In the Hands of the Freemasons - Mrs. Riley's TaleCarol Riley is confined to a wheelchair following a car accident. Mandy Malone, her 26 year old daughter, is similarly confined suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis. Carol Riley's parents are in their seventies. They have lost their house in the London Borough of Greenwich as a result of the vindictive manipulations of Leslie Oldman, Assistant Borough Solicitor (the term "Solicitor" is of some importance, as we shall see later) and, in looking for a legal remedy, they have been left in the lurch by a succession of cynical Masonic lawyers.
The Riley family purchased a house perfectly legitimately from the London Borough of Greenwich under the Tory "Right to Buy" legislation. The family secured a mortgage from Kent Reliance Building Society to both purchase the property and raise sufficient funds for its renovation, engaged the services of a solicitor known as Hudgell and Company and, having assumed that all the legal work had been satisfactorily completed, let the house to tenants and moved to Lincolnshire. Much to their surprise, the Rileys found that a small sum of ground rent had not been handed over by Hudgells to Greenwich - the exact amount was £20.66. Oldman, then titled Assistant Borough Solicitor, claimed that the sale was invalid. To the horror of the Riley family, he had the tenants evicted and Greenwich reposessed the property.
Enter the Freemasons
The Rileys then set out on a nightmare trip through the legal system. They engaged solicitor after solicitor in Lincolnshire to seek redress. Every one at first greeted them with smiles and every one then dropped the action or acted in an obviously dilatory, or even obstructive, manner.
Mystified, suspicious and angry, the Rileys eventually acquired a copy of the Lincolnshire Freemasons' Handbook for 1988-9. Every solicitor engaged by the Rileys is named in it.
Sixteen box files
At every stage the Riley family was blocked by solicitors supposedly on their side. Sixteen box files full of documents accumulated over nearly three years tell the story of a whole family deprived of their rightful ownership of a modest house in Woolwich.
Solicitor struck off
Mandy Malone wrote to the law society in an attempt to identify what lay behind this vindictive and perverse series of events. She discovered that Leslie Oldman, the so-called Assistant Borough Solicitor, had been struck off for fraud ten years earlier.
No. 4364/1979.3194 FINDINGS AND ORDER of the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal ... in the matter of Leslie Oldman ... been guilty of conduct unbefitting a solicitor in that
(a) He utilised money held ... for his own purposes ...
(b) In respect of a bankers' draft of £19,366.20 forged an endorsement ...
Despite this, and having served two years in prison, Mr. Oldman was employed by the London Borough of Greenwich soon afterwards. Satish Rai, then Labour Councillor for Glyndon Ward, wrote to the leader of the council, Len Duvall, in November 1993 to ask how it was that an ex-convict was employed as Assistant Borough Solicitor despite having been struck off. He demanded to know how Oldam had been appointed and whether this convicted fraudster was being monitored. He linked these questions with others concerning corruption and nepotism in the Borough. Councillor Rai never received a reply.
Michael Mansfield QC to the rescue
Michael Mansfield QC was asked to give advice. He indicated that the Riley family has a sound case and that he would be prepared to act for them should that be agreed by Legal Aid.
The case is now immensely complicated. The Riley family is now suing, simultaneously:
The London Borough of Greenwich;
Hudgell and Partners, Bridge McFarland, John Smith, Green D'sa - all firms of solicitors;
John Cartwright - former Social Democratic Party MP;
Roger Cox - a Circuit Judge;
John Adams - the Chief Clerk of Woolwich County Court;
Peter Challis - Chairman of Greenwich housing.
"You're a little s**t"
A reporter from "Scallywag" magazine contacted Leslie Oldman by telephone. When he said he was from a magazine, Mr. Oldman said immediately, "Oh, I suppose you are calling because of the Riley-Malone family". At first he agreed to meet the reporter in fromt of a witness. The reporter told him he could choose any witness he wished. However, Mr. Oldman and the reporter got into an argument and Mr. Oldman withdrew his offer of a meeting, saying he did not care what was said of him as he was due to retire soon and would take whatever recourse in law was open to him if the reporter wrote about him. The reporter asked him if he was or had been a Freemason. He denied that he was. The reporter also asked him when he had stopped using the title "Solicitor". He said he could not remember. Under pressure, he said, "About a year ago. I can't remember. I haven't got the papers in front of me."
Of course, he remembered only too well. He had used the title for ten years despite having been struck off. When the reporter pressed him further, he responded, "You're a little s**t", and slammed down the telephone.
Perhaps Mr. Oldman had picked up bad manners during his time in H.M. Prisons.
The Law Society catches up, but a little late in the day
Dear Miss Malone,
I write to confirm that I have written to Leslie Oldman regarding his use of the title, "Assistant Borough Solicitor" which is used in his employment ... Leslie Oldman has agreed he will not use the title in future ... should instances come to light and if in the likely event Leslie Oldman uses the title "Assistant Borough Solicitor" again without being on the Roll of Solicitors I will certainly investigate the matter again.
Dale O'Callaghan (Miss)
The Law Society
23 September 1993.
Hudgell, Jepson, Hart and Oldman
It is easy to establish a sinister connection between Oldman and the Solicitors who failed the Rileys, deliberately or otherwise.
The original firm of solicitors which acted for the Riley family was Hudgell and Partners, which has an office in Woolwich. Gerard Nicholas Worden Hart, a partner in the firm, failed to pay over the disputed £20.66. This solicitor and the firm acted negligently and are being sued by the Rileys. Anthony Jepson, another solicitor at Hudgell and Partners, is a former colleague of Mr. Oldman's at Greenwich.
At this stage it is not possible to prove a Masonic connection. However, the facts that the Rileys have a cast-iron case, that they are denied justice, and that every solicitor they have approached in Lincolnshire is listed in the Lincolnshire Freemasons Handbook for 1988-9 are indicative of a Masonic conspiracy. It is well known that the Police and the Judiciary are dominated by Freemasons. Part of their creed is that one brother does not act against another.
The Pearly King
There is also evidence of a connection between the London Borough of Greenwich and Danny Dalton, a speculator suspected of fraud a few years ago.
In 1989, Dalton employed an agent to offer a large number of council tenants £15,000 to assist them to purchase their properties under the "Right to Buy" legislation. The tenants paid rent to Mr.Dalton while he supposedly arranged mortgages for them. Instead of gaining ownership, the tenants were asked to leave their properties.
One person who became involved was the Pearly King of St. Pancras, Alf Dole. He visited Mr. Dalton's office in his large house on Shooters Hill. He was then issued with an eviction order and had his front door broken down by the Police. Mr. Dole, too, is now fighting for his rights. At one stage he had asked Mr. Dalton how he went about organising the right to buy arrangements and was told, "It's not what you know, but who you know." Who did Mr. Dalton know in the offices of the London Borough of Greenwich?
The Borough Solicitor, David Atkinson, was unavailable for comment. He was said to be on holiday. Press Officer Julian Scholar at first denied any knowledge of Danny Dalton, but then admitted he had heard of him vaguely. Subsequently he said that no member of Greenwich Borough Council had any connection or correspondence with Danny Dalton. He then admitted there had been a Police investigation into Mr. Dalton's dealings with the council. He refused to pass on the name of the investigating officer. Nor were the Police particularly co-operative. They said it would be too difficult to look back through the files.
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