A number of the blog posts have dealt with Detective Malcolm John Thomas and his attempts to unlawfully repossess, in fact steal, goods and chattels owned by the brothers. Thomas had a number of co-conspirators. They included his CIB superior; Detective Sergeant Steve Shortland; Robin Pearce, the owner of Hi-Lite Industries Ltd; Hi-Lite’s accounts clerk Kieth Mitchellmore; Hi-lites solicitor Alexander Lee, of Duncan Cotterill and Co; Wayne Butcher a local repossession agent and last but by no means least Detective Stanley Matthew Willcox
Willcox and Thomas with the assistance of Thomas’s mate ex-cop Steve Dimery had gone to extraordinary lengths to get their hands on the equipment, stealing key’s to the restaurant, executing bogus search warrants and conspiring with the aforementioned in an attempt to have judgement entered against the brother personally for a spurious debt that had never existed.
Thomas had also conspired to lay false charges of theft against the brothers. Formal complaints had been made to the police all of which were dismissed in sham investigations by Steve Shortland and other senior police.
Thomas had been told innumerable times that the brothers owned the equipment, he also knew that the high court had ruled in favour of the brothers in late october 1988 and yet only days later he was still attempting to get his hands on the equipment on behalf of Hi-lite.
By december 1988, however, the brothers had emassed enough evidence of thomas’s criminal activities, activities that were apparently being condonned or ignored by his commanding officers, that under normal circumstances, with an honest police command, would have required his sacking. Detective Steve Shortland in Particular had to have been totally aware of what Thomas was up to. Shortland had after all lied for Thomas over the execution of a bogus search warrant on the 1st November 1988 and Wayne Butcher had indicted Shortland’s involvement in one particular attempt – Shortland was doubtless aware that Steve Dimery and Thomas had stolen a set of keys after having the locks bored in an earlier break enter and theft.
Fact 1: Thomas with out just cause had actively sought the contact details of creditors, by executing warrants, stealing documents and photographing goods; exceeding the authority of the warrants he was using, in one case misrepresenting his possession of a warrant.
Fact 2: Thomas made unsolicited telephone calls to all creditors and incited them to repossess.
Fact 3: Thomas deliberately sought out creditors whose contracts included a retention of title clause.
Fact 4: Thomas actively solicited complaints from those same creditors so that he, as one creditor would later recall: “Could do them for theft”.
Fact 5: Thomas supplied Hi-Lites solicitor Alexander Lee with documents including a fabricated contract that Lee unsuccessfully used in an attempt to obtain a summary judgement against the brothers personally: Whilst Lee, Pearce, Mitchellmore, Thomas and Willcox had full knowledge that 1. the debt did not exist 2. that the contract had been with a limited liability company
Fact 6: Thomas conspired with Steve Dimery, Detective Sergeant Steve Shortland, Matthew Willcox, Robin Pearce, Kieth Mitchellmore, Alexander Lee and repossession agent Wayne Butcher to use a stolen set of keys to enter the restaurant and steal equipment that Hi-lite had absolutely no entitlement to.
Fact 7: Thomas with full knowledge that the brothers had been successful in defending the aforementioned High Court claim continued to facilitate attempts to steal the equipment on behalf of Hi-lite and their repossession agent Wayne Butcher, including executing a bogus search warrant on the 1st November 1988.
Fact 8: Thomas with full knowledge that no crimes had been committed conspired to lay in excess of 60 false criminal informations against the brothers and their mother – costing the family thousands of dollars to successfully defend.
Fact 9: Thomas’s actions and those of his co-conspirators resulted in the family loosing three successful businesses and 6.5 million dollars in assets, hard working and loyal staff loosing their jobs and various legitimate small creditors loosing around $100’000.00.
Fact 10: Thomas conspired with local and national media to irreparably impugn the families reputation, painting them as organised criminals, drug runners, rapists and violent gun toting thugs.
Fact 11: Thomas conspired with fellow officers and ex-police associates to bring false allegations so as to support the aforementioned representations he had previously made to the media (including Jenni McManus) and muddy the waters of his own serious criminal offending
Armed with the evidence the brothers took the step of by-passing police and laying private informations against Thomas and his co-conspirators. Thomas had his solicitor Tony Adeane (in a quite extraordinary conflict of interest) apply for a stay of proceedings (through police legal services, Ian MacArthur).
The successful application was made to the Solicitor general. Thomas it would appear argued that even if ownership of the goods ultimately lay with the brothers then his actions were still justified because they had been secured by way of a chattel security to RSL.
The solicitor general obviously bought that argument, but then he did not have the benefit of knowing that Thomas had been conspiring since August to grab the equipment for Hi-Lite industries. In effect Thomas had been working to deprive both the brothers and RSL of the property. The stay should never have been allowed.
Thomas’s actions were criminal, ultimately his behaviour resulted in the loss of the goods and the additional 26’000.00 that Hi-lite in fact owed the brothers. Thomas continued to press ahead with the false charges, charges that were eventually thrown out. Thomas’s criminal conspiratorial behaviour caused a collective loss of almost $100’000.00 and that was just in the Hi-Lite matter. Ultimately Thomas and Willcox were responsible for the family loosing $6.5 million in assets and thats before you even begin to look at the lost earnings the businesses would have generated over a three to four year period.
Interestingly the man co-responsible for obtaining the stay, Ian MacArthur, is still employed by Police legal services (recently acting as national manager, now back in Christchurch, arriving just in time for the earthquake).
Ian MacArthur and his legal genius’s were doubtless responsible for the other shonky advice’s Thomas used so as to exculpate himself and Dimery in the Unlawful search of the offices of an unrelated company using the false, corrupt and unlawful threat of arrest.
Its obvious that police have not been able to attract a suitably qualified person to head up the legal services team, at Police National HQ, since Dr Andrew Jack left almost three years ago – we are given to wonder why? Then again who in there right mind would want the job of defending corruption!
Cryptic: advocate, designer, shaman, writer, they all strive to envisage and create the profound. In doing so, inevitably somewhere in their work, these men and women always reference the past. As Winston Churchill once famously said: