How Hale dumped his daughter

2009-08-01 00:00

FUGITIVE broker Mike Hale recently made attempts to reconcile with his daughter whom he abandoned as an unborn child in 1976.

“He called in June out of the blue, saying he wanted to see his grandchildren, my two kids. He went back to South Africa and I haven’t heard from him since,” said Hale’s daughter, Kelly Bloomfield, from the UK.

She said her father left her unmarried mother Mavis, now 63, when she was six months pregnant. “He just disappeared,” she said. “There was no note, he just took everything and left. Later an engagement card arrived congratulating him for getting engaged to another woman. My mother knew nothing about her.”

Hale owned MJCM independent brokers at 296 Bulwer street in Pietermaritzburg and has lived and worked in the city for over 30 years.

On July 9 he skipped the country, leaving behind his wife, who had been under the impression he was going on holiday to the UK. He allegedly stole his wife’s gold coins, cashed some of her policies and fled with more than R12 million of his clients’ investments. He cleaned out all his business accounts, leaving his employees unpaid.

A week after he left, clients did not receive interest from investments with him, and when they made inquiries with the MJCM staff, they were told that the files were missing. After he left, Hale spent about three days at his sister’s in Walsall near Birmingham and then disappeared.

During his visit to England in June, Hale went to see an old water-polo team-mate, Brian Pugh, the manager of the Walsall Water Polo Club. He said Hale made an unannounced visit during which he discussed returning to live in England.

Pugh was a member of the Great Britain team at the same time as Hale. “He turned up completely unannounced, saying he wanted to come back home. He had knocked on his sister’s door and said he was staying for a few weeks.

“I got the impression that he was going to bring his family with him and live in Walsall. He had done well in South Africa, but said there was too much trouble there,” he said.

“He was a very good player in his day, very well known and a very handsome guy,” said Pugh.

Hale worked as a teacher at the West Midlands College in England. After leaving the Walsall club in the 1970s, he moved to London and joined the Sutton & Cheam Water Polo Club.

Hale’s family were deeply involved in water polo. His father, Dennis, and uncle, Jack, also received international caps. Jack Hale was appointed general secretary of the Walsall club in 1951 and held this position until his death in 1974. He was manager of the national team in 1967.

“He was very close to his uncle and came back for his funeral, but he did not come back when his father died,” said Pugh.

Bloomfield said she had only seen her father once before, when she spent two weeks in South Africa at the age of 16.

“I didn’t get to see him much because he spent most of the time working, so his wife looked after me,” she said. “He had a nice house with a Jacuzzi and seemed to be doing well.”

“He is a very clever man, but he is also a very secretive person. I hope they find him soon,” she said.

THE SA Police Service is collecting evidence against Hale before issuing a warrant of arrest. Groups lobbying for his arrest have raised concerns about the apparent lack of urgency in the investigation. But SAPS spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said the police should be allowed to investigate. “People must be patient; this case is treated the same way as other cases. These are allegations and they have to be substantiated.” He said the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has been informed. “We will apply for a warrant of arrest and then make an application for extradition with Interpol.”

There was no note, he just took everything and left the cupboards open with nothing inside.

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