Jenni McManus, Indiana Berryman & the mystery of the terrified creditors

Warren Berryman and Jenni McManus

Warren Berryman and Jenni McManus

In her articles Jenni McManus alleged that the brothers owed creditors $300’000.00, the reality however was somewhat different, but lets not let a $200’000.00 mistake get in the way of a bullshit story. They had been collectively owed approximately a third of the grossly overstated debt.

RSL was not a creditor at the time, in fact RSL was never to be a creditor, owing the brothers $300’000.00 and finally possibly millions. Eventually proven; Bell, Gully, Buddle and Weir, RSL’S solicitors wanted out. The judge had also thought the “we want out” idea very sensible.

You see unsurprisingly the Judge was favouring the arguement the brothers had advanced, that RSL in fact owed the brothers some serious cash, and advised RSL’s counsel of this strong leaning, having at last heard the truth of what had really occurred and that they would be wise to settle.

Doubtless RSL had contributed to the collapse (as had McManus). RSL, however, obviously with out funds to pay any damages, the brothers called it quits in 1999, time to move on.

Two of the brothers signed a confidentiality agreement a third had not, however he had been present throughout the proceedings, escaping attention perhaps because he looked more like Gandhi than a relative.

The figures McManus had brandished as applying to the legitimate creditors had also mysteriously been inflated – her information or math had been wrong, but then perhaps so had her impressions – impressions installed by very corrupt police officers (Click here to hear McManus out the corrupt police informant’s in a conversation with the intrepid Jonathan Egglestone) [be patient its slower than YouTube, Mcmanus has had YouTube blocked in New Zealand – via her association with TVNZ]

One creditor for example, Eastland Energy, McManus had alleged was owed $40’000.00 for power supply. Not at all true, no money was owed for electricity. Eastland energy had supplied the refrigeration; cool rooms etc. That equipment had not been built to spec as reflected in the qoute.

The cool rooms and freezer should have been mounted on cement with coved cement sealed flooring; supplied – raised steel/polystyrene sandwich with unsealed plywood flooring, the bar cabinets should have been rolled and welded seamless stainless steel with double glassed stainless framed hinged doors; supplied – unfolded stainless steel cabinets with single glassed aluminium framed sliding doors and facia.

Also, inexplicably absent from Atkinson’s account to McManus; the numerous serious and persistent  problems with the refrigeration equipment failing; resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars in perishables. Then last but not least the fact that Eastland Energy themselves owed the brothers thousands; being years in arrears on lease payments for a substation located at the rear of the brothers restaurant property. But at the end of the day their original invoice had been for $28’000.00, less a deposit that had been paid.

When factoring in the other issues there was, however, nothing owed. McManus nevertheless inexplicably claimed that the brothers had owed $40’000.00. Alan Rose knew that the alleged debt did not exist and apologised to the brothers for the figures, claiming that it had been the fault of a reporter from the Gisborne Herald.

This of course was, given the Herald and Marianne Spence’s involvement with Police in luring McManus’s to write the articles in the first place, to a degree plausible – the brothers already knew that McManus had had extensive contact with Spence and Spence had also falsely published allegations that the debt was $40.000.00 (Click here to hear the tape – Marianne Spence contradicting McManus, attempting to avoid any association with corrupt police and the McManus’s articles)

McManus, however,  in her taped conversations with the fictitious Jonathan Egglestone, attributed the claim to Mr Ron Atkinson, Eastland Energies financial controller who had , only weeks earlier, been a close associate and collaborated with the brothers in attempting to save the creditors.

McManus also attributed various other aspects of her story to Atkinson. She alleged that Atkinson had stated that the Brothers were “as shrewd as shit house rats”, the only claim in her articles that came close to the truth; as McManus was about to find out. Further, that Atkinson hadn’t wanted to be named as he had been threatened with physical violence and feared for his safety.

The material McManus and Berryman had printed was wholly false. The colour of the articles clearly designed to cause maximum damage. Berryman would later question the existance of malice, in disbelief wondering why McManus would say the things that she had to Egglestone. That aspect simply goes to her state of mind at the time.

McManus had, or so she thought, become a confidant of the New Zealand Police. Detective Malcolm Thomas and Senior Sergeant Alan Davidson had totally convinced her that the brothers were scumbags, drug runners and no doubt rapists, we see the same technique employed to day when powerful institutions want to vilify a subject; Julian Assange comes to mind.

The brothers obviously aware that she had her facts wrong and now armed with exactly who it was she had spoken too set about collecting the evidence. They telephoned Ron Atkinson posing as a repossession agent, it was a difficult task as Atkinson knew all three brothers very well and would only talk to the illusive Jonathan Parker face to face, he had been tipped of by Detective Malcolm Thomas that the brothers were surreptitiously phoning those involved and collecting evidence.

The next call made was to Atkinsons superior, Alan Rose general manager of Eastland energy. Mr Rose agreed to a meeting but before doing so he aknowledged that the information McManus had attributed to Atkinson was false and that he regretted it, he felt that the blame lay with the Gisborne Herald. (Click here to listen to the taped conversation with Alan Rose)

The meeting went ahead the following day and was taped. Alan Rose had already discussed the matter with Atkinson; confronted by the brothers and the likelihood that they had taped evidence of McManus naming him decided to come clean.

Atkinson admitted that he had been contacted by Detective Malcolm Thomas prior to McManus calling him and that he had panicked. He also acknowledged his extensive involvement in the Companies Act Sections 205 and 207, an attempt to secure the creditors. He further admitted that he had intentionally mislead McManus by failing to tell her about the 205 and 207, the motivation behind the attempt and his involvement. The reason? – Atkinson apparently feared the police involvement and in particular Detective Malcolm Thomas.

The last resort, attempting the 205 and 207 to secure the creditors had resulted from serious external interferance. The brothers had been advised by their broker, Richard Parker, that a police officer had been sabotaging their applications – somehow obtaining the details, then calling the institutions and alleging that the family was involved in organised crime and drug running. The very same false allegations McManus had printed in her articles.

The idea was to give the creditors shares in the companies assets until such time as the brothers had successfully refinanced, the creditors could then simply sell their shares back to the family to satisfy the debt. Atkinson was all for it; he knew that the situation had become perilous, in that the loans were being stymied. He spent weeks advising the brothers on how to best to go about achieving the objective and putting the necessary paperwork in place with the Companies Office.

But Mr Atkinson had panicked when Detective Malcolm Thomas called on him and he had decided to play ball with a very nasty and feared police officer. Little did Ron know that the same man behind the failed refinancing attempts was now also behind what was to become the total annihilation of the business’s and any chance the creditors had of being paid – That man was Detective Matthew Stanley Willcox.

Another of the creditors that McManus had spoken to was John McLaughlin, who with his wife owned Gisborne Glass. Jenni had attributed the statement: “they threatened to rip my head off” to McLaughlin.

No such threat had ever been made McLaughlin may well have said it, we’ll never know, but in a recorded conversation he also made a lot of other unbelievable claims and then in the same breath claimed that he personally had a good relationship with the brothers, according to McLaughlin they had always been “good to deal with” and “quite likable chaps”. McLaughlin admits that he had never been threatened, contradicting McManus.

Photo of Jenni McManus

Jenni McManus

In fact, if one is to believe Mr John McLaughlin Gisborne must have been a very unique and colourful town;  home to shot gun toting lawyers who enjoyed the occasional Sunday OK coral style gun fight.

McLaughlin had by now also resorted to another spurious claim that the brothers had assaulted two local security guards, Brian McBreen and Steve Dimery. That false information made available courtesy of the malfeasant actions of none other than Detective Malcolm Thomas. The corrupt cop had created the set up with the aforementioned security guards; both corrupt ex-cops. The false allegations and charges were later dismissed as being just that; false. The brothers were acquitted; found not guilty(click here to listen to the taped conversation with John McLaughlin)

McLaughlin, foolishly confident in McManus’s mathematical ability was totally convinced that the brothers had made off with the money – McManus’s figures were more than inaccurate they were again completely false, no doubt calculated after a night on the piss, and who knows what else, with Warren Berryman.

Not Guilty of the false charges Thomas and McBreen had conspired to lay

McManus also spoke with Paul Martens of the Union who, if you have read previous posts, was the low life who in collaboration with bent cops had been responsible for Jenni’s claims of organised crime and drug running. With the exception of Martens, however, all of the creditors had enjoyed a completely amicable relationship with the brothers.

The truth was that the creditors, whilst undoubtedly frustrated by the delays in being paid,  had also been understanding and regularly attended meetings the brothers organised to inform them all of any changes or advances.

McManus had also claimed that creditors were owed money from the Gladstone Park development, this was totally false. Gladstone Parks contractors had been fully paid by January 1987 eighteen months prior to her involvement and the NBR articles.

The claims that McManus had printed had come as a complete surprise to the family, she had after all been warned to make sure she got it right, but to have got it this wrong there had to have been an influence outside the creditors.

Once the “shit house rat” Jonathan Egglestone had spoken with her it had became very clear who that influence had been; the Police and in particular Detective Malcolm Thomas and Senior Sergeant Alan Davidson. Like wise it had come as a huge shock to Thomas and Davidson that the brothers had very quickly ascertained their criminal interferance.

Willcox however had long been suspected, there was a  history of his involvement in criminal malfeasance. The local cops, however, had not really featured other than the visit to the bank manager in or around July/August 1987.

It may well  have been that they were busy as a result of the serious charges Dickie Maxwell had brought against Thomas and his corrupt mates, Maxwell and the police prosecution alleged that the gang of cops had apparently kidnapped Maxwell stripped him naked, tied him up with barbed wire and shoved a shot gun in his face – Maxwell was to later die under very mysterious circumstances.

The brothers had been informed by Tony Adeane, the cops solicitor, that the cops had in fact committed the crimes against Maxwell.

Tony Adeane

Detective’s Thomas and Nielson, more than a little pissed off with Adeane’s statements to the brothers, refer to having had a word with Tony Adeane about his big mouth, during a police interview that was surreptitiously taped by one of the brothers; who had wired his suit coat. (Play brief excerpt)

It hadn’t been contemplated that Willcox had been involved in the commissioning of the attempt to get bank records, after all who would have suspected that corruption and malfeasance in the police to have been that wide spread.

McManus had failed to check her facts, she had also failed to get the other side of the story – Detective Malcolm Thomas and Senior sergeant Alan Davidson had convinced her that there was no need. That much is obvious when listening to her in conversation with Jonathan Egglestone AKA the brothers themselves:

Because we normally start with the premise that there is at least two sides to a story, but this one.

Jenni McManus September 1988

McManus and Berryman were to go further. A call was made to Berryman soon after the articles appeared and he was advised that the brothers wished to meet with him to discuss McManus’s serious and false allegations, McManus managed to turn that offer into a threat of physical violence; when again chatting to another of the brothers alias’s.

Both McManus and Berryman realised the extent of their exposure to her libelous articles very early on and obviously knew there was no honest way out.

They failed to call the brothers back, instead preferring to close ranks with the police involved in an attempt to bury the malfeasant behaviour of Thomas and Willcox and avoid a massive damages payout that would have ended the careers of both NBR staffers.

There is no doubt Coleman would have sacked them both – it was, however, only a brief reprieve Coleman and Berryman eventually parted company brcause of Berryman’s obvious alcoholism and the resultant professional negligence.

Berryman unable to get work was forced to start the Independent, with none other than McManus by his side. McManus however grew increasingly uncomfortable, seeing that the brothers had moved on; legally unscathed; having been vindicated and cleared of a massive swath of criminal charges which Thomas had conspired to lay.

Indiana Berryman enjoying the big Bali bar in the sky

Even more concerning for McManus was the fact that the men, now armed with a new skill set; an in depth knowledge of law,  had developed a pathological distain for corruption; having been on the recieving end of it.

Both she and Berryman knew that they had shafted the family and in doing so had potentially committed a number of very serious criminal offences – there is no statute of limitation on criminal prosecution.

McManus knew that she too could become the target of the brothers acquired disdain for corruption and their passion for justice crusades.  The serious injury and financial loss she and Berryman had caused the family would doubtless see the brothers revisit the issue of the malicious articles she had penned for the National Business Review in September 1988.

McManus knew that what she had done all those years ago was wrong and worth revisiting, any normal person would be aggrieved. She had become fearful, almost obsessed with the brothers and the myth she had played a major role in creating.  Warren Berryman her husband had by now passed over, no doubt sitting at the big Bali bar in the sky, and she was all alone.

John Hudson, of 60 minutes fame, whilst working with the brothers on  another corruption expose, claimed that McManus had a photograph of the brothers on the wall of her office (undoubtedly the same photograph she had been sent by Marianne Spence of the Gisborne Herald in 1988);  Mcmanus had instructed her staff to call the police in the event they ever turned up – Hudson obviously had no reason to lie, he did however have reason enough to piss himself laughing.

Fingers Rotherham

By all accounts, over a decade later, Jenni McManus and those working with her had become victims of their own myth making, trapped in a terrible nightmare, a nightmare McManus had been largely responsible for dreaming.

After all as the adage goes, “words are spells”, any knowledgeable shaman will tell you that and I’m confident Indiana Berryman had met his fair share of shamans whilst in a piss induced trance – “Argggh Fingers”

Indiana would have no doubt heard those same Shamans speak to him of the need, when wounded, to travel back in time and reclaim what was sickeningly destroyed and then in turn destroy the pricks responsible – mythology, you’ve got to love it.

Categorised in:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: