The Case of Thelma Rance - the Ongoing Scandal
By Paul Rance
2012 was the worst year of my life. My Mum, Thelma Rance, passed away on January 1st, my little cat Gremlin died in my arms in the April. Through all this, the people who caused my Mother deep unhappiness and myself a lot of stress, including thoughts of suicide, have continued to sit back and not hold their hands up.
Here's just 12 reasons for my anger and disgust:
An inspiring book by Paul Rance, who details his Mother Thelma's brave fight against breast cancer and a disabling stroke. This book also details problems encountered dealing with 'the system', within Lincolnshire and beyond, and how the power of music can work as therapy.
The story of a mother and son's last months together as they struggle to adjust to her going into a home after suffering a stroke and later discovering she also has cancer. Written as a journal, this book willl show you what to expect if a loved one goes into care and the problems you can encounter with homes, hospitals, social services, fees, etc.
- Andy Bruce/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
This was written over a year before probate was sorted out, to underline the problems one can have if one is poor.
Why I'll Never Forgive the System
Anyone who is suffering through the austerity cuts will know that everything is designed to empower the rich at the expense of the poor. It's not just in the UK, but this is how it is and how it's been worldwide since time began. That doesn't make it right, and I can't remember a time when there was so much injustice around. From Hillsborough to the flurry of recently uncovered sex scandals it's been proved that the system protects the powerful. Yes, the system may be doing something now, but many of the guilty are retired or dead, and many of those who've suffered are now shattered beyond repair.
My own dealings with the system have led to my feeling just contempt for every aspect of it. After my Mother died I was, on the one hand, trying to get justice for her, and on the other, because of equity release, feeling under pressure to sell the home I've lived in for 32 years. Probate has since proved to be a word that I hope I never hear of again - once I've actually got it...
Probate costs over £200, without the aid of a solicitor, and this has doubled in cost in recent years thanks to the Tories. The bureaucrats have said that they won't look into my Mother's case until I get probate - which I haven't been able to afford. Now, when they wanted someone to access my Mother's money to pay for her care home fees, i.e. a mug like me, of course no such obstacles were put in place.
I'm my Mother's closest living relative, but the wall of probate remains until I cough up over £200. It'd also obviously be a lot more if I hired a solicitor. Tackling probate is also quite complicated, particularly re inheritance tax. Anyway, if you want to know why I despise a system that only really benefits the rich, then it's all here.
Though I'm now free of Aviva UK, and not homeless, this is what they put me through. Legally they were entitled to do what they did. But their solicitors had been informed that I was suffering from severe depression, as I presume had Boston County Court. I was close to suicide, and the mental scars will probably never heal.
The build-up to my eviction by Aviva UK on March 23rd, 2016
Update - March 13th, 2016
Things have taken a bleak turn for the worst.
March the 1st has always been one of the worse days of the year for me. My beloved dog Dano (he's on the front cover of Mother Becomes Stardust with my Mother) and my Mum's best friend in the village both died on that day, and this year it was 50 months to the day since my Mum died. Anyway, there's a knock at the door from the postman, and I'm dreading that it's the eviction notice. It isn't, so I relax for a bit. As I'm thinking a while later it might be hand delivered, there's another knock at the door. This time it's a bailiff, so I just went nuts...
The next day I'm preparing to put a relative's ashes on my parents graves. Before I leave, another eviction notice plops through the letterbox via the postman. I learn that day that Sparkle may have been run over by my next door neighbour too.
March the 8th. 5 years to the day since I was told my Mother had terminal cancer. A letter arrives from Eversheds telling me what I should do re the eviction. They had sent me pretty much the same letter earlier, so they're just taking the piss now.
Anyway, things still ain't looking great. I've not been eating well for a few weeks now, and am getting towards the suicidal state I was in last year. The bailiff even had the cheek to say that I had been given more time to find somewhere, because "I'd been through a lot." That they acknowledged that makes the treatment of me even worse. Aviva UK/Eversheds haven't a clue how to deal with vulnerable people, bereaved people, or people suffering from depression. They only care about money and avoiding bad publicity in my opinion.
Thanks to the people who have sent me money either through the post, or via PayPal to help me out. I won't forget that. Not only is finding a place to live still a worry, I stand to lose pretty much everything else I've built up over the years - records, books, football programmes, etc. A friend up north has offered me a temporary home, but getting my stuff up there is kinda prohibitive re cost.
Update - February 12th, 2016
I received a letter from Eversheds (Aviva UK's solicitors) about Aviva UK taking possession of my home on Christmas Eve. The possession case was arranged for the anniversary week of my Mother's funeral. Neither were coincidences I believe. Aviva UK knew when my Mother died as they've seen the death certificate, so they would have had a rough idea when her funeral took place. The case was also transferred from Peterborough to Boston at very short notice, and I never received any defence forms, which I believed, rightly or wrongly, I should have been sent. I notified solicitor David Foster about the latter (he was chosen by Eversheds as a defendant re my Mother's home), but as yet he hasn't replied.
Despite my being asked if I wanted to be put on a vulnerable persons register by paramedics, following their visit on August 30th (see mention in 2015 Updates below), Eversheds/Aviva UK have gained a possession order from Boston County Court. They will apply for a warrant of possession next week. Once that is in place, bailiff bully boys have a right to come barging into my home and to "use reasonable force" to force me out.
Spalding police, paramedics, some nurses and some of my Mum's carers have been compassionate to me over the last few years, but I can't say the same for Spalding Social Services, the Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust and Lincolnshire County Council. While Aviva UK and Eversheds have also caused me great emotional distress. Modern Britain is a brutal, horrible place for a sensitive soul like me.
I'm so tired of unfeeling monsters,
I'm so tired of unfeeling monsters,
I'm so tired of unfeeling monsters,
You murder people with a cynical smile,
Christmas Eve, 2015. Had letters (both the same) from Eversheds arrive on Christmas Eve, re the court date for the possession order. Par for the course. Actually thought even they wouldn't pester me over Christmas, but then I'm human. The harassment I've had from Eversheds and Aviva UK has bordered on psychological abuse in my opinion.
August 27th, 2015. My lovely old cat Sparkle dies and I stop eating. Police and paramedics come round on August 30th after I tearfully told a neighbour: "Don't be surprised if I'm found dead here." I go 8 days without food, and find I can hardly walk up to my parents grave, and there's sad anniversaries to remember around this time. I'm overwhelmed by the love from friends, so all three things get me eating again. Shortly afterwards I get a self assessment form re my depression, but I'm too depressed to fill it in for weeks.
July, 2015. Still struggling to find the money for probate. My thoughts on this above in the right column. Seriously depressed.
January 18th, 2015 was the third anniversary of my Mum's funeral. It was a day I wanted to remember her, but then came a bombshell from Aviva UK a day before. Suffice to say, I'd advise anyone to think very carefully about taking out equity release via that company or any other.
Copyright © 2017 Paul Rance