History of events, part 2

OK, so let’s have another go at what happened next without naming names, dates and any other facts!  To do this, I have to refer back to the emails I sent at the time and I have to say this is a dreadful and depressing thing for me to do.  Is it cathartic?  No.

My emails tell me that at the time I was in a state of denial.  I couldn’t take anything in.  Immediately husband spiralled into a suicidal state of depression.  I was in communication with his company, in hindsight stupidly, telling them what was going on at home.  I thought we were talking about a much, much smaller amount of money.  I thought they’d ask us to pay it back, sack husband and that would be the end of it.  Husband wasn’t sleeping and it was unnerving to wake and find him not there – any worrying too.  I was terrified he’d go off and do something stupid and took to hiding the pain killers and knives.  Because our internet was provided by the office, we were asked not to use it.  I dutifully obliged and resorted to using a VODAFONE DONGLE – useless (for this I will name a name!)

We visited our GP and she prescribed sleeping pills as husband hadn’t slept since the event, she warned they were addictive and would only give him a weeks’ worth – finally he got a couple of hours sleep.   With the prospect of no income in sight, we went on-line and cancelled a lot of what had suddenly become unnecessary direct debits – pet insurance, music subscription, insurances – anything we thought we could do without.  Including the maintenance husband still paid to his ex-wife (even though the children were in their 20’s!).   We eventually went to the Samaritans after I found he gone looking for his sleeping pills (I had hidden them).

After a few days Husband was asked to return stuff to the office and to attend a meeting.  He couldn’t even drive, so I had to go with him.  Details of our bank were requested and I kindly provided that…….   The meeting was brutal.  Husband was in a state of shock, I admitted his guilt for him.  Forensic Accountants led the meeting.  They told me to find a solicitor – what for thought I……

Then, just a week after the start of this, we discovered, quite by accident when attempting to log onto our bank account, that this had been suspended.  They had applied, and gained, an asset freezing order.

Now I really do feel ill again and am stopping.

Waiting, hoping, waiting for news

I’m a bit concerned.  Husband’s application for legal aid submitted via our solicitor was returned because of insufficient evidence. Hmm.  I am concerned that the form was not checked adequately before it was submitted.  I am concerned that for some reason he might not get the legal aid.  Just as I think we are so close to having someone to help steer us through the legal mire, that we’ve previously navigated on our own, that hope is beginning to fade.  I have been told I am panicking – based on our joint incomes and savings (hahah what savings) we must be eligible.  But the wait is agony.

Husband’s qualifications body is itching to crack on with the case and pass judgement before the court case.  Again, forms have been handed to his solicitors – but have they been dealt with?  Who knows.

And as a final insult, we received a letter from our bank.  Now this is a good one.  This is our joint account.  It was frozen along with all our assets when “all the evil” kicked off.  It remains frozen.  It had money in it.  It is now overdrawn by a couple of thousand pounds.  We have not received any bank statements since the freezing (this is what happens to you when stuff gets frozen).  We have had no control over our account, direct debits were suspended and we had to cope with sorting out alternative ways of paying utility bills, insurances etc from my personal account that until we signed on had about £34.00 in it.  So how, I hear you ask, can we have run up a debt of a couple of thousand pounds?  And where has our money gone?   Of course, we have called the bank and have been advised that their “legal department” will get back to us.  That was last week.  Have they returned the call?  Now what do you think?

My offer to take over a business has been rejected, well, not rejected, but I have been asked to relook at how much I can afford and come up with a revised (upwards) figure.  I can increase my offer….. but I need to get a loan.  Ha ha ha.  I am not on the books yet, so will need to give the bank three years worth of self employed accounts.  I’m still laughing.  I’ve only been employed since last year.  Husband advises that all is not lost and not to give up at the first hurdle.  I both want and need this business to give us both some kind of life after all this crap has passed.

Do I sound down in the dumps today?  Well, I am!  But in the words of Scarlett O’Hara….. “tomorrow is another day”.

Friday: a take-over bid and meeting with an “ex-con”

In view of my husband’s destiny, we decided it would be good to meet up with someone who had been through a similar experience to us and had come through the other side changed, but unscathed.  Unfortunately, this person’s marriage had not survived, unlike our own which has gone from strength to strength.  The one thing that was not taken from us was our enduring love for each other (sorry for the sentimentality).

It was an interesting day commencing bright an early with my current boss – I’ve only been working for this very small company since “all the evil” (that’s a matter of months) but I have it in my head that I could run part of the business more successfully and with a tighter range on expenses.  My boss is at her wit’s end with part of the business I enjoy working on, so given my husband’s financial skills, we have put in an offer to take over the bulk of the company.  To my mind, this is the best idea ever, meaning that whatever happens to Husband, he will always have a job to come back to (even if I won’t pay him!).  It means I would have a secure job, could take time out to attend court without having to beg for time off and whilst alone for what might be some time can while away the evenings working on my business.  So we will have to wait and see.  Not much money will pass hands, seeing as (a) we don’t have much money and (b) the company is currently making a loss.  We might know the outcome of our offer in about a week.

With regards to the afternoon meeting, this again was very interesting and instructional.  I now know what husband must take with him on the last day of the court hearing, before he is sentenced – a small overnight bag is appropriate!  Something I wondered about but could not believe you actually took one with you.  We learned how Husband should behave whilst serving his time – keep a low profile and accept any jobs that may be on offer.  Luckily, from somewhere (and for the life of me I don’t know where) we have this survival attitude.  He knows it is something that must improve his future and will use his time inside to become a more rounded individual.  As for me…. I’ll just work, work, work oh and work.  The ex-con we met is pretty high profile and it was good to know how he handled the publicity and the tag of “ex-offender” once released.  And he made a strange, but true, comment that nowadays it’s not so unusual to meet/know someone who has been inside.  I suppose it’s become as acceptable as divorce!  I remember when my parent’s marriage ended, we were a novelty item at school, so here I am again, in the same position i.e., living with a novelty!

Pre Hearing

So this has now taken place at local magistrate’s court.  Unfortunately, husband was rather sick the night before – not through nerves, he is quite resigned about events – unfortunately, we found out the night before his first court case that he is allergic to Quorn!  Not nice.  So he was a bit exhausted in the morning but went off, on his own.  The first hearing takes place at the magistrate’s court because due to the complexity of the case, it has to be referred to the county court.  Thankfully, now that this matter is “criminal” we have access to legal advice.  We visited the lawyer who will be working for us the other day and it was such a relief to have help and advice in this matter.  Just to know what to expect, where to go, what to say.  The basics of criminal justice you could say.  Legal Aid has been applied for and we must wait to see if we are accepted.  We have (as I’ve previously said) no money to pay lawyers and have already shelved out at the insistence of “the other side”  £25,000 on one particular legal matter only to be told that the work produced was worthless and a waste of time.  (and our money).  At the High Court, legal fees to the tune of  £40,000 was considered by the judge “reasonable” and this was just for initial work by the other side.  Really, the only people who have benefited from this sorry tale are lawyers.

Anyway, I digress.  Husband went to magistrates court, was met by solicitor acting on our behalf, even though legal aid has not yet come through, and he did not (on advice of solicitor) enter a plea.  This comes later apparently.

He is also being hounded by his professional body and they are accusing him of being “unhelpful” even though given that this is a criminal matter, it is not possible for him to give a statement to the professional body.  Anything he does say will go back to “the other side” so he is again hamstrung.  Our solicitor has now taken this piece of correspondence so that is another thing off our mind.

And now we must wait for about 6 weeks for the matter to be referred to the county court.  But I will fill in the gaps as and when I can.

History of events, part 1

I don’t know how much I’ll be able to get through as these details are still extremely painful to recall.  Some bits I have even tried to block out completely.  But here goes.

As I’ve already referred to, a normal day for me at home, in the spring time, I didn’t work at the time, call me a housewife if you like.  Suddenly, strangely, husband arrived home in the early afternoon.  We went into the dining room because he said he had something to tell me.  He had been called in by the owner of the company to discuss a matter that had been brewing for a while, that of – what can I say without giving away details…. Oh, I know, Loyalty Rewards.  Some LR’s had been accumulating and although husband’s assistant at work had tried to get other staff/owners to use these LR’s so that they did not expire, the LR’s were building up.  It was suggested (not by my husband) that these LR’s were used so that they did not pass their sell by date.  Husband’s assistant and husband both used these LR’s without the knowledge of company owner (error number one) for private means.  This fact had come to the attention of owner/director, husband was suspended from work.  However, when he came home to tell me of this fact, he revealed that the company were going to conduct an audit and would then find funds had gone missing from company.  Husband, for reasons at the time known only to himself, had been “dipping his hand in the till”.  I’ll tell you why and how at another point.  But these details have already made me feel depressed, sad and sick so I’ll have to stop just now.

Pre First Hearing

Husband due in local court tomorrow.  He doesn’t want me with him, wants to see this through on his own.  I must admit to feeling sick to the pit of my stomach.  Plus am having bad dreams at night whereupon “the other side” turn up in force and we are on our own again.  At least this time we will have a solicitor who (if and when the Legal Aid comes through) will be acting for us.  Last time we went to court – for the Asset Freezing part of things – it was just us two and about eight of them (lawyers, the aggrieved party and their staff).   It does help to have someone who knows where to go and what to say.  And of course, at that last hearing we were both very much in a state of shock not knowing what the hell was going on or going to happen.  Time passes and we are a little wiser.

I suppose what I should do is put down the history of this tale every time I add stuff that is happening now.  That may be cathartic to remember what was going on just this time last year.

Anyway, news on tomorrow’s events later.

Otto’s Mummy’s life takes a different turn

I have to be careful here, I don’t want to get into any legal trouble, so I will try to omit names, dates and geographical details, but here’s the sorry story so far.

It all kicked off last year.  Husband came home with some drastic news about his work.  Since then I have gone from a lovely big home into a much, much smaller home, had to re-start my career and care for a husband blasted by what he did and the consequences of his actions. 

So that’s all I’ll say about the past.  At the moment.  But now I’ll move forward.

We met for the first time with a solicitor now acting on our – his – behalf.  Before this time, and we are talking over a year, husband has been without proper legal representation, Civil Legal Aid being a thing most difficult to obtain.  This has caused us no end of problems in trying to deal with particularly vicious lawyers representing the other side.  We have been to court alone, attended meetings without proper representation and missed out on help and advice that could possibly have meant we didn’t have to lose everything.  Which is what happened.

So, the solicitor, how refreshing to deal with someone who doesn’t treat you like a piece of waste matter.  How uplifting to realise there is going to be someone to give you help and advice.  Finally, what a relief.  However, this will be short lived if we do not get Legal Aid.  The matter, following the arrest of Husband, has now “gone criminal” this is a good thing in a way for it means he can apply for Legal Aid.  Although I am now working, I’m on a really low salary that just covers our bills (much reduced with smaller home).  But we have no savings, pension, investments bar money we scrabbled together and put into an ISA.  I’m talking about £5,000.00.  I don’t mind going into details, after what we have been through, nothing is not out in the open already.  That’s all we have to our names!  And husband still does not have access to a bank account given our joint assets are still frozen.

So he has completed Legal Aid forms, and it being such a “complex” case, forms will have to go off to Legal Aid HQ.  This means if we do not get an answer in about a weeks time, he will have to go to court again alone.  Solicitors now do not work until money is agreed.  Then they will not do anything until they have to.  Understandbly so – why should they work on a case that might not proceed to court.    So now we wait, and I’ll update my blog after he’s gone to court and if and when the Legal Aid comes through.