In a previous post we explained Detective Malcolm Thomas’s involvement with Hi-Lite industries solicitor Alexander Lee and his failed attempt to obtain a summary judgement against the brothers personally; utilising spurious documentation manufactured and supplied to Lee by Thomas.
This blog deals with Thomas’s continuing assistance in ongoing attempts to break, enter and steal equipment worth nearly $70’000.00. Thomas was fully aware that the brothers had in late october 1988 dealt a death blow to any chance Hi-Lite Industries and Lee had of getting possession of the equipment, he had also been told that Hi-lite was not owed a cent on the goods. Thomas had always been aware that the claim Lee had pressed in the High Court was a total fabrication – as a police officer he had been a party to an attempted fraud.
Despite the courts decision of October Malcolm Thomas in November is seen yet again to be assisting an another attempt to break, enter and steal the good’s from the restaurant. The brothers had however already discovered that Thomas and Dimery had unlawfully kept a set of Keys from an earlier theft when Dimery had broken into the building by boring the locks – Thomas and Dimery’s actions in doing this were on both counts criminal.
Thomas was also working with Matt Willcox. Hi-lite having failed in their court action made one last attempt to grab the good’s. They did this knowing that they could because Thomas was providing full protection and immunity from prosecution. Thomas had provided Hi-lite with Steve Dimeries contact details in August 1988 but Hi-Lite had eventually decided not to use Dimery as he was now claiming to be working for RSL.
To ensure that all went well, however Robin Pearce, Hi-Lites owner, had again called and spoken with Detective Thomas in Gisborne.
Thomas was about to go on leave so he provided yet another contact in the Gisborne CIB, Detective Sergeant Steve Shortland. Both of these names were written on the cover sheet Butcher was to later show the brothers. Shortland, had been told by Thomas to send whoever turned up around to see Steve Dimery. Dimery knew where the keys were being hidden. For obvious reasons neither Thomas or Dimery wanted to be caught with them in their possession so it had been arranged to conceal them at Gisborne Securities offices.
Although Thomas was on Holiday butcher it seems still managed to talk with him. Thomas, by now on leave, was unable to assist immediately so he told butcher to see Shortland. Shortland then instructed Wayne Butcher to get in touch with Dimery. When Butcher contacted Dimery, no doubt because there was no money in it for him, he told Butcher to just pop around the corner to Gisborne security and grab the key’s. (click to hear tape of Butchers admissions)
Wayne Butcher was now beginning to get very worried, this was turning out to be anything but a run of the mill repossession. That and the fact that he was not being given the police assistance promised by Pearce. Dimery also, when asked by Butcher how they had obtained the keys, had stated: “I bored the Locks” . Butcher immediately knew that this was illegal; and that what he was being asked to do now constituted burglary.
Butcher by his own admission, and we suspect from talking to Thomas had begun to suspect that the paper work he had been given was extremely dodgy.
Butcher by share good fortune whilst loitering around the restaurant happened to run into the brothers, and decided to show them the paper work he had been given; which naturally in the course of any repossession he was required to do by law. The brothers then produced the High Court Decision of Justice Thorpe and handed Butcher a trespass notice.
Butcher knew then that he had never legally been able to repossess and certainly now he could not legally enter the premises, without Thomas guaranteeing he would not be prosecuted for theft . He then telephone Hi-Lite in Christchurch so as to buy time; advising them that Malcolm Thomas was away, that he had just been given a trespass notice and that someone else in his company would have to do the job when Thomas got back.
Unfortunately for Butcher, Hi-lite and Thomas the brothers, who by now knew that Thomas had been behind inciting every single repossession and likely had the key’s, had removed the remaining chattels fearing that Thomas and Dimery having keys would continue with the covert thefts. The brothers therefore needed to protect what was left.
The operation was difficult, but with the assistance of their ex-employee’s, who contrary to reports in the media had remained very loyal volunteered their time to assist with the removal and relocation of the chattels to a safe haven where Thomas could not continue to steal them.
Late in the afternoon two large pantechs were hired from Hertz and parked near the restaurant but out of sight of the police station, which was located directly opposite the restaurants rear entrance. Meanwhile staff in the restaurant had been busy preparing the goods for rapid loading. At 1.30am under the cover of darkness the trucks were loaded and what was to be a 6 hour journey commenced.
The brothers had been tipped off by other local supporters that the police had organised regular patrols of the three arterial route’s linking the town to the outside world. Thomas had gone to extraordinary lengths, using police resources as if they were his own and spuriously obtained search warrants to grab the brothers property and interfere in their entitlements in civil law.
The four staff who had volunteered to undertake the long journey with one of the brothers were, however, locals with an exceptional knowledge of the surrounding district, including back roads and farm tracks. The journey, had the vehicles taken the main state highways would have taken little less than two hours. A little over nine hours later the trucks drove back into Gisborne – the mission, whilst arduous, had been a complete success.
The brothers were later advised that, shortly after delivering the trucks back to Hertz, upon their return the police had turned up and inspected the vehicles and obtained the odometre readings of both vehicles, obviously an attempt in-vein by Thomas to locate the whereabouts of the chattels. We know for a fact that Thomas had police call at storage facilities within the radius he had wrongly calculated. Obviously with the nature of the route taken the mileage was never going to be an accurate indicator of the vehicles final destination.
Thomas undoubtedly furious, then advised Butcher that it was to late to attempt repossession; the goods had gone. It would have been a complete waste of time and money- Thomas called Willcox who then advised Hi-lite’s bent solicitor Alexander Lee. When one of the Brothers posing as Jonathan Parker called Lee he recalls Willcox’s call. (click to hear tape of Lee’s admissions)