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Karl Starratt

Fighting Nova Scotia's cover-up of the wrongs that were done to him

Karl Starratt

inJusticebusters didn't really need another Nova Scotia injustice story -- it is a lot of work to develop a new story and present it. Nova Scotia seems to be as corrupt as Saskatchewan and we have hardly made a dent here, except to get our story told on Fifth Estate. Nova Scotia government officials have been visiting the website regularly since we first posted the amazing story of how they have covered up the illegal abduction of Emma McCarthy in Dec., 1998. Gervaise and Maureen Miller, whose son Clayton Miller died under questionable circumstance while in the custody of police has also been ignored by every level of government (although there are some indications that story may be revived shortly.)

Karl Starratt was persistent. He sent us copies of letters he had sent to every level of government -- and their brush-off replies. He sent documented evidence of unfair court proceedings and illegal seizure of his assets. There is no doubt whatsoever that this man has received the brush-off from Nova Scotia. But his story was lost in the bureaucratic correspondence. We finally wrote to him and said, "Karl, why don't you just tell us what happened in your own words, like we were having coffee." We asked him to send us some pictures while he was at it. This is his story -- in his own words.

Karl Starratt's Story

My late sister, Margaret Turner, was unexpectedly widowed in October 1979 She was a teaching Nurse at the Sydney City Hospital She was also an asthmatic, and one fateful evening in October of 1981 she suffered a bad attack (after her children had gone to bed) and realized she had to get to a hospital for help She did not attempt to drive her own car but called a taxi. On the way to the hospital she aspirated and choked to death in the back of that taxi.

A decision had to be made as to how the 3 children (ages eight, twelve, and fourteen) were to be cared for After a few days had past and after the funeral arrangements were taken care of, small meetings of close relatives were held.

Everyone wanted to keep the three children together, but no one felt they could take them all My ex-wife had originally stated she felt she could not carry the burden of looking after 3 additional children (at the time we had 2 of our own ages six and seven), but after some reflection she emotionally told me she thought we should take the children and assured me she could cope I'm sure you can appreciate that this would disrupt our family and that it would cause her a lot of extra work; cooking, shopping, washing, etc., as at that time I was working full time as a Bank Manager It also took a lot of my time evenings and weekends as we had all the children involved in various activities, and a lot of driving was involved (to and from) We also made several trips per year to take the children back to Glace Bay to visit their Grandparents and friends, and at the same time we visited with my then wife's parents who lived in Sydney Mines

Getting back to matters, within the next day or two a second general meeting was held with most close relatives in attendance Most were paternal relatives My brother (he lives in London, Ontario) and I were both in attendance, the only maternal relatives During that meeting nothing had changed in respect to most people, but I announced that my wife and I had decided to take the children if that was agreeable with everyone, including the children Everyone appeared to agree that was the best solution, and my then wife later told me that she noticed that everyone appeared to breathe a big sigh of relief.

I subsequently was appointed as administrator of Margaret Turner's estate as she died intestate During the course of attending to sundry matters requiring immediate attention (banking, bills, etc.), I also consulted with a lawyer in Glace Bay for advice in relation to guardianship matters, and to initiate my formal appointment as guardian

We lived in a three-bedroom home so the question of alterations was raised in order to comfortably accommodate everyone I was advised that it would be considered normal to use trust funds for such a purpose Also, as we were now a family of seven that trust funds could be used to assist with the purchase of a seven-passenger van I initially used my own resources for these purposes as I wanted to conserve trust funds as far as possible, as I felt there may be a possibility that trust funds may well run out before all the children were out on their own I wasn't earning enough money to cover the care of the additional children completely out of my own pocket.

In any event the funds I spent using my personal borrowing power for the house alterations ($10,225.00 plus interest), and van ($5,780.00 borrowed cash, plus my car and the Turner children car were traded in) was considered a loan to the trust, and I felt I could recoup these funds at a later date if urgently needed which turned out to be the case after I resigned from the bank (that's another story, but is irrelevant) As you may recall the interest rates during the 1980's were"through the roof" the prime lending rate was at least 20% at one point and I have copies of bank documentation to prove that point Using a modest rate of 10% on $16,005.00, I calculated simple interest for an even six years to be $9,603.00 for a total contribution from my personal resources of $25,608.00 It should be noted that I was paying interest on borrowed funds while the"trust" was earning interest of up to 15% on invested funds The Referee stated in his report that I was liable for $23,000.00, less $4,000.00 as an administration fee, or $19,000.00 He did not allow me any credit for the above-mentioned expenditures, or take into consideration that I testified that my then wife and myself had spent other smaller amounts from our own resources throughout the years which we had no way to calculate exactly, but over in excess of six years this was adding up.

In any event I don't want to get too far ahead of my story. Unfortunately, the added responsibilities and pressures were taking a heavy toll on our marriage, and, without going into irrelevant details my then wife decided we should divorce When certain paternal relatives heard about this they apparently became concerned that some of the responsibility and financial costs may fall on them in the later years of the guardianship (at this point the children were 14, 18, and 20 years of age, all still living under the Starratt"roof") The first I heard that trouble was brewing was when my then lawyer, Lance Scaravelli, advised me that he had received a letter dated December 2, 1987, from Mr. A. James Musgrave of the law firm Cox, Downie & Goodfellow, representing certain paternal relatives of the Turner children, stating there was concern about the financial management of trust funds and he wanted to review my records.

It turned out that they wanted to set up a formal inquiry under the jurisdiction of the Guardianship Act, and which they did I had no objection, as I had done nothing wrong Mr. Musgrave, working in concert with Mr. A. Martin Smith, the local Prothonotary, made the formal arrangements and had Mr. Smith appointed as the Referee You will recall that I stated in my letter dated April 3, 2000 to the Chief of Police that this Referee/Prothonotary was the person responsible for the approval of the illegal attachment order against me, and for the breach of various civil and criminal laws as described.

This was the beginning of a witch-hunt and a "kangaroo court" fraudulent inquiry. Mr. Smith appeared to have little control over the inquiry, and was acting as a"puppet" for Mr. Musgrave Also as indicated in my letter to the Chief of Police my lawyer, Mr. Scaravelli, was doing a poor job of representing me, and I have come to believe he was just letting the scam happen in order to protect his colleagues at my expense I believe he recognized the corruption was taking place and that is the reason he wanted distance himself from the process, and finally "threw in the towel" at the last minute and left me without any representation I also believe the judge responsible for the adoption of the Referee's report knew there was a serious problem, did not take any steps to ensure I had legal representation, showed no interest in protecting my rights or that I was ensured my right to"natural justice" The court transcript shows obvious bias against me on the part of the judge.

As explained in the letter to the Chief of Police, during the first day of the inquiry I testified and gave evidence about monies I had spent from my own resources, and in respect to the life insurance proceeds not being part of guardianship assets. As stated in my letter to the Chief of Police I believe the foregoing evidence threw both Mr. Musgrave and Mr. Smith into a panic and was the real reason they adjourned the inquiry for 20 days after only one day of a six day inquiry, during which time they proceeded with the illegal attachment of all my major assets. I won't repeat the rest of the information that is described in my letter dated April 3, 2000 to the Chief of Police, other than to say that despite my testimony court documents prepared by both Mr. Musgrave and Mr. Smith stated that the life insurance proceeds were payable to the children That is false and I have copies of documents that prove that my brother and myself were appointed as trustees under the life insurance policy and I have a copy of the relative cheque, $38,284.22, that the life insurance company issued proving that life insurance proceeds were paid to Karl and Alvin Starratt as Trustees.

Accordingly, these monies did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Guardianship Act, and the only stipulation was that the proceeds be used for the education, maintenance, and benefit of the Turner children, which is what happened, and was in accordance with legal advice I had received prior to formally accepting responsibility for the guardianship; in fact the legal advice stated I could even use guardianship estate trust funds for the purposes described.

Of the initial trust funds available, 57% were life insurance proceeds The Turner children were under my care for a total of 75 months, and according to the analysis done by Mr. Musgrave's Accountant, which was accepted into court records, the total of monies spent from trust funds (including life insurance proceeds, family allowance, Canada Pension, interest, etc) amounted to $120,368.55 This amount does not include any money that came from my own resources or that was allowed by the referee as an administration fee.

I have subsequently provided interested parties with a copy of a 1990 newspaper article that states that according to a Manitoba government survey it costs approximately $200,000.00 to offer one's children the basic goods and services from birth to age 18 It does not seem unreasonable to expect that it would cost at least as much, or nearly as much, to provide for three children for 6 years plus 3 months The period involved in respect to the Turner children was from October 1981 to January 1988, and I would be doubtful if the cost would vary to a significant degree due to the differential in time periods.

My concerns are as follows: The resulting judgment against me of approximately $40,000.00 plus accruing interest, the fact that I was forced into bankruptcy, the fact that my interests in the marital cottage property was sold under Sheriff's sale, that my wages were garnisheed causing embarrassment and subsequent indirect loss of that job, that this fiasco was directly responsible for the denial of a provincial license required in order to earn a living, that I have been forced to live in poverty as a result of my"Good Samaritan" actions, that my reputation, character, honesty, integrity have been badly damaged and impugned, that it is so easy for lawyers and justice officials to corrupt the justice system and get away with it, and most importantly I am concerned for the safety of the unsuspecting general public who are potentially in serious jeopardy if the lawyers and justice officials initially responsible, and other officials and politicians involved with the criminal cover-up of wrongdoing, are not held accountable.

NOTE: Any Nova Scotia lawyers, or other interested persons, who would like further particulars and/or who might consider offering assistance on a contingency basis, are invited to contact Karl Starratt by e-mail