Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Dead Air

Sleep-Over with a Surprise
Daisy and Trixiebell Lievremont were in an unusually excited mood when they returned from their Friday night sleep-over at the house of their friend Milisende Espinosa.

“Mummy, we heard daddy on the radio last night and he was with another lady. They were talking about soccer”, they told their mother, Tuesday Lievremont.

“Where did you hear it?” Tuesday asked them.

“Milisende’s dad had it on his computer”, Daisy said.

This was all news to Tuesday and she did not wish to discuss it any further with her children.

“I will talk to Milisende’s dad and get him to tell me about it, so do not worry about it”, she said.

“Okay, Mum”, Both of them said and the conversation turned to other less controversial matters.

Tuesday Lievremont Telephones  Enrique Espinosa
About half an hour after the girls returned home, Hendrick Lievremont, their father, was still not home, so Tuesday Lievremont telephoned Enrique Espinosa.

“Enrique, My daughters tell me that last night they heard their father, Hendrick, on the radio on your computer and he was with another lady talking about soccer. Can you explain that to me?”, she asked.

“It was a podcast of a local soccer competition he does with Electra Mirabelle, whom I believe you know. She is forty (40) and married with two (2) children, aged 7 and 5. Hendrick and Electra have been doing the podcast together for about eighteen (18) months”, he replied.

Tuesday: “How do I find this podcast?

Enrique: “I have your e-mail address, I will send you a link to the podcast. I will also include a link to the associated web page Enrique has set up for it. You should have them in a couple of minutes.”

“I am a little surprised you do not know about the podcast and the website. Enrique and Electra Mirabelle are very friendly on it.”

Tuesday: “Your e-mail has arrived and the link to the website seems to be working. Thank you. I will have a look at the website and the podcast and talk with you later. Thank you for letting our daughters stay at your house last night. Once again they seem to have enjoyed themselves.

Enrique: “It is a pleasure having your daughters stay. Milisende had a good time too. I will talk with you later.”

The telephone conversation then ended.

Tuesday Views The Website and Podcast
With her daughters watching television and Hendrick not expected home for another couple of hours, Tuesday had a good look at the website Hendrick had set up for the soccer podcast. She was struck by the number of photographs in which Hendrick and Electra Mirabelle appeared together and how happy the two of them seemed in those photographs. In several of the photographs their respective weddings rings were visible.

Tuesday then turned her attention to the podcasts. She thought it best to start at the first discussion podcast. Almost immediately Tuesday heard an uncomfortable familiarity between Hendrick, her husband, and Electra Mirabelle. That tone continued throughout the podcast and was present in the next podcast. By the third podcast Tuesday was feeling sick, as Hendrick and Electra Mirabelle were clearly having an affair and flaunting it to the world via these podcasts. Each and every podcast she heard had the same tone.

Tuesday had seen and heard enough. She logged out of the computer. Picked up her mobile telephone and went for a walk in the back yard. She was devastated and furious. After a few minutes she telephoned her sister, Roxanne May, and told her what she had discovered.

Roxanne told Tuesday to come and visit her alone, so they can have an uninterrupted discussion.

Tuesday: “The children stayed at the home of Enrique Espinosa last night. I will see if I can get him to look after the children again and so I can come to your place immediately.”

Roxanne May: “That would be a good option.”

Tuesday said, “I will let you know how I go” and ended the conversation

Tuesday Telephoned Enrique Espinosa
Tuesday then telephoned Enrique Espinosa.
“Can you look after my children at your place for a couple of hours please? I want to have a conversation with my sister and I do not want the children to hear any of its contents.”

Enrique: “What has happened?”

Tuesday: “I think you know what has happened.”

Enrique: “Oh, the podcasts. Yes, I understand. I am happy to look after your daughters for you and I will not say anything to Hendrick, if he asks me any questions.”

Tuesday: “Thank you. I am very grateful to you. I will see you with the children in about thirty (30) minutes.”

Enrique: “No worries. I will tell Milisende she is going to get visitors.”

The telephone call with Enrique then ended and Tuesday immediately told Daisy and Trixiebell that they were going to visit Milisende again, because something had turned up that needed her immediate attention.

The girls were happy that they were going to visit Milisende again and within thirty (30) minutes they were visiting her again, as Tuesday had predicted.

Enrique said to Tuesday, “Take your time with your sister. Your daughters will be fine here.”

Tuesday: Thank you, Enrique”.

Tuesday Visits Roxanne May
Tuesday then drove straight to the house of her sister, Roxanne May.

When she arrived they went to Roxanne’s computer and viewed the website Hendrick had set up for the soccer podcast. Roxanne was shocked by what she saw and even more shocked by what she heard when they listened to the podcasts.

Roxanne said, “How angry are you, Tuesday? I am so angry I am having trouble speaking”

Tuesday replied, “About as angry as you, I think.”

Roxanne: “What do you want to do? I know what I want to do and I think I know someone who knows someone who would do it.”

Tuesday: “What do you mean?”

Roxanne: “I know someone who says they know a man who will take those two out, without leaving any trace to you. There will be a significant fee involved. The stories I have heard are that he has always delivered.”

Tuesday: “How do you know this?”

Roxanne: “I meet people in my life and, unlike your husband, I do not flaunt my relationships to the world.”

Tuesday: “I understand. Yes”

Roxanne: “OK. I will make some enquiries and let you know what I have arranged. In the meantime, do not say anything to Hendrick about any of this. It would be a good idea if your daughters said nothing about it also.”

Tuesday: ”I will do my best.”

Roxanne: “You can go home now and try to act as if nothing has changed.”

Tuesday then drove to the house of Enrique Espinosa and collected her daughters, Daisy and Trixiebell. The three (3) of them then went home and Tuesday prepared dinner for the family, as if nothing had changed.

When Hendrick Lievremont arrived home, it was as if nothing different had occurred in the household. There was no discussion about Electra Mirabelle or the soccer podcasts.

Jason Haldis Has Lunch with Hermione McEwan
Jason Haldis was having lunch with Hermione McEwan when his mobile telephone rang.

Jason listened during the telephone call, but did not say very much.

He told his caller, “Be at the Sidewalk Café, Park Road, Milton at 11:00 am on Thursday with an A4 sized yellow envelope containing details of the package and the fee. Make sure the envelope is under her left arm. Is that understood?”

Jason: “OK”

He then ended the call and returned to his lunch with Hermione.

Hermione asked, “Work call?”

Jason replied, “Yes”

Hermione said, “I will not ask any further questions, unless you want me to help.”

Jason: “I may get you to help on this one, it could be interesting. I will see what happens and let you know.”

Hermione: “OK”.

They then completed their lunch and went their separate ways.

Jason Haldis Arrangements
The next day Roxanne telephoned Tuesday with the arrangements for engaging Jason Haldis, the hitman, although Tuesday was not told his name.

Roxanne said to Tuesday, “I have been told to tell you to be at the Sidewalk Café, Park Road, Milton at 11:00 am on Thursday with an A4 sized yellow envelope containing details of the package, including the fee. I will help you with the fee. Make sure the envelope is under your left arm.”

Conveniently for Tuesday, most of the relevant identification details for Hendrick Lievremont and Electra Mirabelle were contained on the web site Hendrick created for the soccer podcast, including when the next live broadcast was scheduled. So compiling the envelope contents for Jason was not a very complex or time consuming experience.

Sidewalk Café, Park Road, Milton
Tuesday arrived at the Sidewalk Café, Park Road, Milton about 10:45 am and discovered that it was a stand, not the café she was expecting. She then sat at a café nearby until closer to 11:00 am. She put the A4 yellow envelope on the table in front of her.

At 10:57 am Tuesday left the café, put the A4 yellow envelope under her left arm and walked slowly to the Sidewalk Café.

Jason recognised the woman with the A4 sized yellow envelope under her left arm walking slowly to the Sidewalk Café as he was making his way to it.

Just as she arrived at the Sidewalk Café Jason walked up beside Tuesday and said to her, “I am going to order tea, what would you like?”

Initially Tuesday was surprised, then she realised what was occurring. “I will have a herbal tea, thank you.” Tuesday replied.

Jason then went to the counter and placed his order. Instead of waiting at the counter he returned to Tuesday and had a conversation with her. There were other people standing and waiting also. Some were talking, some were not.

“Would you like me to deliver that for you?” Jason asked Tuesday, as he looked at the A4 yellow envelope under her left arm.

“If you do not mind”, Tuesday said and she handed the envelope to Jason.

Jason took the envelope and casually looked inside at its contents.

After a short pause Jason replied, “I do not anticipate any problems.”

By that stage their drinks were ready and they approached the café counter to collect them.

Jason said to Tuesday, “I will contact you when delivery has been completed.”

Tuesday said, “Fine”.

Tuesday and Jason then went their separate ways.

The Live Podcast
Match night arrived and Jason had positioned himself in the ceiling of the house of Electra Mirabelle where he had a good, clear view of Electra Mirabelle and Hendrick Lievremont as they did their live podcast of the soccer match. Apart from Jason, Electra and Hendrick were the only people in the house.

After the soccer match had been under way for about ten (10) minutes Jason shot and killed both Electra Mirabelle and Hendrick Lievremont from his vantage point in the ceiling. The podcast then had dead air.

Tuesday Lievremont listened to the podcast on her computer at home, much as it pained her to do so. When she heard the broadcast of the live commentary of the soccer match go silent, Tuesday thought Jason Haldis had delivered the package.

Jason quickly and quietly made his way out of the premises of Electra Mirabelle.

Twenty (20) minutes later the house exploded in flames. The fire was fierce and not a lot was left when the fire was finally put out. Both Electra Mirabelle and Hendrick Lievremont were burnt beyond recognition and could only be identified by dental records.

After the subsequent investigation the official cause of the fire was found to be that it started due to a fault in the podcast broadcast equipment. The deaths of both Electra Mirabelle and Hendrick Lievremont were said to have been caused by the fire.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Caught In The Spotlight

Arcadia Consults Siobhan Blanco
The day after Arcadia received the letter Calderone sent her she went to see her solicitor, Siobhan Blanco, about it.

Blanco read the letter and focussed on its most significant paragraph:
“I want you to consult a psychiatrist. I want to know what is going on with you. Your decline has been significant and you seem unstable. I think you need professional help. Unless and until I see a satisfactory psychiatric report on you, I will not make the children available to you for any contact whatsoever.”

Blanco said, “You have got some problems, Arcadia. This is another opportunity for Calderone to point out your bad behaviour and dishonesty. In short, you have two (2) choices: give him what he wants or challenge it in Court. Court will mean more expenditure and as I have just mentioned, it would give Calderone another opportunity to point out your bad behaviour and your dishonesty. I expect he will mention that you have not been telephoning the children for contact, but rather he has had to make the telephone call, so that the children can speak with you. The episode of you having sex with one of your boyfriends on the birthday of your son, rather than telephone your son will not look good for you.”

“Calderone may be prepared to submit to a psychiatric examination himself as part of his demand for you to be examined. If that is the case, it will make your position even more difficult. The Court may be happy to order that you both submit to a psychiatric examination.”

“This is all unravelling rather badly for you. I doubt you had any of this in mind when you were travelling round the country sleeping with seemingly any man who paid you attention. And before you get precious about what I have said to you, expect that line to be taken by Calderone, if this has to go to Court.”

“There is now quite a bit of evidence that you are not coping very well with your new family situation.

  • You instigated a series of abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone because you could not see the children. He said would suspend all contact until they stopped.
  • You went to pieces and caught a train out of town. After about a week away you returned home.
  • Calderone telephoned you reminding you that you were supposed to ring the children for contact because you have not been doing so.
  • On the birthday of your son you were supposed to telephone him, but you did not do so. When Calderone telephoned you about it, he interrupted you having sex with Bonham Trudeaux

“That does not look good for you.”

“Can you identify a compelling reason why you should not submit yourself for psychiatric assessment, as Calderone has requested?”

“Perhaps you should think about your answer for a couple of days and then let me know your answer.”

Arcadia then left the office of Siobhan Blanco and went home.

Caught In The Supermarket
Four (4) days later Arcadia went to the local supermarket to buy food. Whilst she was there she encountered Alpine McTavish. It was not a pleasant reunion for her.

“Well, well, well. Arcadia. Fancy seeing you here?”, McTavish said.

A surprised Arcadia responded, “What are you doing here?”

McTavish: “I am in Melbourne visiting friends and I am doing some shopping for them.”

Arcadia: “I am surprised to see you.”

McTavish: “I expect you are. You said we would spend a week together. I made plans for it. Then you offered some lame excuse as to why it could not happen and you did nothing to subsequently spend that time with me. Apparently you never had any trouble spending time with Garlick Duckworth in Sydney. Yes, Arcadia. I know all about him. Your secret boyfriend is far from a secret.”

“He was probably the person to whom you spent so much time sending text messages when you were with me. You were very good at ruining the time we spent together sending and receiving text messages and playing on your computer. Never once did you ever make up to me any of that time we spent together that you wasted.”

“You are an unfaithful wife and an unfaithful partner. It is wonderfully poetic that Garlick Duckworth, the man with whom you planned to live when you left your husband, dumped you as soon as the free food and easy sex you were giving him stopped. Of all the men in whom you could have invested, you chose Garlick Duckworth. What a fool.”

Arcadia did not want to participate in that conversation any longer, so she made her way to another part of the store. But there was another unpleasant surprise waiting for her in the store.

June Sedgewick was doing her shopping at the same supermarket as Arcadia.

Sedgewick noticed her and said loudly to Arcadia, “You were happy having sex with my husband and flaunting it to everyone while our children played soccer. Most people who have affairs are discrete. You have to flaunt yours. Are you happy with yourself? You do not look like you have any new toys to play with now. Serves you right.”

This was more than Arcadia could handle. Without replying to June Sedgewick, Arcadia made her way to the checkout and left the store. She then went straight home.

Barbeque with Augustina Fotheringham
Mid-Saturday morning Augustina Fotheringham telephoned Arcadia, “I have been invited to a barbeque starting at 5:00 pm today. It is not all that far from your house. I thought it might be a pleasant change for you to go with me. I will come round about 4:30 pm and pick you up.”

“Oh OK”, Arcadia replied.

At 4:15 pm Augustina arrived at the home of Arcadia. Somewhat to her surprise, Arcadia appeared to be ready. Arcadia made Augustina a cup of tea and told her about the letter Calderone sent her.

“Calderone said until he sees a satisfactory psychiatric report on me, he will not make the children available to me for any contact whatsoever. I saw my solicitor about it and she said in short, I have two (2) choices: give him what he wants or challenge it in Court. Court will mean more expenditure and it would give Calderone another opportunity to point out my bad behaviour and my dishonesty. She asked me, Can I identify a compelling reason why I should not submit myself for psychiatric assessment, as Calderone has requested?’

Augustina told Arcadia, “That is not an entirely unexpected request by Calderone. From what I have seen, he has been keeping a pretty close eye on what you have been doing and he seems to be very organised. You best take that request seriously. So we will go to this barbeque and see if you can have a good time for a change.”

When they got to the party Augustina watched Arcadia and thought she seemed to mingle well. After about forty-five (45) minutes Augustina went to the toilet. She had not seen Arcadia for some time. As she was returning from the toilet, she walked past one of the bedrooms. The door was open and Augustina had a clear view of what was going on inside the room. A naked Arcadia was having sex with two men.

Augustina immediately said to Arcadia, “Put your clothes on. We are leaving.”

The two (2) men saw Augustina and could tell she was serious. Sex with Arcadia stopped immediately. They each put on their clothes in silence and left the room. Arcadia put on her clothes and walked out to the car with Augustina. Not a word was said by either of them.

As Augustina started driving them back to the Arcadia’s house she said sternly to Arcadia, “After all that has happened to you, you do that. What where you thinking?”

Arcadia said meekly, “I just wanted some attention. I have not had any attention for ages.”

Augustina replied, “You will not be getting any attention from your children if you continue with this behaviour. Calderone will not make the children available to you for any contact whatsoever, as he told you very clearly in his letter to you. The attention you received from all your men friends is what has put you in this position.”

As they arrived at the home of Arcadia, Augustina said to her, “You need to talk to your relationship counsellor. I am too angry to talk to you today.”

Arcadia got out of the car and went inside her home. Augustina then went home herself.

A Candid Session with May Huddersfield, Relationship Counsellor
On the following Tuesday Arcadia made an appointment to see her relationship counsellor, May Huddersfield. The appointment was for Friday morning.

Huddersfield started the session with Arcadia saying to her, “I see from my notes the last time I spoke with you I said we need to talk about:

  • Why you thought it appropriate to be unfaithful to your husband with these men, especially as none of them were interested in forming a family with you and your children.
  • Why did your focus move from your children?
  • Why did you put your job at risk in acting this way?”

“Has there been any development since the last time I saw you?”

Arcadia told Huddersfield about the letter Calderone sent her.

“Calderone said until he sees a satisfactory psychiatric report on me, he will not make the children available to me for any contact whatsoever. I saw my solicitor about it and she said in short, I have two (2) choices: give him what he wants or challenge it in Court. Court will mean more expenditure and it would give Calderone another opportunity to point out my bad behaviour and my dishonesty. She asked me, Can I identify a compelling reason why I should not submit myself for psychiatric assessment, as Calderone has requested?’

“So things have got considerably worse for you. My very strong advice to you is that unless you are completely candid with me, your situation will not improve” Huddersfield replied.

Arcadia said to Huddersfield,”On Saturday Augustina Fotheringham took me to a barbeque not all that far from my house. She said she thought it might be a pleasant change for me to go with her. We left after about an hour when Augustina saw me in a bedroom being shared by two (2) men.

“When she later asked me, what was I thinking? I told her, I just wanted some attention. I have not had any attention for ages”

Huddersfield: “ It seems by your actions Arcadia, you have not learned from what we talked about on the first occasion you saw me. You have repeatedly sought attention from men who are not interested in forming a family with you and your children. Your latest effort occurred in the face of potentially you not having any contact with your children. There is merit in Calderone wanting you to submit yourself for psychiatric assessment. At the moment it is hard to identify a compelling reason to resist that request.”

“Your best approach is to work with me and we can try to create a positive platform for you. Something to repair the enormous damage that has been done to your life. Something to enable you to have a meaningful relationship with your children again.”

Arcadia sat silently for some time thinking about what May Huddersfield said to her. Then she said “OK”

Arcadia Telephones Siobhan Blanco
When she left the office of May Huddersfield, Arcadia went home and telephoned her solicitor Siobhan Blanco.

Arcadia said, “I have just been to see May Huddersfield, my relationship counsellor. She is helping me create a positive platform so that I can try to have a meaningful relationship with my children again.”

“Is it possible for you to get me a helpful psychiatrist to do the assessment of me Calderone is seeking?

Siobhan Blanco was surprised by what Arcadia had told her.
Blanco said, “Yes, Arcadia. If you give me something tangible with which to work, I can recommend a psychiatrist whom I believe will help you.”

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Misery Loves Company

Stiles Parsons met with Bonham Trudeaux
Stiles Parsons had not heard from Arcadia Thiessen since well before he visited Tabernacle Calderone at his home and told Calderone what he knew of Arcadia. Nor had he heard from Bonham Trudeaux since they had lunch together at the Hard Slog Café and Bonham gave Parsons a copy of the photographs he had of Arcadia. Parsons was surprised when Bonham telephoned him and suggested they have lunch again at the Hard Slog Café. He agreed and arrangements were made to meet at 1:00 pm the next day.

Both men were in good spirits when they arrived at the Hard Slog Café. There were only a few patrons and they easily found a table away from other ears. After ordering their food and drink, the conversation soon turned to Arcadia. Parsons saw the mood of Bonham dip as soon as he started talking about her.

Bonham said, “I have not really heard from Arcadia for some time. I have telephoned her a few times, but she always says she has not got time at the moment to talk with me and she has never called me back. She does not reply to my text messages either.”

Parsons was very interested to hear this news about Arcadia and he decided not to tell Bonham about the divorce of Arcadia, unless it was absolutely necessary.

“How did you meet Arcadia?”, Parsons asked.

Bonham: I had dinner at a hotel near my work and I noticed Arcadia was sitting with another woman, apparently having dinner also. On my way to the toilet I overheard some of the conversation they were having.

“Arcadia told her companion, ‘I am trapped in a bad marriage’.

“Her companion replied, ‘I know what that is like’.

“Neither woman appeared to notice me, but I noticed they were each wearing what appeared to be wedding rings.”

“When I was returning to my table after I had been to the toilet, Arcadia was sitting alone and she made a point of saying hello to me as I walked past her table. After I had finished my meal, I went to the bar to get another drink and I noticed Arcadia was sitting alone again at her table. After I bought my drink I walked over to her table. She invited me to sit down and talk with her. Her wedding ring was very visible.”

“It did not take Arcadia long to tell me she was ‘trapped in a bad marriage’. I cannot remember the specific details of the story, but I remember she had a good story to go with her ‘trapped in a bad marriage’ line, so I believed her. I got the impression I was not the first man she had picked up in a bar. I recall her companion was still around at the time of that conversation, but I am not sure precisely where. I think she was talking to some other men.”

“In seemingly no time at all she agreed to go to my place with me. She did not seem to have any difficulty telling her female companion either. From what I could see, her friend had no objection to Arcadia leaving with me.”

“When we got to my house, sex started almost as soon as we closed the front door. The sex did not last very long. Arcadia said she had to go home to her husband and children. Before she left we exchanged contact details.”

Parsons: “When did you see her after that night?”

Bonham: “We exchanged text messages the next day and for several days afterwards. We saw each other again about a week and a half later. Again we went to my house and Arcadia was a very willing sex partner.”

Parsons: “When did you go to her house?”

Bonham: “About three (3) weeks later Arcadia said I could see her at her house because her husband and children would not be around for several hours. So I went to her house and we had quite a lot of sex there.”

Parsons: “How often did you go to her house?”

Bonham: “I went a few times. I think it was the third or fourth time when I took photographs of her. They are the photographs you have seen. She was not shy about any of it.”

Parsons: “Did the ‘trapped in a bad marriage’ topic come up much?”

Bonham: “It came up a couple of times, but it was never a significant topic of conversation. All I really know is that Arcadia was a very willing participant when ever we spent time together. I had quite a bit of contact with her and then it stopped, without any explanation.”

Parsons thought this was not the right time to tell Bonham about the divorce of Arcadia. He also thought it might help the mood of Bonham if he changed topic of conversation.

It seemed to work. They spent about thirty (30) more minutes having lunch at the Hard Slog Café talking about happier topics and then they both went their separate ways.

The Babysitter Contacts Arcadia
Isabella Evanescence, the babysitter, thought to herself, she had not heard from Arcadia for ages, so she decided to call around to see her. Arcadia was home and invited her inside.

Isabella could tell immediately that something was wrong with Arcadia. Her clothes were dirty, her personal hygiene was poor and she had a significant smell of body odour.

Isabella ask Arcadia what was the matter and Arcadia told Isabella about the divorce.

Isabella said, “Arcadia, you are a mess. Why don’t you have a shower and clean yourself up? You can talk to me while you are doing it.”

Arcadia was not very responsive. Isabella been took her by the hand and lead her to the bathroom.

Once they were inside the bathroom, Isabella said to Arcadia, “Do not make me undress you”.

As Arcadia was undressing, Isabella turned on the water in the shower. Arcadia got in the shower and started cleaning herself and washing her hair.”

Isabella said, “Now Arcadia, tell me what has been going on.”

Arcadia told Isabella, “I will tell you some of what I told May Huddersfield, my relationship counsellor. Calderone accepted a job at a catering company in Cairns, North Queensland and relocated to Cairns with the children. My only physical contact with the children now is during holiday periods. He has also formed a relationship with Friday Rauschenberg, who works for a florist and has no children of her own. In fact Friday has moved in with Calderone and our children.”

“Because I am not employed, I am finding it difficult to fund the necessary air travel between Melbourne and Cairns, which would enable me to have contact with the children. So at the moment contact consists of telephone calls, video calls, email and text messages.”

“I am not coping very well at all with my new family situation. There had been a series of abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone because I could not see the children. Calderone said he would suspend all contact until they stopped. I went to pieces and caught a train out of town. After about a week away I returned home.”

Isabella said, “I assume Calderone left you because he found out you were cheating on him?”

Arcadia: “In his Court documents Calderone said that for at least eighteen (18) months prior to our separation I had been having an affair with Garlick Duckworth, a guy from Sydney. I travelled often with my work to see him and spoke with him most days by telephone. We also sent lots of text messages to each other.”

Isabella replied, “It was obvious to me you were cheating on your husband. All those times you rang during the babysitting and asked me to look after the children for the entire night. It was very suspicious behaviour on your part. I also saw you a couple of times when you came home and you obviously were not wearing underwear. That you were having an affair for eighteen (18) months with a guy from Sydney is not really surprising to hear. I am surprised your husband did not know about all your men here in Melbourne.”

As Arcadia got out of the shower Isabella could see that Arcadia heard what she said and was having trouble saying anything in reply.

Isabella: “So I guess I will not be getting any babysitting jobs from you any time soon?”

Arcadia did not answer.

Calderone Telephones Arcadia
Their conversation was interrupted by the telephone of Arcadia ringing. Isabella answered it and discovered it was Calderone.

“I did not expect you to answer the telephone, Isabella”

“Arcadia was in the shower. I put her in there. She is a mess”, Isabella said spontaneously.

Calderone: “I am not surprised to hear you say that. I suppose by now you know what has happened between Arcadia and I?”

Isabella: “Yes. Arcadia has just told me. I am glad that you have found some happiness.”

Calderone: “Thank you. Arcadia is supposed to ring the children today and speak with them, but she has not been doing so and I have had to ring her and get her to talk with the children.”

Isabella: “I will put Arcadia on for you”.

Isabella then handed the telephone to Arcadia and she had a conversation with Calderone. Isabella could hear Calderone reminding Arcadia that she was supposed to ring the children for contact and she has not been doing so.

Arcadia said little in response and then had a brief conversation with the children.

When the telephone conversation ended, Isabella said to Arcadia, “You really need to get yourself together. Your life is now a train wreck. Your children deserve much better from their mother.”

Arcadia looked at Isabella, then looked down at the floor. She said nothing in reply.

Isabella said, “Arcadia, I am leaving. Maybe we will talk later.”

Isabella then left the house and drove home.

Augustina Fotheringham Visits Arcadia
Four (4) days later Augustina Fotheringham visited the home of Arcadia. Arcadia was wearing the same clothes she had on when Isabella left.

Augustina said to Arcadia, “You have lots of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink and you do not seem to have done any washing for a while. You also look and smell like you have not showered for several days. That in its own way that explains to me why I have not heard from you.”

Arcadia said, “I am not coping very well.”

Augustina: “It is hard to know where to start here. Can you manage to stack the dishwasher whilst I get some washing started?”

“OK”, Arcadia replied.

Augustina: “We have made some progress. Do I need to put you in the shower as well or can you manage to do that by yourself?”

Arcadia was a little shaken to hear the suggestion that Augustina put her in the shower. That would be the second time in a week a friend and visitor had put her in the shower.

She said, “No, Augustina. I can do that myself and I will do it when you leave.”

Augustina: “What a transformation you have made. From a great life with wonderful privileges and perks to this, were apparently even basic household chores are now beyond you. All because you had to indulge yourself indiscreetly with just about all the male attention that was paid to you.”

“Since we last spoke, I have made more enquiries about you. It seems you have been unfaithful to every partner you have had, except that horrid Garlick Duckworth, who was only interested in free food and easy sex. Leaving aside your husband for a moment, it seems it never occurred to you to spend time with the very small number of nice men who have been in your life from time to time. Had you done so, the situation in which you now find yourself may have been avoided.”

“I have seen this before, you were drunk on the attention and thought you were untouchable. Rarely does that situation end well. I cannot spend any more time with you at the moment, but I can see you again next week. Hopefully we can make some progress with you.”

As soon as Augustina left the house, Arcadia went and had a shower.

A Birthday To Remember
The next day Bonham Trudeaux remained perplexed by and unhappy with the lack of real contact he was having with Arcadia. He decided to go to her house and see if he would have any better luck with that approach.

When Arcadia greeted him at her front door Bonham could see there was something different about her, but he was not sure what it was. He told Arcadia he had wanted to see her for some time, but she would not have any significant conversation with him.

“I have been going through a difficult time”, Arcadia replied.

Bonham made it clear he wanted to have sex with Arcadia and she did not object.

Their uninspiring sexual encounter had not been underway long when the mobile telephone of Arcadia rang. Bonham could see that the caller was Calderone. Neither of them stopped having sex because of the telephone call. The ringing stopped and then shortly thereafter recommenced. Arcadia fumbled to answer the telephone call and Bonham endeavoured to continue with the sex.

Arcadia told him to stop, which he did.

Bonham could then hear all of the conversation between Arcadia and Calderone.

Calderone: “What have you been doing? Today is the birthday of your son and you were supposed to telephone him”.

Arcadia did not bother answering the question of Calderone. She just said, “Put him on the telephone.”

During the conversation between Arcadia and her son, Bonham got dressed and went home.

When the telephone call with her son was completed Arcadia did not want to speak with Calderone, so she hung up.

Calderone Wrote To Arcadia
Arcadia was used to Calderone writing to her by e-mail. Hard copy mail was new territory for them. The contents of the letter was new territory for them too. In short Calderone told Arcadia he was very concerned about her behaviour and the impact it was having on their children.

“I want you to consult a psychiatrist. I want to know what is going on with you. Your decline has been significant and you seem unstable. I think you need professional help. Unless and until I see a satisfactory psychiatric report on you, I will not make the children available to you for any contact whatsoever.”

When Arcadia finished reading the letter she fainted.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Who Bears The Costs?

Family law litigation is often attendant with high emotion and all too often lawyers who put amassing fees ahead of acting in and advancing the best interests of the client.  One such matter found its way to the desk of Daniel Soames on the day it was due in Court.

Conference In Chambers
Upon being apprised of its history, he was not surprised to see that the client thought she could act for herself to save herself some considerable money in the process. However once the first conference between Mrs Cudmore, her solicitor and Daniel, got reasonably underway, Mrs Cudmore found she was well out of her depth and understood nowhere near enough of the crucial matters and issues to continue to act for herself.

During that conference, in an attempt to give Mrs Cudmore an appreciation of the reality of the world into which she had now ventured, Daniel shared with her his observation of the realities of judicial appointments.

“Mrs Cudmore, as careful as any government might be in selecting its candidates for judicial office, the one criteria that can never be predicted and it may even be the most important, is the effect judicial office and its attendant power will have on the individual office bearer.  Accordingly you need to accept the reality that now Federal Magistrate Cloak has charge of this matter, he can do pretty much whatever he likes with it and in my experience, that is precisely what some judicial officers do.

“Cloak FM has a reputation of being an interventionist judicial officer and my knowledge of and friendship with him is no guarantee that any bee he may get in his bonnet about your case is able to be controlled by us, if he determines that a particular result ought occur in this case.  Some people seek to justify or at least rationalise that behaviour with the explanation that it is behaviour that seeks to encourage people to settle their matters, rather than have judges decide them in Court.  I offer no opinion on that theory. Feel free to make up your own mind in respect of it.”

Daniel continued, “Notwithstanding that you say you have reached agreement with your former husband in respect of the property settlement and the orders you want the Court to make in respect of that property, I expect Cloak FM will tell you that he needs to be satisfied as to the justice and equity of the orders sought by the litigants and that will involve him assessing the material that has being placed before the Court. If he feels that the relevant material provided is not sufficient, then he will not make the orders and will adjourn the matter to allow proper material to be filed and served.

“The material in your case appears to have been prepared entirely by you and in my view may well be seen by the Court as being deficient. That could lead to the orders not being made and an adjournment of the matter to improve that material, as I have just indicated. That will be a judgement call by Cloak FM and we will only know his view on it when he tells it to us.  For your sake I will endeavour to convince him that no adjournment is necessary.

“That adjournment may also lead to a costs order, which would probably be made against you, if the adjournment was thought necessary by the Court and once again that will be a matter purely in the discretion of the Court.  Having said all that, I will do what I can to finalise this matter for you today.”

Court - Day 1
Once the matter came on in Court Cloak FM was not happy with the material filed by Mrs Cudmore, whom he openly observed was a litigant who prepared the documents by herself at the relevant time, even though she had legal representation in the early stages of the matter from a firm who proudly touted that they possessed an accredited specialist in family law on staff.

Cloak FM said, “The material filed by the mother did not satisfy the criteria of justice and equity in property settlement matters, so even though the parties have apparently agreed on a settlement and the orders they sought from the Court, the matter will have to be adjourned, so that the material of the mother could be amended to reach the relevant standard.”

Cloak FM made enquiries of the mother and her preparation for the application, particularly in relation to her legal representation and the assistance and advice that was given to her by her former legal representatives.

Cloak FM: “I am inclined to order the costs of the adjournment be paid by the former solicitors of the mother, particularly as they were apparently accredited family law specialists.  Those costs would not only be the costs of the of the adjournment of the mother, but also the costs of the father.”

“I make Orders requiring the attendance of those solicitors to the Court on the next occasion this matter is before me and will hear them on the issue of costs. It is unlikely that I will be persuaded against making the foreshadowed costs orders. The quantum of those orders would be significant. I expect, perhaps $12,000.”

Court - Day 2
When the matter again came before Cloak FM he was satisfied the material of the mother now met the requisite standard and the consent Orders sought by the parties were made by the Court, without further delay.

His Honour then said, “In terms of the costs issue, I take the view that the solicitors who had previously acted for Mrs Cudmore, the mother, did not properly discharge their professional duty in advising the mother in relation to this property settlement, nor did they take proper instructions from the mother to properly prepare and advance her property settlement matter.  Accordingly the employed solicitor handling the matter and the supervising partner, who was an accredited specialist in family law, would be jointly and severally liable for the costs thrown away as a result of the inadequate preparation of the material of the mother. Those costs would be fixed in the amount of $12,000.”

His Honour continued, in open Court, “I will happily tell all of my colleagues of:
The standard of preparation undertaken and advice given by this firm;
The delay that inadequate preparation and advice necessitated; and
My response to that unsatisfactory professional behaviour.
I will also encourage my colleagues to take a similar approach, should such behaviour present itself in their Courts.”

Outside Court
When the matter was finalised in Court Daniel, Mrs Cudmore and the solicitor adjourned to one of the nearby conference rooms to discuss the proceedings and the impact upon Mrs Cudmore.

Daniel said to Mrs Cudmore and her solicitor, “Ordinarily one might expect to hear a little chatter in the back of a Court when matters such as this are proceeding. However on this occasion there was an unusual, almost deathly, silence and the audience appeared to be captive, as well as more than a little stunned, by the proceedings.  Perhaps Mrs Cudmore this might lead to some solicitors actually taking their responsibility to you and those like you more seriously.

“What it means in reality for you is, for all intents and purposes your former solicitors will make a significant financial contribution to your legal costs for these proceedings. I expect that was an outcome that was in no part on their radar when they took on your case and when they were acting for you.”

“It is one thing for a judicial officer to threaten such an Order, it is quite another for them to actually put it into practice.  Needless to say it is an Order and an approach I endorse wholeheartedly.  I expect your current solicitor will receive correspondence from your previous solicitors in the near future in relation to that costs Order.”

“If either of you have any trouble in relation to that costs Order, please do not hesitate to contact me and we can discuss whatever problems might arise.  Other than that and the logistics of implementing the Orders that were just made by the Court, this matter is finalised.  If neither of you have any other questions, then we are all free to go.”

The solicitor said he had no questions and was happy with the outcome.

Mrs Cudmore said, “I have no questions and I am happy with the outcome. I am also very happy that I got you two as my legal representatives because I realised that after everything that had gone on, I was well out of my depth. There was no way I could not have done justice to my case on my own.”

Daniel said, “Well then I think I will return to Chambers. Thank you both for the brief and I wish you both well.”

Daniel then walked alone back to his Chambers.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Reap What You Sow

Hope Cavendish at The Loaves and Dishes Café
Hope Cavendish, a female former work colleague, telephoned Arcadia Thiessen and invited her to lunch. Arcadia accepted and they met in the Loaves and Dishes Café about ninety (90) minutes later.

After some initial pleasantries and ordering their food and drink, the conversation turned serious.

Arcadia told Hope, “Tabernacle Calderone accepted a job at a catering company in Cairns, North Queensland and relocated to Cairns with the children. My only physical contact with the children now is during holiday periods. He has also formed a relationship with Friday Rauschenberg, who works for a florist and has no children of her own. Calderone told me Friday has met our children on several occasions and everyone has got along well together.”

“Because I am not employed, I am finding it difficult to fund the necessary air travel between Melbourne and Cairns, which would enable me to have contact with the children. So at the moment contact consists of telephone calls, video calls, email and text messages.”

Hope replied, “The news on the job front is not good from my end. It is common knowledge that you abused your work travel entitlements chasing after that appalling man in Sydney. One reason I know about that horrendous man is that you tried to get him a job with us and I was given the task of doing a background check on him.”

“I am also well aware of your behaviour when you travelled for work and so are many other people, that you always cheated on your husband. You had a great job and you abused its privileges. Men still ring from time to time wanting to speak with you, by the way. More than your extensive infidelity, the chat about you is your exceptionally poor judgment. I am ten (10) years older than you and have been in the industry longer than you. I expect that your poor judgment will be a factor in you getting or rather not getting employment in our industry.”

Arcadia: “I have an appointment to see a relationship counsellor tomorrow. She was recommended to me by a friend.”

Hope: “I think that is a good move on your part. Something tangible needs to change for the better in your life.”

As Hope was speaking Arcadia received a text message from O'Jones Delahunty, a man she had met at her gym, asking her if they could have sex again.

Hope heard the sound of the text message notification and asked Arcadia about the message. Arcadia told her.

Hope told Arcadia, “I am happy to try to help you, but you have to make an effort too. Guys like him are unlikely to do anything positive for you.”

“I have to go back to work, Arcadia. Maybe we can catch up again soon.”

Hope then left the Loaves and Dishes Café and returned to work. Arcadia stayed there for about another twenty (20) minutes thinking about what Hope had said to her. Then she went home.

May Huddersfield - Relationship Counsellor
When Arcadia walked into the office of May Huddersfield, she noticed the relationship counsellor was not wearing any make up. That was an indication of what was to come. A candid interaction, which dealt with things as they really are.

“Augustina Fotheringham has told me a little about you. How are you coping with your new family situation?” Huddersfield asked Arcadia.

“I am not coping very well at all”, Arcadia replied.

Huddersfield: “Is it true that you disappeared for a short time?”

Arcadia: “Yes. There had been a series of abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone because I could not see the children. Calderone said he would suspend all contact until they stopped. I went to pieces and caught a train out of town. After about a week away I returned home.”

Huddersfield: “I am not surprised contact with the children was suspended by Calderone”

Arcadia: “It is made more difficult for me because Calderone seems to be coping well with the new arrangement and so are the children. Friday Rauschenberg, his new girlfriend, also seems to be getting along well with everyone.”

Huddersfield: “You brought this on yourself. When you were sleeping with all of those men, you did not want to be with your husband and children. You were pursuing your own entertainment. Were any of the men with whom you were sleeping at all interested in forming a family with you and your children?

Arcadia: “No.”

Huddersfield: “They were only interested in having sex with you?”

Arcadia: “Yes.”

Huddersfield: “I thought so. Your situation has got worse since your husband introduced his girlfriend, Friday, to the children.

Arcadia: “Yes.”

Huddersfield: “Now you have been separated from your children and they seem to be doing well in the company of their father, you have changed your attitude.”

Arcadia: “Yes.”

Huddersfield: “We need to talk about:

  • Why you thought it appropriate to be unfaithful to your husband with these men, especially as none of them were interested in forming a family with you and your children.
  • Why did your focus move from your children?
  • Why did you put your job at risk in acting this way?”

Huddersfield: “There are other questions too. But that is somewhere to start. That will give you something about which to think before we next see each other.”

Arcadia then walked out of the office of May Huddersfield and sat on the bench in a park nearby. She was overwhelmed by what Huddersfield had said to her. She was trying to take it all in, as well as compose herself. It was another demanding experience for Arcadia.

After about forty (40) minutes, she made her way home.

A Visit To The Doctor
Once she was home Arcadia stayed home. She ventured out three (3) days later to see her doctor. The news was not good. Her doctor informed Arcadia she had contracted genital warts and would need to have them treated immediately.

When the doctor asked from whom Arcadia might have contracted them, Arcadia was surprisingly candid about her sex life.

She said, “I have had too many sex partners for me to know.”

The doctor, “You need to contact them, so they can seek medical treatment, if necessary”.

Arcadia could see the doctor was taking detailed notes of what was discussed during their consultation.

Make a List, Check It Twice
The pain and inconvenience of treating the genital warts she had contracted was minor compared to what was involved in telling her sex partners she had contracted them. Arcadia knew the most difficult person to tell would be her husband, Tabernacle Calderone.

When Arcadia arrived home from the doctor she started to compile a list of all her sex partners who may have caused her to contract the genital warts and to whom she may have transmitted them. Whilst their contact details were rarely important previously, they were vital now. She realised that her list was far from complete.

None of the telephone calls were pleasant for Arcadia. In fact some were extremely unpleasant. With each unpleasant telephone call, the thought of telling Calderone about her situation became even more difficult. Arcadia knew that after all her abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone, nothing about this news would be received well by him.

The next few days were very difficult for Arcadia. After contacting several, but by no means all, of the men on her list and enduring the unpleasantries of the conversation, Arcadia decided to send Calderone a short email to tell him. She knew she did not have the strength to tell him by telephone.

It did not occur to Arcadia to contact Augustina Fotheringham or Hope Cavendish and discuss the situation with either of them until after Arcadia had sent the email to Calderone informing him about her genital warts. When Arcadia contacted Augustina, Augustina said she would visit Arcadia and support her whilst she made the remainder of the telephone calls.

It was clear from the telephone calls that there would be no relapse into careless sex for Arcadia, at least for the time being.

Bad News Travels Fast
Calderone was not a happy man when he read the email from Arcadia informing him she had contracted genital warts. He expressed his displeasure loudly and Friday Rauschenberg enquired as to why he was making such a fuss. An angry Calderone immediately showed Friday the email from Arcadia. The response from Friday was a little more subdued.

“So now we have to go to the doctor because of your wife”, Friday said to Calderone.

“She did not get them from me”, Calderone said to Friday, not really in reply to her remark.

Friday and Calderone then had a discussion about Arcadia and her sex partners, which lead to a discussion about their own respective sex partners. Candour was the order of the day, inspired by the surprise news from Arcadia.

The mood of Calderone and Friday improved when their respective doctors told them they did not have any genital warts, nor did they have any other such infections.

Calderone made it clear to Friday that he thought Arcadia had several more sex partners during their marriage than she had previously admitted to him. Friday said she had similar thoughts. Friday could see Calderone was angry about the betrayal by Arcadia. She acknowledged his distress and disappointment and tried to change the topic of discussion to something more pleasant. After about ten (10) minutes she was successful and the mood of Calderone significantly improved. Friday felt her mood improve too.

A New Dawn, A New Day
The next morning Calderone was in much better spirits. The children were playing happily in the back yard and Friday was in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea.

Calderone said to Friday, “I would like you to move in here with the children and I, permanently”.

Friday responded, “Is this because of the news about Arcadia?”

Calderone: “No. I have been thinking about it for some time. I believe it is the correct thing to do. The recent events with Arcadia merely confirm my view”.

Friday: “Have you discussed this with your children?”

Calderone: “I asked them if they had any objections. They both said they had no objections.  They seemed to like the idea.”

Friday finished her cup of tea and said, “I would be very happy to move in here permanently with you and the children”.

There was then an extended passionate kiss between Calderone and Friday. When it was finished Calderone called the children into the kitchen. They came without much delay.

He told them, “Friday is going to be living here permanently with us”.

The children were excited by the news and spontaneously hugged both Calderone and Friday.

“I think we can call that a yes”, Friday said to Calderone.

“It seems so”, Calderone happily said to Friday.

Calderone Wrote To Arcadia
Arcadia had not heard from Calderone since she wrote to him informing him about her genital warts. She had completed her task of contacting all of her sex partners for whom she had contact details and telling them about her genital warts situation. None of it was a pleasant task. Most of the men were not happy to hear the news and made sure Arcadia was aware of their displeasure.

Arcadia was not keen to hear any more bad or unpleasant news.

She was devastated by the news which greeted her when she opened the latest e-mail from Calderone. It read, “Friday Rauschenberg is moving into the house with the children and I. The children are very happy about the news.”