaw had instructed her to keep it shut. Guthrie admitting that Brian Coombe had in fact contacted her and discussed the licence weeks before being appointed receiver as said earlier- the illusive Mr Jonathan Egglestone, this time posing as Brian Silversmith; purportedly a colleague of Brian Coombe was to get more damning evidence of the departments involvement in this the third business failure
Detective Thomas had played his hand, as usual with a marked deck; but this time he had lost. Thomas, however, had another plan – again involving his corrupt ex- cop mates, Brian McBreen and Peter Carroll. Thomas needed to paint the subjects of his malfeasance as violent criminals, after all that’s what he had told Jenni McManus, Brian Coombe and everyone else that had need of his services; it would, he thought, also come in handy in the up coming trials Thomas had instigated by falsely accusing and charging the brothers and their mother with approximately 60 separate criminal information’s.
As had been planned, by Thomas, on the night of the 14th of October 1988, following approximately 30 hours of harassment from the security personal (employed by McBreen), the ex cops Brian McBreen and Peter Carol purportedly attempted to serve documents on one of the directors of Albert Park. There was an altercation, as a result of which the company’s director was assaulted by Carroll and suffered a badly fractured meniscus,
later requiring surgery. Brian McBreen ran from the property prior to Carroll; bruising his thigh attempting to jump a boundary fence. Peter Carroll after pushing the brother into a ditch containing steel form-work then also ran from the property and jumping the locked gates was last seen disappearing down Albert Street. The only victim of an assault had been one of the brothers.
The Police where called and the incident car warned the ex-cops not to trespass on the property. The cop attending was an honest and respected police man, coincidentally, the same officer referred to in the Ratihi tapes. No further action was taken until approximately a week later after Thomas had met with McBreen; soon enough yet another file, by design, was to wind up on Malcolm Thomas’s desk. Thomas directed a fellow corrupt detective named James Kenneth Cunningham along with a number of his CIB cohorts and uniformed police to attend Albert Park and arrest two of the brothers for assault under the Crimes Act 1961.
Cunningham turned up armed with a metre long piece of wood and entered the property with out a warrant and uninvited. once inside he then approached and threatened a third brother. That brother had the presence of mind to snap a picture of Detective Cunningham approaching him armed with the weapon.
The situation had become critical until a large uniformed officer moved between Cunningham and the brother restraining and pushing the corrupt detective back and out of the building. Later the same day the two falsely accused brothers were arrested, at their solicitors offices by Detectives Cunningham and Wallace. The brothers were driven through the town in a police patrol car and locked up.
A complaint was subsequently made to District Commander Derecourt concerning the conduct of Cunningham. Derecourt replied simply stating that Cunningham had a subconscious habit of carrying large pieces of wood with him. further that he had asked Cunningham to refrain from doing so during Police hours.
The letter and photo’s were supplied to the Sunday News who gave the article front page billing. The paper had planned a second article but were threatened by Police National HQ – If they did police would no longer provide information or liaise with the publication. The injured brother, the real victim of the assault, was admitted to hospital and had his fractured knee cartilage removed.
Not satisfied with the assault charge another CIB officer Sergeant Chester Haar telephoned the surgeon in an attempt to construct yet another charge. At the time that same cop’s wife worked at Gisborne hospital, a division of the Tairawhiti District Health Board and obviously had access to the patients medical records – providing her corrupt hubby with the detail on file and who he should telephone.
Sergeant Haar attempted to construct yet another charge but failed as a result of the somewhat unconvincing and ambiguous letter that the mans surgeon had written at Haar’s request. Shortly before the brothers were found not guilty at trial Detective Cunningham became subject of yet another investigation and was otherwise engaged, being on the run, he was unable to give evidence, Cunningham’s partner in crime, Wallace taking the stand instead
The allegation? sexual assault (we are lead to believe on a junior police employee, working in the typist pool) obviously Cunningham had failed to comply with Derecourts instructions with regards to his unconscious psychotic habbits. Detective Cunningham fled the country, destination the United Kingdom – later forcibly extradited to face trial – Also of importance is that fact that the brothers barrister was never informed of Detective Cunningham’s status as a wanted man, nor was there any mention of the sexual assault charges against Cunningham in the local newspapers, police concealed the whole thing – The man behind the conspiracy was then tasked with completing the paper work, none other the detective Malcolm Thomas .
The brothers had succeeded in obtaining a transfer of the trial to a new jurisdiction on the grounds that they would not get a fair trial – their experience and the views of chief Inspector Ratahi pointed to corrupt Gisborne police and the crown prosecutor having the ear of the resident Judge, Ian Thomas,that and the fact that they could without any difficulty rig a local jury necessitated the transfer.
Making the four hour round trip to watch his victims go down on the bogus charges; even though ostensibly he was not involved, was the ever present Corrupt Detective Malcolm John Thomas, accompanied by his corrupt ex cop buddies Brian McBreen and Steve Dimery.
Unfortunately for Thomas one of the few straight cops in Gisborne at the time had also made the journey. The officer who had attended on the night of the falsely alleged assault – Senior Constable Rewi Williams. Rewi Williams had earlier written a report addressed to Detective Sergeant Condon in the conclusion Constable Williams states:
“this incident was brought about by an ongoing legal battle between liquidators, part-time ropossession agents, private investigators, gisborne security and the XXXXXXXX. It now seems that Police are also being involved. I personally don’t intend to get involved with people that want to be involved as Magnum PI’s and when they get into a spot of bother come running to the police for back-up!”
Understandably Williams was not in a position, given the corrupt political climate at the time, to come out fully in support of the brothers. However, he did what he could without destroying himself and his own family. This strategy was also employed by a number of other honest men, such as repo-man Mr. Wayne Butcher. Hence, as with Whiro Ratahi, the brothers decided to wait two decades before disclosing the information.
We know for a fact that Constable Williams honesty, his honest police report and the subsequent evidence Williams gave at the trial annoyed Detective Malcolm John Thomas greatly (Constable Williams is now a proud Australian). Despite the contrived presence of numerous police witnesses, all associates of McBreen and Thomas, all prepared to purger themselves, the jury, however, preferred the evidence of one brother, having taken the stand and Constable Rewi Williams, Whiro Ratahi had indeed been right Rewi Williams was a man of great integrity, honesty and fearlessness.
According to the Barrister, Russell Fairbrother, the Jury had taken less than an hour to find the two brothers innocent of the charges – the brothers enduring the humiliation of remaining locked up in a cell for two hours; apparently the jury had lunch before returning their verdict (which in itself was strange, we believe the jury had been misguided into taking a lunch break; therefore the juries deliberations appeared, to the media, to take longer).
Three years later Cunningham was eventually extradited back to New Zealand to face trial on charges of sexual violation. He too was found not guilty by a Gisborne jury – however to quote ex District Commander Ratahi – no Gisborne jury, no matter what evidence you placed in front of them, would convict a cop.
Thomas and Dimery hadn’t stopped there. One of the brothers had previously been charged with another offence -allegedly against Dimery when he was – yes you guessed it – trying to serve documents. There was also another purported witness to that false allegation – right again! – another ex cop. Detective Thomas and Dimery were unsuccessful – Prior to discharging the brother the Judge in fact commented “Mr XXXXXXXX is a slightly built gentleman” and ” Mr Dimery who is by the mere nature of his profession, a rather surly and aggressive man”.
After attending the McBreen assault trial one of the brothers cheque’s was returned for the accommodation, it was subsequently honoured. The Gisborne police, however, contacted the brothers bank manager and sought his assistance in having the man charged with fraud. The bank manager called the brother and organised to meet at his office; advising him of the outrageous police conduct and suggested he close his bank account.
This mans employers at the time, Gray Paterson and Steve Davis were also contacted by Thomas or one of his cohort (recently obtained information suggests it may in fact have been Kensington Swan, Judith Potter). The man was given an ultimatum resign or be sacked! The man resigned.
Gray Paterson is currently the CEO of the Auckland District Law Society (we are caused to wonder how he was given that position, absolutely no experience in law……. ?). In an even more bizarre twist, almost ten years later, one of the McBreen’s contacted the brothers (who by then had become justice crusaders with a string of successes to their name in righting wrong and pursuing corrupt police) and pleaded for their assistance.
Kevin McBreen had apparently been shafted, duped by his Father Brian Francis Mcbreen and another family member. They had apparently squeezed him out of his shareholding in the families business. Needless to say the brothers were not disposed to give Kevin McBreen the assistance he desperately sought – having held so much corrupt power he now chops and sells firewood for a living, go figure. Lauda Finem attempted to contact and interview McBreen, his wife however insisted that we had the wrong number. That’s despite the information having been obtained from an article in the Gisborne Herald (on the Municipalities firewood fueled swimming pool) and the contact number being obtained from an associated advert in the Gisborne yellow pages – The Karma is over whelming!
As an aside; in a bizarre twist of fate, the licensee that had been attacked by Martens, many years later became responsible, professionally, for the welfare of the wife of Mark Goesche, Member of Parliament. In 1988, Mark Gosche headed up the union and was in fact Paul Marten boss. Judith Potter a director of Farrow finance whilst also a partner at Kensington, Swan Farrow’s Solicitors, later became a High Court Judge.
Potter, many years later, as a Judge presided over a case involving the brothers and their unrelated justice crusades, she awarded costs against the organisation the brothers represented claiming on the basis that there was no evidence, Potter was wrong and it was later proven to be that the evidence the brothers had produced was significant; with the SFO later using the same evidence to successfully prosecute. During the aforementioned proceedings, however, Potter failed to declare her earlier interest in Farrow Corporation and it’s deceitful commercial behaviour, behaviour that she would have doubtless been aware of given that she was a director of Farrow – wherein, it would have been argued, she should have recused herself. Another website sums up Potters corruption:
Potter J occasionally has acted as a fill-in judge at the Court of Appeal level. An upshot of Potter’s many years associating with the stalwarts of New Zealand business and industry is her propensity to unduly assist those past associates who appear before her. Of particular concern is her past association with the NZ Guardian Trust Company Ltd.
Moreover, do not expect her to disclose those relationships when they occur. In 2005 Potter was caught out for ruling in favour of her brother-in-law (defendant KG McCormick) – without disclosing her close family relationship to opposing counsel. A formal complaint of judicial misconduct was lodged by Counsel months later when he discovered the Judge’s concealed relationship. In June 2005, Chief High Court Justice Randerson refused to discipline Potter for this indiscretion, calling her ruling merely ‘procedural’ in nature.
It is strongly advisable that all litigants appearing before Potter J make a documented request before commencement of any proceeding that she disclose the extent of her relationships, past and present, with opposing parties and their counsel.
Potters behaviour was not that dissimilar in fact to her very close friend High Court Justice Anthony Penrose Randerson and Supreme Court Justice Bill Wilson. In Randerson’s case it was never reported other than a brief appearance on the web-site “www.whistleblower.co.nz”, approx thirteen years ago. Laudafinem intend posting those stories and the evidence (including video footage filmed by cameraman Mark Chamberlain) in the coming months. NOTE: A condition of the 1988 moratorium with the Health Department was that the matter be adjourned Sine Die, meaning, that even to this day, proceedings can be recommenced and damages sought.