Cry Havoc

20180708_085418Are you ready? Let’s begin

I probably don’t need to recap any more, all the updates are here.

True Detective

Chinatown

Breakdown

The Last Detective

No Country For Old Men

Disturbia

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Just a week ago, I was given news that the neighbourhood police team in Yorkshire had been, in their own time, making sure that the effort to help my Uncle continued and had in fact opened up a dialogue with the lunatic that was causing so much effort to be expended and had caused so much pain.

The reason for the call was that I had alerted them that they may be planning to move shortly, go to another county and escape the net that was very, very slowly closing in.

I was so happy with this, it meant that I could relax, just a bit and get on with my real life for a week or two and give my Dad some good news for once.

It’s probably worth pointing out that this effort was not mandated by the police, North Yorkshire Social Services were and are the lead agency in this case.

Sadly.

So when I received a call from a neighbour on Thursday this week telling me that:

A car was on the drive, that the two old ladies had been sat in the back for over thirty minutes while the car was being loaded up to the roof and that it looked like they were going to run.

I was a bit surprised, a bit angry and more than a bit worried.

These are the things that I did in the next five minutes.

While. I. Was. In. A. Supermarket

  • I called a police officer’s direct number and left a message.
  • I sent an email to the police that had been helping, with the registration details – only to receive an out of office in both cases.
  • I rang 121 and reported an incident
  • I rang the lead social worker.

I was surprised to get through and told her that they were getting ready to run. I gave the car details – a silver Kia (Sedona) with the registration K14 xxx.

She was a bit surprised and said ‘I was due to call her this afternoon, perhaps I’d best ring her now?’.

Resisting the temptation to scream (I was still in the supermarket) I told her to do that and hung up.

And that was it.

Radio Silence.

I’ve heard nothing from social services since Thursday.

The Thin Blue Line

Just over two hours later, I received a mail from one of the off-duty police officers, he’d forwarded the details to a colleague and they were in contact with social services.

Yesterday I received a very sympathetic call from one of his colleagues, I won’t repeat any of it here (yet anyway) but it was now very clear that social services had ignored information that the police had given them just a week before and had taken steps that may cause the lunatic to run – but hadn’t told the police.

Bhairava

According to Demonology, naming a demon gives you power over them. Anybody who’s delved further back into my blogs knows of my half-joking relationship with the god-aspect Shiva.

It was only a few hours ago that I was thinking about him, I sat on a plinth by a weir that used to be an old mill-race and just let myself relax and sink into the moment.

He’s an interesting character and has many aspects – I suppose we all do really.

I’ll leave you to look the name above up, but it’s appropriate, my time for playing nicely is over.

I tried to let the system do this, but there’s something fundamentally wrong and if they don’t start helping me, I’m going to declare war on them. I fired a shot via twitter yesterday, but they just don’t understand how much effort I’ve put into this, how many hours of work, how many thousands of miles driven and pounds spent. They don’t get how much effort that good friends have spent trying to help me, all while the system flounders and wobbles in it’s efforts to move forward.

Let’s Name Names

My Uncle is Arthur Hodge. I’m one of eight nephews. It may well be that I won’t be anonymous after this week, let the dice fall where they may.

His Wife – who is pretty much wheelchair-bound and incontinent is Shirley Hodge.

The foulness at the heart of this story, the agent of chaos, destruction and misery across two counties (at least), the controlling, paranoid cause of all this effort.

Is Susan Auckland.

Susan Auckland.

Got that?

Bonnie and Clyde

I’m going to fill the rest of this with witness statements and information that I’ve already passed to social services over the past months.

Here We Go

This is from the day that my Aunt was buried, See The Last Detective for the full story.

6Th June 2018

At 1.56pm on Tuesday 5th June 2018, I went into the K’Teas cafe in Leyburn Square. I there saw an elderly gentleman, who I now know to be Arthur Hodge.

He was sitting alone, at a table, pouring himself a cup of tea, from a pot in front of him.

I watched him pour the tea slowly and then drink from the cup. After he had finished the drink, he got up, knocking the table to one side slightly and began to stumble backwards. I immediately asked him if he was alright. He looked up and said “sorry?” I again asked him if he was alright and he said that he was, he just wanted to change sides, whilst he waited for someone. He moved to the side next to me and on sitting, pushed the chair into a dresser with crockery on it. I became concerned that he would knock something from the dresser, so I stood up and went to his aid. Helping him to sit down.

He started a conversation with me.

Arthur “I’m waiting for ‘This lady’ (he repeatedly referred to her as ‘This lady’), she’s gone for her hair done”

“ She dropped you off for a nice cup of tea?”

Arthur “Yes, She should be here soon.”

He repeatedly kept looking towards the doorway and checking his watch.

I again asked if he was ok, he said he was.

The conversation continued:-

Arthur “Are you from here?”

“No , I’m from Sheffield.”

Arthur “We live in Middleham, in a bungalow. There’s four of us. Me, my wife, ‘This lady’ and her mother, we moved up a few months ago.”

We continued to chat about the area and him living there for a short time. He then unprovoked, told me, he was not happy.

Arthur kept looking at the door, like he was worried that someone might overhear, I felt that he was taking me, a stranger, into his confidence somehow.

He repeatedly told me not to say anything to her, when she came in. “She won’t like it”

I asked how he met the woman, he told me that he used to walk a dog, that belonged to a neighbour of hers, they got chatting and one day she phoned him and asked him to take her to the hospital “And that was that”.

The conversation continued:-

Arthur “There’s this bungalow that we bought together, but really it’s not suitable. Not suitable for older people.”

He then went on to tell me of the others in the house, being elderly

Arthur “ My wife, she’s not very good on her feet and ‘This lady.’ “Her mum is 91, coming up 92, so she’s not very good, erm really erm well, we shouldn’t have bought it. Well we’ve got it now. But I think it’s gonna sort, be a bit heavy”

He then went on to tell me that they were going to sell the bungalow, but wasn’t sure when. They had to still sort it out. He referred to ‘hundreds of boxes’ and the skip that they were filling. He was working hard sorting it out, it seemed to prey heavy on his mind.

He continued,

Arthur “Don’t tell my friend, but I think I bought it with my eyes shut. I fell down a wall, they had to tie a rope around me, put it under my arms and pull me up. It hurt my ribs for ages, I was in such pain” He repeated that he thought it was dangerous and not suitable for them. Saying “I wish we hadn’t bought it now”

Arthur “ I don’t like it. There’s nothing to do, but sit and look out of the window, we can’t walk anywhere, it’s too steep. We just sit there. We haven’t even had a telly, well we got one now. Cost sixy pounds, never been used, alright that, isn’t it? But you can’t just look out the window all day, can you? No good for no one”

He told me that the money in his account had been frozen by the Social, He complained that it wasn’t right as it was “My fucking money.” He continued, that ‘This lady’ was paying for everything for them, food, everything. Looking after them financially.

He spoke about his family down south and that it was his sisters funeral about now, how sad he was that he had missed it. He told me that one of the family had come up to take him to the funeral, but ‘This Lady’ had warned him not to go, because “My family, well, they’re trouble, she doesn’t want me getting into trouble with them. I don’t know how to get hold of them anyway, I did have a book with all the names and addresses in it, but it’s gone.”

He felt upset about this, he talked about his brother and how he should have gone, but:-

Arthur “She’ says I shouldn’t go. I can’t do much about that, I can’t even contact them”

He continued to look at the door and repeatedly asked me not to say anything.

He told me that they had previously looked at buying a house in Stamford, they had paid the survey, but lost the house. “One thousand fucking pounds, that’s not right is it? I lost that, haven’t I?”

He mentioned that he has cataracts and needs an operation, but it’s going to cost £3000. I mentioned the NHS, but he said there was “too long a waiting list, have to have it done private.” It seemed a conclusion that he hadn’t come to himself, like he was resigned to it.

He told me of a relative of ‘This Lady’ called Francis. He was coming up to the house soon “Probably this week. He don’t like us, calls me and my wife Bonnie and Clyde”

I asked why he felt that, but he wouldn’t expand. He said that he was alright when they met him in public, at the cafe recently. But chose not to tell me why he felt that Francis didn’t like them. I got the feeling that he was being verbally abused or talked about in the house, by him.

The conversation moved onto other things, stories of his younger days, which he relished in telling me, where his face lit up in a smile. He joked with me and we laughed over it, but any return to his present situation and he lost the sparkle. We chatted for some considerable time, but I had the feeling that he was being controlled, told what to do and was fearful of what ‘This Lady’ might say to him. He never referred to her with any form of endearment. Repeatedly, he told me not to say anything and to “keep it to myself”

At around 2.45pm the same day, a woman, who I now know to be Susan Auckland entered the cafe and beckoned him with her head.

Susan “Come on”

She was brusque with him and commanded him out.

I attempted to start a conversation with her, she ignored me.

Susan to Arthur “You’ve been talking, haven’t you?”

Arthur “No, I erm”

Susan “Have you paid?”

Arthur “No, I haven’t, I erm”

She then ushered him to the toilet and took out her purse, she appeared to be quite cross. I again tried to speak with her, but she turned her back. She spoke to the waitress and demanded a receipt for the bill, which came to less than £5.00. I think it was £4.75, but I am unsure.

I followed Arthur to the toilet, the toilet was a single mens / ladies toilet, he did not have the door locked. I waited for him to come out and wished him a pleasant afternoon.

I followed them out of the cafe where I heard her mention something about going on a bus to Ripon and something about getting him back, on the motorway to Cambridge. But I did not hear the full conversation.

I watched them for a while and witnessed her ordering him about, into different shops, being quite sharp with him. She then made a phone call and then walked off, with Arthur following several paces behind her, all the time.

I left the square shortly after and did not see them again.

I had the feeling that he was being controlled by her. He was confused by the entire situation and didn’t seem to know how to deal with it. I got the distinct impression, that he was not happy, but couldn’t do anything about it. He was unsure about his money. Had no idea how bills were being paid and did at one point comment that “This Lady’ keeps us.” He appeared helpless, lost even.

Several times, he asked me where I was stopping, I kept telling him, but he would return to the question again and again. His memory of distant events was sound, but his short term memory was lacking.

History Lessons

This from my trip to Frinton, a few names are changed to protect the innocent, seeNo Country For Old Men for details.

Regarding – Arthur and Shirley Hodge, Susan and Barbara Auckland

On Saturday 9th June, I travelled to Frinton-on-Sea and Kirby Cross in Essex with a view to discovering what information could be found regarding my Uncle (Arthur Hodge) before his move to Middleham.

I initially spoke to the Branch Manager of an Estate Agent

He told me that he had notified Essex Social Services early on in the sale process of my Uncle’s bungalow and that the sale was delayed from February to December 2017 while the investigation continued.

He was of the view that Susan was controlling my Uncle at that stage and that Arthur was living in her flat at 2 Marine Court, The Esplanade for a period of over a month, not even leaving to visit his wife in hospital or to go home and change clothes.

He stated that he would arrange ‘appointments’ to meet my Uncle to discuss the sale and would then take him to the hospital in his own car, once taking him back to his bungalow so that he could change clothes.

He was and remains extremely concerned about the situation, he described Susan as ‘dripping poison into Arthur’s ear’ and shared with me that he had been in contact with:

Hannah X – Essex Social Services –

PC X ? – unsure of spelling) &

PC Y of Essex Police.

They also handled the sale of Susan’s flat and he stated that ‘only one photo could be taken as the place was such a mess’ -he said that it was a ‘really bad hoarder’ situation.

He also seemed to think that my Uncle et al moved to Cambridge for a period after they left Frinton, possibly renting a property via a relative. He said that Susan frequently calls the branch asking them to do Internet searches, most recently for a Citroen garage in Holland-on-Sea.

He suggested that I should talk to the neighbours and rang a lady named from Kirby Cross (I have her phone number if necessary), who agreed to meet me.

I spoke to her at length and she is willing to write a statement and appear in court (The Court of Protection) if necessary, she also introduced me to a lady named Sheila who lives near my Uncle’s previous address.

They told me that my Uncle had become involved with Susan after meeting her on the Greensward at Frinton while walking a neighbour’s dog, and that even early into the relationship, he was spending considerable sums of money.

  • Buying them a fridge
  • Spending over £100 on food.

The neighbours were concerned at his behavior and tried to speak with him on a number of occasions, particularly while his wife was in hospital.

She repeatedly mentioned that Arthur at this stage was dishonest in his dealings with the neighbours and social services.

She gave an example of:

Shirley Hodge was due to leave hospital, but after the date, wasn’t seen by the neighbours. Arthur told them that she had ‘left hospital, fallen and hit her head and gone back in.

It later transpired that he had driven Susan to Yorkshire despite having his licence taken away by Essex Police following a series of small incidents and that he was stopped on the journey and had his car taken away, having to go back to Essex in a cab. Shirley Hodge remained in hospital at this time.

After Susan sold Marine Court, she and her mother moved into Arthur’s house.

Police and Social Services were present at the house on a number of occasions, but the curtains were now closed 24 x 7 and nobody would answer the door.

I was told a number of disturbing things and will only include those that I deem most worrying.

  • A relative of Shirley Hodge wrote to her C/O the neighbour as previous letters and phone calls had gone unanswered. This was hand delivered.
  • Shirley Hodge was left alone in the house for three days and resorted to banging on the partition wall for help, Essex Police had to force the back door
  • Mrs Y was physically assaulted by Susan Auckland (pushed from behind and in front) after delivering £30 to Arthur for the use of his drive while hers was being worked on
  • The house was full of newspapers that wrapped human faeces (I am told that the skip in Middleham contained soiled adult diapers as of last week) and any letters etc. that were lying around had obscenities scrawled on them
  • Susan Auckland had reportedly been arrested and charged with assault previously in Essex.

The neighbours were and remain concerned about Arthur and Shirley; they would welcome them back to the area, but are clearly terrified by Susan.

I am passing you this information for two reasons:

  1. I hope that it will help build a bigger picture of the situation and give you details that you may not have at this stage.
  2. I am now extremely concerned that this has long been a large concern to both social services and police but that any progress was lost after the move.

I would appreciate anything that you can do to keep me apprised of any progress in this case, but I am giving myself a personal hard-stop date on this of Friday 29th June.

If no access can be gained by that time and no view taken as to Arthur’s capacity, I will go to the Court of Protection on Monday 2nd July and begin the process to apply to be a Deputy for Arthur and Shirley Hodge.

Dire Predictions

This is from me to social services one week ago and referenced in Disturbia

Again, all names of witnesses are anonymised.

Regarding – Arthur and Shirley Hodge, Susan and Barbara Auckland

Dear Helen,

Thank you for your time yesterday and for your candour as to the current situation and possible next steps.

My concerns in this matter have only escalated over time and it seems that the more people that I speak to, then the picture becomes more worrying.

The latest information that I have had from ‘Limpy’ of Dodgy Cars is that Susan is planning to relocate to somewhere near Lincoln in ‘8-10 weeks’.

This shows a pattern that began earlier this year when all four people in the house left in her brother Francis’ car (a distinctive number plate ) with no luggage and did not return for four months (from Jan to late April).

At that time, they were in a rural location near Cambridge and were picked up by Limpy – this was his first interaction with them.

Francis has familial connections in both Cambridge and Lincoln, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

As you are aware, my concern is that your investigation will come to a halt if they move for a long enough period and if they don’t leave a forwarding address; nobody will know to investigate.

I have spoken to a large number of people while trying to backtrack what has occurred with my uncle and I would ask that your team make contact with these people as supporting material for your case.

These people are:

XXXX – Branch Manager of YYYY Estate Agents – Frinton

He notified Essex Social Services early on in the sale process of my Uncle’s bungalow and that the sale was delayed from February to December 2017 while the investigation continued.

He was of the view that Susan was controlling my Uncle at that stage and that Arthur was living in her flat at 2 Marine Court, The Esplanade for a period of over a month, not even leaving to visit his wife in hospital or to go home and change clothes.

He was and remains extremely concerned about the situation, he described Susan as ‘dripping poison into Arthur’s ear’ and shared with me that he had been in contact with:

XXXXXof Kirby Cross XXXXXXX

I spoke to Mrs. XXXXX at length and she is willing to write a statement and appear in court (The Court of Protection)

She told me that my Uncle had become involved with Susan after meeting her on the Greensward at Frinton while walking a neighbour’s dog late in 2016, early 2017 and that even early into the relationship, he was spending considerable sums of money.

  • Buying them a fridge
  • Spending over £100 on food.

Mrs. Cook said that Arthur at this stage was dishonest in his dealings with the neighbours and social services.

an example below:

Shirley Hodge was due to leave hospital, but after the date, wasn’t seen by the neighbours. Arthur told them that she had ‘left hospital, fallen and hit her head and gone back in.

It later transpired that he had driven Susan to Yorkshire despite having his licence taken away by Essex Police following a series of small incidents and that he was stopped on the journey and had his car taken away, having to go back to Essex in a cab. Shirley Hodge remained in hospital at this time.

Shirley Hodge was left alone in the house for three days and resorted to banging on the partition wall for help, Essex Police had to force the back door

Mrs X was physically assaulted by Susan Auckland (pushed from behind and in front) after delivering £30 to Arthur for the use of his drive while hers was being worked on

The house was full of newspapers that wrapped human faeces (I am told that the skip in Middleham contained soiled adult diapers as of last week) and any letters etc. that were lying around had obscenities scrawled on them

‘Ken’ – I can’t remember his surname – 01255 xxxxxx

Upstairs neighbour of Susan and Barbara at XXXX describes them as the ‘neighbours from Hell’, stated that they cooked on a portable hob, placed on boxes in the hallway of the flats (seeLimpy below). Also stated that any attempt to get Susan to fix things, etc. was met by her calling the Police (see below). Alleged that Susan would steal items from charity shop doorways and resell them.

Limpy – 07xxxxxx

Taxi Driver to Susan and Arthur since their return from Cambridge. Has assisted Arthur with a number of jobs around the house, including clearing boxes and debris from the kitchen – which hid the cooker. Saw a 2 ring hob – collaborating the Frinton neighbour’s account. States that the house smells like faeces and that ‘you wouldn’t let a dog live there’

Confirmed on a phone call on Wednesday27th June that the mobile phone that I bought Arthur was still in the house, that he had seen it and discussed it with Arthur in Susan’s presence

He then told me on Thursday 28th June that Arthur had smashed it as ‘people were using it to listen in on us’.

Downhill next door neighbours to Arthur and Susan.

They have been concerned since Arthur moved in and have a catalogue of stories that include.

Their garden being invaded by Rats from Number 3, as food and other items was being dumped in the garden.

Shirley and Barbara being left alone for up to nine hours on the days that Susan and Arthur go out.

Susan burning adult diapers a few weeks ago in the garden and then calling the police when xxx trained the hose on the fire.

Shouts and noises coming from the house after 2am some nights.

I was in their house when I saw Susan throw my letter and condolence card for Arthur that I had just hand delivered in the skip- which was full of adult diapers and was attracting birds.

XXx has repeatedly complained that she never sees ‘social’ and that she has never been asked what might be happening. This is the case with the uphill neighbours , (I don’t know their phone number at this stage) who have again told of shouting and strange behaviour, often at 4am.

She has called me today to ask for progress and has told me that she has ‘had enough’ and is going to call Social Services – I have given her your number.

The whole timeline of this case is filled with disturbing incidents and I was shocked to discover on a conference call with Leyburn Police and Social Services before you joined the team that they were not aware of the case in Essex.

This is a long letter, but my fundamental point is that it appears that by moving from Essex, the investigation completely stopped and it was only when Susan called the Police to say that I was trying to break into the house that they went back on the radar.

My main concern is for my uncle and aunt and despite Arthur’s assurances to you that he is ‘OK’ – there is nothing OK about a situation that has:

  • Now been investigated by both Essex Social Services & Police and North Yorkshire Social Services and Police
  • Prompted intervention from his bank due to serious irregularities with his account.
  • Caused the neighbours in both towns to want to seek help
  • Prompted an Estate Agent to report the situation and delay his own sale for 10 months
  • Has an eighty-four year old man tell a complete stranger on the day of his only sister’s funeral that he was told not to go as his family ‘would get him into trouble’

Therefore, I implore you that:

  • you get your team to talk to anybody that I have named in this letter that you have not contacted
  • that you get oversight of Arthur’s bank statements and have them looked at by an accountant or financial investigator
  • that you take the Francis connection seriously and ask the basic question of how people with no money, jobs or means of getting a reference could possibly rent anywhere for months at a time without outside assistance.

I will be seeking legal advice this week to see what options I have so that Arthur and Shirley’s welfare is protected, this includes applying for Deputy status based on coercion rather than capacity.

Yours Sincerely

That’s All Folks

For now anyway.

It’s not all bad, I’ve made some new allies in the past few days and one in particular is very likely to be able to get me an address of where they’ve holed up.

People I’ve never met have given me encouragement that actually made me cry, thank you I love you all and you’re helping to keep me going.

I’m taking legal advice as to what my options are now – whether it’ll help, only time will tell.

The bank know that they’ve gone so can track any transactions.

North Yorkshire Police will keep an eye out.

And I’ll find them and get Arthur and Shirley into care.

Meanwhile, North Yorkshire Council, you have two choices.

Help me or prepare for a storm that you won’t soon forget.

To Be Continued

Disturbia

20171214_0904271753786206.jpg Have Another Recap

If you haven’t read the whole sorry saga so far; it’s here:

True Detective

Chinatown

Breakdown

The Last Detective

No Country For Old Men

But to summarise:

My Uncle and his wife went missing late last year and all contact was lost, no phone number, no forwarding address and a drive to his house showed that he’d moved.

My Aunt, his sister died on the 9th May 2018 and we had to try to track him down.

We found his solicitor, in Leyburn North Yorkshire and he asked my Uncle to call my Dad – which he did, from an unknown mobile, on the evening of Sunday 13th May, with a strange rambling tale that included:

  • He didn’t know or wouldn’t say his full address – just the house number and not even a town.
  • His driving licence had been revoked by the Police – he didn’t know why
  • Social Services may have visited and said that he shouldn’t live alone. Although he clearly didn’t – there were three women in the house with him, his wife and two others.
  • His bank account might have been frozen and he had no money and no car
  • He would send his details to my Dad  – by post – at some point.

I rang the owner of the mobile  – somebody unknown to the family and asked for the address – she refused.

I drove to Leyburn on Monday, tracked the house, did a property search to confirm that it was indeed my Uncle’s place and rang the bell.

Only to have the Police called on me.

Many hours later, I’d seen my Uncle, discovered that his mind is partway gone and that he doesn’t remember my whole existence.

I raised a safeguarding concern with North Yorkshire Social Services and was informed that the Police had also done so.

I managed to track down ‘Sharon’s’ family – they live about ten miles away from my Uncle’s place and I spoke to Estate Agents, Essex Social Services and North Yorkshire Social Services.

The Picture that was emerging was quite scary, one person who had been in quite close contact said that in their view, Sharon has some real mental problems.

The Social Services net is so loose that they literally moved away from one open case and disappeared from view.

I agreed to let Social Services do the contact as this is just so complicated.

But in the background I did lots more work and when we got the date of the funeral, I asked Social Services to let him know the date, only to find that they hadn’t seen him so far.

I wrote two letters that cross-referenced each other and bought him a mobile phone, programming my number and my Dad’s number into it.

The first letter said that I would be back on the 2nd June and would take him to Norfolk on the 3rd June if he still wanted to attend the funeral.

The second letter stated that I would call him on Monday.

I then went back to Middleham, staying in a very pleasant hotel for the duration, delivered the phone and letter by hand, caught up with his neighbours and drove home.

Then on the Monday, I called him – the phone was switched off and stayed that way despite me calling and texting every day.

Until Wednesday 30th May.

He called my Dad and gave a string of vague excuses as to why he couldn’t go to the funeral and I put a plan into motion that produced some startling results.

I went back to Middleham and put a letter and condolence card through his door with instructions to either come to the hotel on Sunday 3rd June so that we could travel to the funeral … Or, deliver the card to me so that I could take it.

Twenty minutes later, while having tea with the neighbours, we saw her put the letter and card into the skip on their drive.

Neither my Uncle or the card turned up at the hotel and I left Middleham for Norfolk and the funeral on Sunday afternoon – and all was lost.

Or it would have been apart from two friends who stayed for a few days to watch the house.

And by something approaching a miracle, contact was made with my Uncle in a cafe, roughly at the same time as the funeral.  A long conversation was had that showed a very dark and disturbed picture of a frightened man cut adrift from his family with no way of making contact.

It was heartbreaking and a very detailed statement was passed to North Yorkshire Police and Social Services.

And then I did some old fashioned legwork and went back to Frinton, speaking to an Estate Agent who told me that he’d delayed his own sale for 10 months as he called Police and Social Services as he was so concerned about the situation.

I also spoke to the neighbours at his old address who told me a non-stop series of horror stories that were hard to hear as they painted a picture of possible insanity and some real abuse.

I sent a statement to Social Services and then decided to drop out for a few weeks and let the situation move on.

I was sort of successful.

Things that Bounce…

  • Small dogs looking for food
  • Footballs and tennis balls chased by small dogs
  • Cheques

And so it was that I learned of a local tradesman who’d been given a cheque that bounced and from there… I found my Uncle’s bank account details and put a call into their system on a Friday afternoon. I made it clear that I didn’t expect a call back but for them to call Social Services if they had any concerns about the account.

And So

I didn’t expect a call from anybody and actually had to sit down when the bank called me back.

All banks have a customer protection team and I received a call from the head of the UK team who told me that he’d received my call and wanted to just check a few things..

Twenty minutes later, I’d given a full update and when I was asked who I was dealing with in Social Services, I was told ‘that’s the right answer’.

My legs actually wobbled a bit when he told me that he’d been working on my Uncle’s case for over Six Months and I was actually quite emotional for a few seconds as he told me what he could:

The account had seen a level of activity that my new contact had never seen before in a normal, pensioner’s account and he had taken immediate and proactive action.

We chatted for a while and he asked me if I knew what the Cambridge connection was? I didn’t know 100% so could only give a vague answer. He was kind enough to give me his email and mobile number and we wrapped the call up with two questions from me.

‘Does my Uncle have any money left at all?’

‘Yes’

‘Great, is his account frozen?’

‘I can’t answer that but I’d refer you back to my proactive action statement’

I hung up feeling that the system was perhaps working and that maybe the financial aspect was being looked at too.

I left it a week before contacting Social Services, assuming that the bank would let them know.

Incoming! Incoming!

And then, within two hours of each other, I had calls last week with old but very pertinent information and a call from the neighbours that pushed my concern levels back up to redline.

A Voice from the Past

I received a call from the upstairs neighbour of Sharon and her mum – I’d left a business card with the lady with the guide dog that I mentioned in the last update.

He described them as the ‘neighbours from Hell’, with a few choice details that I didn’t know from before – little things like they cooked on a portable hob, placed on boxes in the hallway of the flats. 

He also stated that any attempt to get Sharon to fix things, clear up, etc. was met by her calling the Police on the neighbours saying that she’d been harassed.

It was all very useful and I agreed to take him for a coffee in Frinton when we get closer to resolution.

Rumours from Afar

Within ten minutes of that call, I got another one from a neighbour saying that they’d heard from somebody who’d spoken to somebody that the house had been privately sold to a builder and that they’d be gone in four weeks.

I asked for clarity and for the people involved to call me, then I sent a mail to social services and the bank and waited.

And nothing much happened.

So I went to the source of the rumour.

But first, another call from afar.

A Backward Step

For a few days anyway.

I heard from Social Services, they’d met with my Uncle and Sharon and he had a message that we shouldn’t worry and that he was OK. They met at the bank and I made the point forcefully, a few times; that any conversation with her present didn’t make me feel better.

My contact said that they’re still working on it from all angles, but I didn’t feel better.

At all.

And I couldn’t tell my Dad this..

Conversations with a Profiteer

There are people who do the right thing every time, they do it because they know that it is the right thing and they can’t imagine anything else.

I’ve been so lucky so far, everybody that I’ve talked to are honest, nice people who genuinely want the best outcome.

Then I talked to the source of the rumour.

We talked a few times and he said all the right things, he hates Sharon and seems to genuinely like my Uncle.

He’s been in the house many times and has said that ‘you wouldn’t want a dog to live there’.

As part of establishing my bona-fides, I told him that I’d bought a mobile phone for my Uncle, he confirmed that he’d seen it the day before and that Sharon had asked my Uncle why it was out in the open.

Then the next day, he rang me to say that my Uncle had smashed it to pieces as ‘it was being used as a listening device’.

He then sent me a text asking if I’d knocked on his door on Friday? I told him that I was in Essex and that I didn’t know his address.

And just like that, I stopped talking to him.

As far as I’m aware, only one person in the area would want to know where I was and wouldn’t be able to ask directly.

My new contact is making lots of cash from doing odd jobs for them, all of it receipted and he’s on to a good thing.  So he’s told me a few things and he’s almost certainly told her that I’m talking to the neighbours.

Good.

Hypothetically Speaking

What would somebody do?  If they were:

  • paranoid
  • borderline insane with violent tendencies
  • Used to using the system for their own advantage
  • Convinced that they were being spied on by a distant enemy

A new enemy, one that won’t go away, one that uses the same system, thinks every move through in advance and backstops everything with written and photographic evidence.

They might make a formal complaint that the neighbours were spying on them and that they had a fear, a very real fear that somebody out there named Small Thunderdog wished them harm. That this person might cause them some sort of physical harm or worse.

Hypothetically you might do that.

Imagine how awful it would be if during this, the person that you’ve been controlling for 18 months now turned round repeatedly and said that they weren’t afraid of the Dog and that they had no reason to be. 

Just imagine.

Imagine how that might weaken your own position and make you more vulnerable to greater scrutiny from the system.

I can’t because it’s only hypothetical and I’m not her.

But the thought gives me a great deal of pleasure, she knows that I’ll never stop and that her only hope is to either get a restraining order on me (impossible – I have no contact at all) or to move away (good luck with that one).

The Weekly Letter

To Social Services hasn’t stopped though, I’ve catalogued everything I know and have asked that they investigate the finances properly, investigate her brother more and TALK TO THE NEIGHBOURS, ALL OF THEM, CURRENT AND PAST. 

Maybe I’m in the wrong job.

What’s That’s Light in the Distance?

There’s a ton of stuff that I haven’t and can’t include in here, I’d be breaking some serious confidences and possibly jeopardising a few things.

What I can say is that mid-week I was as low as I’ve been during this saga so far, but a very long, very detailed conversation yesterday has given me hope that this will get resolved.

I’ve updated my Dad with the news that I have and he seems happier again.

Because…….

There’s a huge number of dedicated, hard-working and supportive people within the system and I’ll be drinking to one of two of them tonight. Me, drinking to Da Police, just imagine.. .

 

To Be Continued

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*Yes, I’m still here watching you Sharon, enjoy the next few weeks*