Monday, February 26, 2007

A picture is worth a thousand words - Images of fraud reveal corruption & deceit by lawyers & accountants in the Scottish Borders

It's always good to put a face to a crook - as an old retired Policeman friend of mine says ... and to be sure, a 'big wheel' in the Roxburghshire Bar Association has obliged, by sending me a picture of the infamous Norman Howitt - the accountant who was executor of my late father's estate, and not content with ruining that, he decided to steal my mothers money too.

Norman Howitt, Chartered Accountant, JRW Group Galashiels :

Norman Howitt Welch & Co Accountants Hawuck & Galashiels

To my surprise, a well known Borders lawyer has broken ranks and sent me a big fat file on Norman Howitt and his firm, Welch & Co, Accountants - where there seem to have been a few problems with clients swept under the carpet .. in true tradition Howitt style.

In fact, Howitt seems to have a few sidelines as well as his main business as an Accountant, all the worse for the poor people of the Borders sadly ... where rip off after rip off is the norm. I certainly wouldn't be trusting a man who stole a pensioner's state pension book, bank book & tried to take the rest of her assets, not to mention causing the occasional client to go bankrupt .... and I will show you some of what I mean the following images of fraud, deception and greed ...

You can see why I don't care much for Norman Howitt in this next picture, which is of my mum's pension book, which Norman Howitt stole for himself.

Mrs Cherbi pension book confiscated by Norman Howitt

Bit odd that one, isn't it ? An accountant, stealing an old age pensioner's state income book ? garnishing it for his own custody ? How many accountants keep clients pension books for themselves - and who at the Benefits Agency handed over the pension book in the first place ?

What, pray tell, could Howitt's defence be on that one ? Something like perhaps " Oh, m'lord, I desperately needed an elderly woman's pension book to keep by my bedside ..."

Bit sick, isn't it ? .. and even worse ... some bent official at the Benefits Agency in Galashiels gave Mr Howitt my mum's pension book - no strings attached ! .. then covered up the whole thing when enquiries were made as to what happened to it. Could it be a few palms were greased by Mr Howitt on this one ?

No wonder the lawyer who sent me a batch of files on Mr Howitt's antics for other poor clients, says Howitt is now known to some as "Pension Book Howitt" .. after what he did to my mum. Do you know any accountants, or indeed, other 'so-called' professionals such as lawyers & the like, who confiscate their clients pension books ? Answers in the comments section please.

Norman Howitt's greed didn't stop there though .. oh no ... it got much worse .. just look at these next images of a bank book belonging to my mother ... where, again, Norman Howitt confiscated the Bank book for himself (after setting up the account in the first place) and it was then systematically drained over a few weeks, until my very tearful & upset mum broke down in the house and told me she was being robbed blind by Howitt and a long lost relative, Susan Begley, who was about to go bankrupt & saw my mum as an easy target to con 15,000 plus as much more as she could get - all with the blessing of Norman Howitt.

Bank Book Mrs Cherbi Page 1Bank Book Mrs Cherbi Page 2Bank Book Mrs Cherbi Page 3

It gets worse of course - much worse. Not content with taking my mum's pension book and bank accounts, Norman Howitt decided to take everything she had, and create a secret trust which he would manage himself, and of course, force my mum to pay him for doing so, all done in collaboration with my mother's crooked lawyer Nigel Hall of Haddon & Turnbull Solicitors, Hawick. Here are copies of the secret trust documents which were drawn up by Norman Howitt to keep control of my mum's money for himself .... :

Trust document coverTrust document page 1Trust document page 2

You might be wondering how on earth Norman Howitt was able to do all this, and how my mum appointed him to represent her affairs. Well, as you can see from this next letter, which my mum told me she had to write out from a typed letter which was put in front of her to copy, she was forced by her niece, one Mrs Susan Begley, of Charlesfield, StBoswells, Scottish Borders, & Norman Howitt to write and sign the letter - without a witness or consultation with anyone, appointing Howitt and Welch & Co Accountants - Norman Howitt's company, as her agents. The most important condition of this signing, was, that the whole thing was to be kept secret from me !

dictated letter Mrs Cherbi was forced to sign authorising Norman Howitt as her agent 1991

Now, one might think that's a bit strange, my mum appointing Norman Howitt as her agent .. because Norman Howitt was executor of the estate of my father, who my mum had obtained a divorce from in 1989 .. so how could the executor of my late father's estate also represent my mother, who had a claim on my father's estate ? ... bit of a conflict of interest there one might say ? .. well .. yes .. but as you can see, going back to the terms of the secret trust deed which Norman Howitt set up for his own control - he was obviously hell bent on keeping every single penny of my late father's estate for himself - not allowing me, my mum or anyone to have a claim or secure any inheritance on it .. and my mum was simply used as an excuse to obtain full control over the money & estate for his own ends .. along with of course, the ends of crooked lawyer Andrew Penman, who knew every detail about this extensive con for some time ... We now come to a letter which Norman Howitt, Susan Begley, and my mother's lawyer, Nigel Hall, who saw a great benefit to himself in what Norman Howitt & Begley were proposing, forced my mum to sign, again without consultation to anyone else, and under tight condition of secrecy, instructing that any money my mum receive, be given direct to her con artist relative, Susan Begley.

dictated letter  Mrs Cherbi was forced to sign, sending 15,000 via Norman Howitt to Susan Begley  account 1990

Now, there's a problem with this letter as you can see - a fairly major problem ... THE DATE. If you co back to the handwritten letter my mum was forced to sign appointing Norman Howitt and Welchs Accountants as her agents .. you will see the date on that letter is 30.10.1991 but the typed letter which requires that my mums money be given direct to her con artist niece, Susan Begley (a close friend of Norman Howitt by now) .. has a date of "April 1990" which would make that 17 months earlier. It seems the incompetence of faking files & documents & arranging the secret theft of much of my mum's money grew even more of a strain for Norman Howitt, Susan Begley and crooked lawyer Nigel Hall, because we now come to a letter typed by Nigel Hall, dated 20th February 1992, confirming that the payment of 15,000 had been made to Susan Begley (Mr & Mrs James Begley).

Letter from crooked lawyer Nigel Hall to crooked accountant Norman Howitt

So what he have here folks, is a rather complicated embezzlement of my mum's money, by a crooked accountant, a crooked lawyer, and a long lost niece who was on the verge of bankruptcy .... and each of the players certainly seemed to enjoy their part to the hilt - they certainly profited from it extensively. Norman Howitt, of course, got off with not even a slap on the wrist from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, because as you can see from the investigation of my complaint against crooked Howitt's activities, the Director of Legal Services for ICAS - Tom McMorrow, covered the whole thing up in his response to my complaint.

ICAS whitewash investigation of Norman Howitt page 1ICAS whitewash investigation of Norman Howitt page 2ICAS whitewash investigation of Norman Howitt page 3ICAS whitewash investigation of Norman Howitt page 4Heads of Complaint against Norman Howitt Page 1Heads of Complaint against Norman Howitt Page 2

Funnily enough, there is no mention in McMorrow's investigation of Howitt's stealing of my mum's pension book, bank book & the secret trust .. as well as a few other things, but Tom McMorrow is well used to covering up for crooked accountants, so that's no surprise at all. If you think that's bad ... remember Norman Howitt also filed false reports with Lothian & Borders Police at Wilton Hill, Hawick to try and cover up the fact he had stolen my late father's car and sold it to a friend ... which I wrote about here : Complaining against a lawyer ? You should expect a knock from the Police .. and even worse was to come ....

When my mum died in tragic circumstances, through hospital negligence, Norman Howitt, Andrew Penman, and the Bosses at the Law Society of Scotland thought they had won the lottery

.My mums death - coverage in the Daily Record  June 2000

Norman Howitt was busy celebrating with crooked lawyer Andrew Penman that the death of my mum would take such a toll on me, betting that I would also die, and that would be the end of their problems. They were of course, wrong.

So, Norman James Howitt, Chartered Accountant, is still at large, according to my legal source from the Borders, ripping off clients again ... and has worked his way into a Directorship of the well known Eildon Housing Association in the Borders, and is also a Board member of the Borders College in Galashiels . Norman Howitt is also an official with Scottish Building - where he can be contacted to recommend building companies for work.

You can all see why I don't really care much for Norman Howitt, or these crooked lawyers such as Andrew Penman, Nigel Hall, and the rest. Howitt wanted me dead. He still does, because he hates me publicising this story on what he did and got away with. He lied to the Police, he lied to his own regulatory body, ICAS, he lied to clients, and he lied to everyone who asked him what he had done. He is definitely a dangerous person, a liar, and a thief, and be warned - he will do the same to anyone, as he did to my family, and preying on the elderly, as he did with my poor mum, came very easy to him.

This is all, sadly, just another example of how a fraudster can get away with fraud ... as Norman Howitt certainly seems to done .. but its always good to put a face to a crook, as my old retired Policeman friend says .... and it's good to publish what that crook did .. just incase others fall to the same fate ... and maybe, just maybe, it might work to get rid of the way in which crooked accountants fiddle complaints against other crooked accountants ... as happened here.


Poirot said...

I am at a loss to say what should be done here.

I can only guess at the torment your poor mother was going through here, Peter.

Clearly there was an organised attempt to gain control of both your parents finances, by Howitt, who seems to have been determined that no one except himself get the money.

The letter of appointment for Norman Howitt's firm of "John J Welch and company", is so obviously coerced, and out of synchronisation with earlier letter dated April 1990 that no one at this firm, or many others I know, would have accepted it as a letter of appointment.

The terms of the Trust Deed are somewhat unbelievable. I am amazed Mr Howitt thought he would get away with it once you found out.

You haven't mentioned Mr Penman much, but if I were you Peter, I would be looking at the reason the estate of your late father took so long to administer - and I think the answer to that one lies with Mr Penman either being told to, or, on his own, delaying the winding up process so that Mr Howitt's scheme could be put into action.

Tom McMorrow's letter of 28th January 1998 fails to mention any of this, conveniently for the institute.I'm sure he was well aware of this, as he is supposed to be good at his job, but obviously felt it best kept secret from yourself.

Honestly Peter, I don't see what can be done here now.

Mr Howitt has certainly got away with a very complex and well put together fraud.The Police at Hawick certainly have some explaining to do on this one, where I think all the participants should have been charged with one thing or another.

Lunchtime is up, back to work. I will email you later on.

Anonymous said...

A pack of vultures !

someonewhoreads said...

Regulation of accountants is not a devolved issue therefore the Scottish Parliament can't do anything against ICAS.
However, that doesn't stop ICAS from interfering when it wants to at Holyrood.

I think something should be done about this mob.If the legal profession has to have independent regulation, then accountants and the rest have to follow suit.

As for your Mr Howitt, he should be in jail as others point out.

Anonymous said...

Saw Howitt hanging around the Rugby Club at Melrose.
Now I know hes a crook.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


jt said...

this guy stole from your mom i hope he gets caught

Anonymous said...

Hey Poirot you are full of shit.The guy obviously needs a rope.Fucking mugger.

Father Ted said...

You are always so sure of your information, and what a presentation of it !

Looking forward to hearing more about Welch & Company's clients - I bet they are too.

liz said...

'Pension Book Howitt' must remind the guys about that one in Gala

Keep up the writing Pete and watch that sleazy prick doesnt lie some more to the cops.


Archie said...

Good one Pete, time that robber Howitt was in chains.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 'poirot on the letter your mother allegedly 'wrote' appointing Mr Howitt as her agent.
It reminds me of someone writing with a gun to their head.
He must have been desperate to get his hands on all the money.

Terry said...

When I think of how had your mum and dad worked over the years Peter, just so that this creep Howitt could take it for himself, it makes my blood boil.

Next time your down in Jed, remember & pop in.

Anonymous said...

I hope plenty people are getting a good look at that little bastard Howitt. A real bastard stealing from your mom.

Anonymous said...

What a discgrace the scottish law allows hoods like this to get away with it hes a sicko

Anonymous said...

howitt is another dirty little crook from the borders.the place must be full of them down there
scottish building must be a gang of like minded crooks too for taking him on

Anonymous said...

Amazing story, its a wonder this Howitt guy didn't try to have you killed, or did he ?

I agree with the rest of the comments.This guy and those who helped him should serve time in hell for this

Anonymous said...

Your Mr Howitt has sone very dirty habits.Take a guess at someo of the things he likes ?
Get the News of the World or Sun onto the little shit.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what people will believe. It is so much harder to believe the nonsense posted on this website by a clearly bitter man with nothing better to do than it is to see quite clearly that this case has been dealt with by so many public bodies there is no way any of it can be true. You're all bonkers, in fact why am I even reading this crap. I'd hoped this site might be balanced journalism about a serious issue, instead it's full of non-sensical unsubstantiated bile.

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @8.27pm

Ah, upset over posting Mr Howitt's picture are we ? and all those irrefutable documents proving he is a thief, a liar, and criminal ? .. but your response is typical of those who defend the crooked professionals of our society when faced with the real evidence.

Well, it's a good thing people believe the documentary evidence to this, and see just how much of a cover up was done on Howitt's desperate attempt to keep all the money for himself - even stealing my mum's pension & bank books, faking up accounts, and lying to the Police.

So much for your 'public bodies' ... ICAS covered up the false statements to the Police as well as the documents posted in this article ... doesn't say much for Tom McMorrow, ICAS's Chief Counsel, does it ...but considering his history .. well ...

Howitt & Welch & Co are still crooks, the evidence is there to prove it .. and plenty more to come.


Ha ! I see what you mean now, what a fucking loser defending a fraudster.This rat bastard Howitt should be in the slammer along with all his accomplices.

Public Bodies = cover up merchants, in other words official liars to get their members off the hook.Loser must be a member of one ?

See you back on the Scotsman forum Peter !
Keep rattling these wankers cages for all our sakes.Fucking pension stealing bastard accountants as bad as muggers.

Poirot said...


Oh dear, you seem to have upset some of Mr Howitt's supporters, considering their choice of article for comment.Not surprising, given what you said and the evidence posted, which is very far from unsubstantiated.

I wonder how Mr Howitt would fair in Court if he were charged with fraud against your mother & your father's estate.Ask yourself, would a jury believe the evidence you have ? I believe that would be a "Yes", and obviously many people do, after reading how a qualified Chartered Accountant, with a chequered, untrustworthy history of negligence & bad behaviour, treated an elderly woman & mother of the son of his deceased client.

I see a clear trend of your critics, Peter, which one of your friends at the Scotsman also pointed out - the only line of defence against you is to attack your character or your aims, as the evidence of their actions is indesputable. Attacking a victim is their weakness, as you have demonstrated time & again in your postings, which has even made you friends in the profession - more than you know !

Peter Cherbi said...

#JailHowitt & #Poirot

My sentiments exactly.

Howitt is a crook and should be behind bars for what he did to my mum and my family and I'm not bitter, I'm disgusted that no one did anything about it, when I followed all the procedures I had to, to make a complaint.

All ICAS did was cover up Howitt's crimes as you can see from Tom McMorrow's 'report'.

#Border Bairn

Yes, it's the same guy. I remember he had his small office in that narrow street as you go into Melrose, after he had to leave James Rosie & Co.

I also remember the arguements Howitt had with Jimmy Walker who was the senior partner at James Rosie, and how bad they rated him. Howitt came begging to my dad for business and he foolishly was taken in by him. As you can see, what a disaster that was. Howitt is just a crook, and looks like this was his mission from the very start, to ruin my family.

If you want to post the papers around the Borders, that's fine. There's plenty more if you want to email me.

Archie said...

Just say Howitt did that to the boss of the russian mafia's mum, i bet he wouldnt bother writing letters of complaint!

Good on ya Pete for posting this.Spread it all around mate cause it sounds like howitt is a real nasty piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Archie agreed lets hope this shit steals from the RIGHT person and !!@##??!

Anonymous said...

One of the sickest reports Ive ever read.Howitt should be in jail forever for what he did to your mum.He is a real shit and noone should trust him or his companies with their money.A real shit and a crook.Whats his explanation to the cops for how he took your mums pension/bank books and all that trust thing where he gets all the money himself ?

Anonymous said...

I was amazed to read all of this on Norman Howitt and called a friend to tell him of it.It turns out he knew about this blog and all these papers on what Howitt did to your mother.

I certainly won't be trusting Welchs or Howitt with any of my financial business, or Stormonth Darling in Kelso.

I hope you get some justice over this Mr Cherbi.It's a disgrace that people like Howitt can get around in public life with a veneer of respectability but who at heart are crooks, and as you say, quite evil in what they do to people.

Anonymous said...

What a horrible thing to do to your mum and take her pension !

Why isnt this guy in jail ? Are there no honest Police in the Borders ?

This must be one of the sickest thing ive ever read done to people and they got away with it.There should be justice for y our mum.

Anonymous said...

I spent ages reading this and looking at your Flikr site.

You should get this case reopened or put on television or something.

Howitt and Nigel Hall should be thrown out of their professions.They are a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

This goes on all the time lawyers and accountants ripping off old people but that part about Howitt taking your mothers pension book is just sick.
VERY suspicions about those letters your mother had to sign too.Who would accept that handwritten one except a crook who was trying to cover his tracks.Clearly they were out to rip your mother off from the very start and that Begley woman has a lot to answer for too.

MickeyFlynn said...

Oh the Borders is it ? They are all bloody thieves down there robbing everyone they can so no surprise they robbed your mum too.Great story though,Howitt gets your mums relative to make her sign a paper giving him control over all her stuff then he takes it for himself.Was the £16000 the reward for her efforts and what more did she get ?Who else was paid to cover all this up ?Why didn't the cops get off their backsides and charge them or did they get a handout too ?

Anonymous said...

I think what Howitt did to your mother probably caused her stroke.She must have been under a great deal of pressure from them to sign over all her money to Howitt and his friends.

What about that relative of yours too, did she put thumbscrews on your mum to get her to write that letter ? It looks like the kind of thing a hostage is forced to read in front of the cameras of their kidnappers.

Bloody disgrace and time this was all brought out in the open and sick Howitt thrown in jail where he belongs.

Anonymous said...

I think Im going to be sick after reading this.Mr Howitt certainly deserves a long spell inside as others say.Sorry for your loss Mr Cherbi.Terrible story all round.

Anonymous said...


This man should be in jail for what he did to your mother.As for this DrMcMorrow he should join him in the next cell.Just reading that letter on the complaint shows how these crooks close ranks to protect their own.

Anonymous said...

This odious accountant obviously has the admiration of his colleagues for what he did otherwise he would no longer be practising.How many other crooks is Mr McMorrow shielding ?

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that this Mr Norman Howitt and his company of Welch & Co have merged with James Rosie from Galashiels to form the JRW group. You might want to update your details on them to warn any potential client they could fall victim to Mr Howitt as your mother did. Their website is here

From the JRW site on Mr Howitt :

Norman J. Howitt - Joint Senior Partner
* Extensive commercial experience, giving advice to a wide range of clients. Client portfolio includes charities and also has a special interest in the construction industry. External positions include board membership of Borders College.
* Qualifications: Member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
* Hobbies: Rugby, Golf & Walking

Oh dear, they forgot to include ripping off people in the man's hobbies.

Another picture of this Howitt here -

Regards from Gala !

Anonymous said...

Poetic justice on whats happening to Northern Rock today after Howitt took your mothers money and kept it for himself ?

I wonder why they allowed him to keep an account in your mothers name but registered to his business address.Very fishy.You should get to the bottom of that one Peter.Never heard of that in my life.

Anonymous said...

Clearly this Howitt is a turd and needs sending to jail.The ICAS must have been dishing out the brown envelopes to keep this weasel out of custody.

Anonymous said...

I know those people "Begley" they live in Charlesfield near St Boswells.
Piccie here for your pleasure of them in Portugal on holiday.
Living it up on all that money they stole from your mum?
I wonder what else they've been up to and if they did same to others in the borders?

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 6.53pm

Yes thats them.Amazing find.It was those two who are mentioned here :
and here :

and who bled my mother of her money, after Susan met with Norman Howitt and arranged the whole thing, as you can see from the documents in the article.

Susan had to find someone else to con money out of, as her own mother died in the mid 1970's, allegedly from suicide due to family problems and I suppose that is one of the reasons she turned to target my mum for money.Mr Begley is no angel either - plenty to tell about him.

Thanks for the info whoever you are.

Anonymous said...

uuuh peter I dont know how you got thru that episode of your mom dying like that and how those people used it against you


Peter Cherbi said...

In response to emails and comments on this story, the "Mrs Susan Begley" which appears on the letter addressed as "Crailing", who demanded & received large sums of money from my mother through involvement with Norman Howitt, is the same "Mrs Susan Begley" who resides at Charlesfield, near St Boswells.

A comment on this story identified the following picture as Mrs Begley :
but I am now informed from a comment, the photographs identifying Mr & Mrs Begley, are located here :

I can also confirm that no money was ever paid back to my mother by the Begleys or Norman Howitt and as soon as the Begleys were able to con my mother into handing over the money, they dumped her and never contacted her again after their disgusting con against a vulnerable old lady was discovered. Similarly Norman Howitt tried to cover up his involvement in trying to secure all my mother's assets for his own control.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I have received further information and documents on this case, which are yet to be published. Obviously Mr Nigel Hall, my mother's lawyer at the time, wants to save his own skin, at the expense of Norman Howitt and Susan Begley and he sent me considerable detail on what had transpired. Those documents and more will be released in a further article on this matter, in the hope it will act as a warning to the elderly to beware of people who are really just out to con old folks, like my mother was conned.

Make no mistake, I have had extensive comments on this story mailed to me, and how disgusted people are with what the Begleys did to my mother.

I assume that is only natural, that people are disgusted by how an elderly woman was conned out of tens of thousands of pounds by people out for their own gain and motive, with what appeared to be a plan since April 1990 to take all of my mother's money away for themselves.

However, if there are any threats, intimidation, or anything from the identified people and their friends, who did this to my mum, I will let the tabloids tackle the story, and the Police - and there will be much wider coverage of those involved, many questions to ask and answer, including all of the past, and what happened to Susan's own mother, if that is what people want. I am certainly up for it, and will be handing these documents and more to the newspapers at my discretion.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting story how your mother was fleeced by those people.

You are very newsworthy so if you want to publish this in a newspaper I know just the one to take it.

With any luck it might draw out similar cases as I'm sure this goes on all the time.Good you found out so much detail about it.

Peter Cherbi said...

This article must be upsetting to those who robbed my mum and my family.

Today, an anonymous commenter, clearly a Howitt & Begley supporter, maybe even one of their number, accuses me of all sorts just because I exposed what Mr Howitt Mr Hall and Mrs Begley did to my mum.

Supporters of Howitt & Begley say what they like - but the documents tell the real story - it was all about taking my mums money for themselves and bullying her into giving them it.

It must be upsetting to those who tried to take all my mother's money for themselves to see it laid out in public with all the evidence, which came from my mother's own lawyer Mr Nigel Hall of Haddon & Turnbull Hawick.

Checking out the backgrounds of these people seem to show they have plenty to hide and no wonder they are upset about the publicity. Plenty more to be published yet.

It's a pity the Police didn't do more on this at the time, but as you all know, my mother's lawyer withheld the documents until after her death ... probably because his firm was doing a lot of business with Mr Howitt's firm, and of course Mr Hall didn't want to be caught up in a case where he himself allowed much of my mother's money to be taken by an exploiting relative. Mr Howitt of course, did go to the Police to try and cover up the fact he stuffed the money for my dad's car into his company's bank accounts, while selling it to a personal friend ... The Police didn't fall for that one though but that case and falise report by Mr Howitt to try and cover his tracks is a matter of record.

How sad Mrs Begley Mr Howitt and Mr Hall left my mum in a state of despair and depression after doing this to her, while everyone just sat back and tried to cover it up. I will always remember my mum talking about how Mrs Begley's own mum, May Young, was locked up in Queen Mary's Buildings in a small flat, driven to depression and eventual suicide over the way she was treated by her own family. My mum always said she felt they were trying to do the same to her, taking her money and hoping she would die.

There might not be much I can do about it now sadly, but at least people can learn from what happened, and clearly see from the documents what was a disgraceful attempt to take everything my mum had.

Peter Cherbi said...

Here's a couple of examples to compare how people go about preying on others to take their money ... clearly Howitt & Begley were following a trend, or even started one themselves ...

Detective ‘helped himself to widow’s assets’

Last Updated: 11:56pm GMT 02/01/2008

A police detective who befriended an elderly widow bought her home at a reduced price and plundered her assets, a court has heard.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Salkeld, of Sussex Police, was granted power of attorney over Eileen Savage’s finances. He bought her house, which was worth £105,000, in May 1997 for £55,000.

The house was sold two years later for £157,200, Maidstone Crown Court heard. David Walbank, prosecuting, said the Crown was not suggesting that Mrs Savage, now aged 93 and living in a care home in Hove, East Sussex, was mentally incapable at the time.

He told the jury: “She may not have understood the extent to which the price he paid represented an undervalue.

“What is clear, however, is that she was at that time deceived as to the defendant’s true intentions in relation to her and her finances.

“If she had known that within a few years she would be penniless and all but abandoned, it is inconceivable that she would have transferred her home in that way.”

Mr Walbank said that Salkeld stripped Mrs Savage’s assets between May 1997 when he was handed power of attorney over her assets at the Portman Building Society and January 2001.

Mr Walbank added: “By January 2001, her capital assets had been largely depleted.

“She no longer owned a property. The credit balance left in her Portman Building Society account had been transferred to her HSBC account.

“And the HSBC account had a small cash reserve of just over £11,000. But the defendant did not stop there.”

Salkeld is alleged to have used Mrs Savage’s HSBC bank card and PIN to make five cash withdrawals in March and April 2001 totalling £600.

The withdrawals continued right up until Salkeld’s arrest in January 2006, the last being seven days before his arrest, Mr Walbank said.

It was also alleged that in August 2001 Salkeld duped Brighton and Hove City Council into paying Mrs Savage’s care costs by claiming that she had not owned a property for the last 15 years, despite having sold it himself.

“He acted for his own selfish reasons, trying to avoid Mrs Savage’s capital assets from being depleted in paying for her care, but instead remained available for him to plunder.”

The court also heard that Salkeld allegedly used the police force’s company credit card to buy goods for his own use. He is also accused of deceiving his employer by claiming a grant from the Sussex Police Welfare Fund for £1,100 to buy caravanning equipment.

Salkeld, of Shoreham, West Sussex, denies 19 charges of theft, obtaining property by deception and obtaining a money transfer by deception between May 1997 and September 2005.

The case continues.

Remarkably common as I say - here’s another article from the Daily Record this time … details very similar yet again ….–pound-1-million&method=full&objectid=18521281&siteid=66633-name_page.html


Jan 24 2007 Exclusive by Karen Bale

Catherine, 85, lets him control her fortune

A FRAIL widow with dementia signed over control of her £1million fortune to her priest.

Catherine MacNeil, 85, gave a £120,000 house to Father Mustaq Azad, and he took control of the affairs of her disabled son.

Fr Azad flew to his native Pakistan after police were called in to investigate the affair. His superiors in the Catholic Church had told him repeatedly to give up his involvement in Catherine’s finances.

Catherine’s angry niece, Morag O’Halloran, 45, of Irvine, Ayrshire, said last night: “This has been an absolute disgrace. A priest is in a position of trust.

“Anybody knows an 85-year-old with dementia is not in the frame of mind to make huge decisions, like handing over her home and rights to a man she hardly knows.

“My aunt signed her life over to him. And until the authorities got involved, he had control of her finances, around £1million.”

Catherine, of Campbeltown, Argyll, was a regular worshipper at Fr Azad’s church, St Kieran’s, in the town.

She spent much of her spare time there, helping at bake sales and organising events.

Catherine met Fr Azad three years ago, when he took over the parish after arriving in Scotland as a missionary from Pakistan.

The pair became friends and he began to visit her frequently at home.

Catherine had a massive stroke in February 2004 and dementia set in soon after.

Morag said: “It was tragic. She has never been the same.

“She had always been fiercely independent. She had been a district nurse and she dedicated her life to looking after her son.”

Social services began helping to look after Catherine and her son Ian, 49, who has a rare genetic disorder which causes learning difficulties.

Then, in March 2005, Catherine gave Fr Azad power of attorney to handle her financial affairs. Seven months later, the priest took on the same responsibility for Ian.

Fr Azad did not tell Morag about his role in her aunt and cousin’s lives.

Catherine gifted the priest her second home, a £120,000 cottage on the Hebridean island of Barra. And six weeks later, according to Morag, he put the house up for sale.

Morag said: “It has remained on the market for more than a year because the people of Barra are aware of the situation. Nobody wants to hand over cash for the house.”

Catherine is now back in hospital after suffering a second stroke. And Morag claimed that Ian, who needs constant care, was left to “fend for himself” as his mum’s condition worsened.

She said: “We discovered he’d been left without his medication for 10 days and had been cooking himself fish fingers every night in the deep fat fryer.

“He was terribly frightened and in an awful state. He phoned and told me his house was going to be taken away and that he would be homeless.

“Then we found a letter from the council saying Ian was on a list for housing.

“Catherine has enough savings for her and Ian to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. There’s no mortgage on the house in Campbeltown and no reason for Ian to be given council housing.

“We’ve now taken Ian to live with us. We will fight tooth and nail to protect him and his interests.”

In October 2006, social workers told Catherine’s family she needed to be moved to a nursing home.

Morag wanted to place her in a home in Saltcoats, a few miles from Irvine, so she and Ian could visit her.

But as she tried to make the arrangements, she found out that Fr Azad had power of attorney.

Morag said: “We were absolutely shocked. Fr Azad never mentioned it. He had kept us in the dark. We couldn’t believe my aunt would have given him control of her life. She hardly really knew him.

“We spoke to Ian, who said he had found cheque books that belonged to his mum with Fr Azad’s name on.

“He had been suspicious and hidden them, although he was too frightened to say anything.”

Fr Azad refused Morag’s request to move Catherine to Saltcoats.

He also failed to hand over the old lady’s financial records and legal documents to social services. In a bid to force the priest to co-operate, social workers called in police.

A police investigation began. And at a meeting on December 29, Fr Azad offered to resign his power of attorney over Catherine’s affairs.

The Bishop of Argyll, Ian Murray, also intervened, demanding that Fr Azad hand over responsibility to Catherine’s family.

Fr Azad was traced in Pakistan, where he is on leave, on Monday of this week. He agreed to hand over his power of attorney for Catherine, and Mora g immediately began moves to have the old lady placed in Saltcoats.

Morag said: “It is unbelievable that social services were forced to call the police to make a priest help an old woman.

“It is beyond belief. Who knows what he was thinking? She is a very wealthy woman and he knows it.”

She added: “Catherine will be given 24-hour care and is in safe hands. In the hospital she has fallen so many times and doesn’t have the care she needs. They don’t have the staff and they need the bed back.

“We are delighted Catherine will now be in a home where she can see Ian every day. She was pining for him.”

Catherine’s family now plan to force the priest to hand over his power of attorney for Ian.

Morag said: “Ian has a lawyer to fight his case for him.”

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said last night: “We do not condone Fr Azad’s actions. He was told repeatedly that he should give up and hand over the power of attorney.”

A church source added: “Fr Azad was advised from the start not to accept the power of attorney or ownership of the house.

“He was told repeatedly to hand the post back. The Bishop last told him at the beginning of January and expected it to be done immediately.

“It’s a very remote parish and nobody was aware of everything that was going on.”

Robert Hynd, a lawyer acting for Catherine’s relatives, said: “We have finally received documents from Fr Azad and he has agreed to hand over the power of attorney to Catherine’s family and allow her to be moved to a nursing home.”

James McEwan, of the law firm representing Fr Azad, said: “Mrs MacNeil gave the house in Barra to him as a gift. I know she took financial advice.

“She asked Fr Azad to take on power of attorney in case he required assistance to speak on her behalf. He has now handed back power of attorney.”

Police said: “Inquiries were carried out but this is not a criminal matter.” Argyll and Bute Council refused to comment.

‘This has been an absolute disgrace. A priest is in a position of trust. My aunt signed her life over’

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the cops cant do anything for you after reading that story about the priest.

so if people are bothering you Peter they should start getting bothered too

can track anyone down these days and plenty of people are reading this now its on the web

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 7.01pm

No and I don't think theres much of a will on their part to do anything either.

Just try reporting a bent accountant or a crooked lawyer to the Crown Office or Police and see how far you get ...

Anyway, to those who commented today after my earlier comments on the anonymous poster, I cant publish your comments even though they are in support of me.

If someone feels strongly enough about something to do something, don't tell me about it and don't bother emailing me either because I don't want to know.

Stick to the evidence and the documents folks - learn from it and don't let it happen to your nearest & dearest. If I and the rest of my mum's family had known about it at the time, we would have done something about it to stop all the money draining away - I can assure you all of that.

Since everything has been said on this article which could be said, it is now closed for comment.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm I remember Susan Begley (real name Young) in Jedburgh.She was a lonely crazy girl who was always worried she would suffer the same problems as what happened to her mother who was found dead in the river.Looks like she treated her aunt the same who died too.

Anyone remember how they got 168 Bongate ? It used to belong to May's old mother but Susan's dad threw her out and then threw May out after Susan'e wee brother Bertie died of meningitis.Hes buried in the cemetery next to the castle jail in Jed.God so many secrets to tell about all that and plenty folk believed May didn't kill herself too even some of the cops at the time thought something was up because it was left to Mays mum and sisters to report her missing.No one else did according to the cops own records.

Anonymous said...

scunnered to read all this susan and howitt and the whole bloody lot should be in jail for what they did to your mum

Anonymous said...

to the poster above

Fred & Alice used to have 168 Bongate until May got married to Robert Young
My parents used to live near to them and they were lovely people
Fred took a stroke and died at his house.Alice lived on there with the family and stayed there as all the daughters got married
Alice had to leave her own house because Robert Young hated her guts and then he took it in the divorce (must be the first time a husband gets the house ever) and May died after a suicide
Susan lived there with her dad for years and never spoke to anyone in Jed or her mums family
Nasty stuff but may as well tell the whole lot I suppose
What she did to your mum was just terrible but maybe just the same as her dad did to her mum
Maybe she just hated her mums family so much she wants to destroy you all

Anonymous said...

They are robbers the lot of them.Even a child can see it.
Name them and shame them all and let everyone know what they did !


Anonymous said...

fascinating story so I thought I'd check it out for myself

Susan's mum did kill herself after an unhappy marriage to her dad - she is buried in the Castlegate Cemetery.Susan's brother Bertie who died a small kid is also buried near his mum.The house at 168 Bongate was a council house but May's family had it first.Susan's dad definitely did get it and threw Susan's mum out on the street along with Susan's granny who was also a widow.Susan did take the money from Mrs Cherbi - someone I wont name told me the whole story and all the crap her and Jim Begley were spreading to cover what they did to her but until Peter's mum got her money,Susan had nothing to do with her so it was only for the money.Howitt is a shit.He was Peter's dad's accountant and tried to change his dad's will at the last minute to cut everyone out of it.One of the cops who attended the house when Peter's dad died says so and a girl who used to work as a secretary at a lawyers remembers Howitt flashing a list of notes to change the will he made himself.Howitt was after the money too.This is all about money and Susan telling a lot of lies to get it. If you dont believe me go up to the bloody cemetery and see for yourselfs and ask why Susans mum had to kill herself - because she had a shit family of a husband and daughter thats why and they didn't give a damn about her after they took the house.Poor Peter having to fight these cunts and get hounded by them just so they could cover up what they did to his mum. Their mistake was not telling the people they lied to how they were stealing Peters mums money.Now those people see these papers and realise they were after the money all along.

Anonymous said...

really disgusting to read this story after all Susan has said around the borders about you just to cover this up
Norman howitt is an accountant and said very bad things about you too and all this but he didnt tell anyone about what he wanted to do wiuth your mums money and how susan was getting it all for herself
You should report it all to the police for what they did to your mum and how they hounded you all this time with their lies and let it all out for everyone to see and tell what happened to her own family and all the secrets they must have too they dont want coming out

Anonymous said...

1 of Susan's ex friends told the lot to my wife about this.She said she was almost about to phone the cops at the time because she thought Susan was holding your mum hostage until she signed those letters to give her all her money.If I had known about it I would have called them myself.Poor old Barbara going through all this over Susan wanting all her money.SICK oh and all that stuff about them i saw is true because my own mother remembers what happened to May.Drag it all up and shame them after what she has all said about you.Plenty dont like Susan over this and other stuff she did so you got plenty support

Anonymous said...

A very wicked thing which was done to your mother and by her own niece !

It is your duty to give this scandal a voice because it will happen to so many but so many will be afraid to say anything about it and just suffer in silence.
Good luck and spread the word.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting little creep this accountant and your mothers relatives should be charged over what happened.They all set out to coerce her into handing over the money and I have never ever seen anyone hand over 16 grand as a gift in my life.

Anonymous said...

Ghastly to say the least.Mr Howitt and his kind should be in jail to protect the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I posted this comment on your latest posting of today (November 19th 2008) which seems to show Mr Howitt received a much more soft touch than Mr Macphail:

Disciplinary action re Gordon A Macphail CA

Mr Gordon A Macphail CA, has admitted liability to disciplinary action in respect of the following:-

That he is guilty of professional misconduct in terms of Rule 58(1)(a) of the Institute’s Rules in respect of his handling of the estate following the death of a client in November 2005 for whom he acted as Financial Guardian. The Committee has issued a reprimand to Mr Macphail in terms of Rule 67(2)(b), which he has accepted, relating to a number of departures from the standards expected of a Financial Guardian and, in particular, his failure to seek the early discharge of his position as Financial Guardian from the Office of the Public Guardian; and to co-operate with the Executor of the late client to ensure the timely and proper administration of the estate.

In terms of Rule 67(2)(b) of the Institute, the Investigation and Professional Conduct Enforcement Committee have also ordered Mr Macphail to pay a financial penalty to the Institute.

Anonymous said...

Good to know who a re the robbers sorry for your mum to be trapped by all those

Anonymous said...

it must have taken real guts to do what you did to try and save your mom

good luck kid

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ !

Why were this lot not arrested and jailed ?

This is a bloody disgrace what they did to your mum.

Should also be an ivestigation into icas

Anonymous said...

similar story here so I'd say the Proceeds of Crime act should be used against your mothers relatives, the lawyer and Howitt :

Advice bureau theft couple jailed

A couple have each been jailed for six years after being found guilty of stealing around £575,000 from a Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) office.

Dale and Sally Foster, from Swansea, were accused of stealing from the branch in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.

They were convicted of eight charges of theft and Mrs Foster was found guilty of false accounting.

Judge Gerald Price QC said: "The brazen nature of your offending is startling, devious and dishonest in the extreme."

The CAB after the verdicts called it "despicable betrayal of trust".

It was revealed after the verdicts that Dale Foster had convictions for fraud and embezzlement.

He and his wife had access to funding after their small office won a Wales-wide CAB contract.

Sally Foster, 51, and her husband, 65, were yesterday cleared of two charges of theft at Swansea Crown Court.

The Fosters abused their position to mount a calculated and systematic campaign of fraud and deception that deprived some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people
CAB chief executive David Harker

Charity couple's champagne lifestyle

Dale Foster was also cleared of five charges of false accounting.

They were convicted of eight charges of theft yesterday and the jury returned the rest of their verdicts after further deliberations on Friday morning.

The couple were accused of stealing the money to fund a champagne lifestyle of luxury breaks and shopping trips to Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

A no expenses-spared ski holiday to the Canadian resort of Whistler, costing £17,000, came during a three-month spending spree at the end of 2003 when the couple went through £56,000, without including the skiing holiday.

Judge Price asked Sally Foster's barrister, Rupert Mayo, if any of the money could be recovered. He replied, "No, it's all gone."

The judge said a police investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act would settle the matter.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

shocking stuff and yet Tom McMorrow carefully left out all those details from his 'investigation'

Just goes to show accountants are absolutely as corrupt as lawyers and probably more so.

Hope you get some justice against these thugs

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

These people are despicable.Make sure everyone knows what they look like in case they do the same to someone else.Despicable.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

wow this is really disgusting and why did the police not do something about him ?

Anonymous said...

nasty piece of work robber Howitt should be in jail

Anonymous said...

Yes what a crook and nothing done about him!
Who does he have in his back pocket I wonder?

Anonymous said...

dunno what to say about this except jail isnt enough for what these people did to your mum :(

Anonymous said...

Actually reads as a horrific experience for you and your mother I am really shocked about this don't know what else to say