Waynes family were amazing, but I couldnt cope with losing Wayne and bringing up Nicole in a country I still didnt understand. She told me that Wayne had been in a road accident on the Churchill-Roosevelt bypass. I had to get back home, and Waynes family helped me book flights for me and Nicole a week after Waynes funeral.
It was a totally crazy really, there was just too much to organise at once! says Caroline. We had a new child, had to work out travel and passports and visas and everything, say goodbye to our old friends and organise our new life in Trinidad. The joint accounts she shared with Wayne had accumulated a huge amount of debt she was completely in the dark about.
Some resources regarding this article:
GamCare – Registered UK charity for gambling addiction
Ex-pat Life insurance Guide to life insurance for ex-patriots
After 14 months of living in relatively simple accommodation in Port-of-Spain, Trinidads capital, things were beginning to settle down. Looking back I think I was completely unprepared, but we got there.
Returning to the UK, Caroline sought solace from her family and friends. Wayne had gotten us into over 35,000 of debt, and had never told me.
Caroline sought advice from a financial advisor, and after weighing up her options, she set up an IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement) to repay the debt with her creditors over a period of time. I dont think she told me then that he had been killed instantly, but I somehow knew. Wayne was pronounced dead on the scene, as were his passenger, a work colleague, and two other victims of the crash had also been killed. But now I was burdened with it the joint account meant it was all in my name. It was later found that Wayne and the driver of the pick-up were both heavily inebriated while driving. I trusted Wayne, why would I need to? I was busy working out the new mess of houses, schools, jobs and a million other things.
He could have told me, he really could says Caroline but I think he thought we could disappear to the Caribbean and leave behind all this debt and never have to look back. But it was obvious from her tone that something was very wrong, and ultimately I got it out of her. It was my sister-in-law, at first she wouldnt tell me what was wrong, she just kept saying to stay there. I was so angry at him.
Wayne had been in a three car accident involving a pick-up a saloon, and his car. And if you must get a joint account make sure you keep an eye on what is going in and out of it, dont just leave it up to trust..
I found out from my bank that we had a maxed out 12,000 overdraft which had just been sitting mounting up debt, and the 3 credit cards that we had shared were also maxed out. We had a joint account but I rarely enquired about it.
Bank statements show Wayne had been spending money on online gambling sites, playing Poker, Roulette and Blackjack at 3 different online gambling sites, as well as gambling at betting shops in Glasgow.
Counting the cost . Some of the creditors reduced the debt due to Carolines circumstances. It was such a shock I just put down the phone, I dont think I even hung up, and I went through to Nicoles room and just sat there with her until my sister-in-law Donna and her husband arrived.
A new life in paradise
My advice to others thinking about emigrating – I didnt know that Wayne was going to die, but we should have at least had a life insurance policy, we were moving abroad into the unknown, it was stupid.
IVA advice Professional advice on Individual Voluntary Agreements
I got the call quite early, 11pm, I wasnt really expecting Wayne to be back until much later in the evening because he was working at the club, and Ive never been sure why he was even driving at the time. But there was to be a further turn of events as Caroline began to piece together her old life. Forced to return to the UK, Caroline found her husband had been secretly hiding his gambling addiction from her, and she was liable for his debt.
Caroline met Wayne Sarin in London in 1997 where they both worked in a call centre for a major telecoms company, and they quickly got engaged. Wayne was always keen to move back to Trinidad, and after being married for a 3 years and the birth of their daughter Nicole, Caroline agreed to emigrate. Carolines daughter Nicole would soon be starting at the local school, Caroline had secured a good job working as a payroll administrator, and Wayne was working as a night-club promoter.
A late night call
Escaping from the damp streets of Glasgow to the tropical climate of the Caribbean seemed like a wonderful opportunity to Caroline Sarin and her family, but when her husband was killed in a tragic road accident, this dream turned into a nightmare. The funeral was held 5 days later, shortly before Trinidads carnival was set to swing into place. I spent most of my time looking after our daughter Nicole, and Wayne was in charge of the finances. Wayne was originally from Trincity in the Caribbean island of Trinidad, and in the three years before they got married they travelled to the island twice, staying with Waynes welcoming family. says Caroline. Wayne didnt have life insurance, and I had very little money left