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Alex H
Alex H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2380
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 25 years legal experience
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Hello Back in 2009 my now ex-husband accused me of domestic

Resolved Question:

Hello

Back in 2009 my now ex-husband accused me of domestic violence (namely: spitting at him). The accusation was fabricated; basically, that night I discovered bank statements that indicated he had accrued substantial amount of debt he had not told me about prior to us getting married. I was in his car and the statements were scattered all over it clearly showing all the figures, so I did not violate his right to privacy. I asked him what it was and he replied it was his debt. Back then I already was a certified Money and Debt Advisor, so I offered my help but he firmly declined. Well, we did have an argument as despite the fact that our earnings were equal, it was me who supported us financially as all his money was being put into repaying credit card debt and other loans that he refused to seek assistnace with.

This is important, because at one moment he grabbed me by the throat and pinned me to the door. I managed to break free and told him I'd be calling the police. He ran out of the house. I dialled the police number but the hung up as I decided I didn't want to wreck this guy's career (CRB), so I'd just leave and divorce him.

Well, I wish I hadn't been so mercyful! Apparently, he ran straight to his friend's house who advised him to call the police asap and say it was me who attacked me, because 'the one who calls the police first is the winner'. So, there was two officers knocking on my door. I was in the middle of having a bath but I let them in thinking they turned up following me dialling their emergency number. To my surprise they advised me my husband was accussing me of DV (spitting) and that they believed him because 'he had a scrath on his neck'. I replied that I had nothing to do with it and the scrath might have been anything. Nevertheless I agreed to go to the station with them 'for a chat' (as they described it) when they requested. I got dressed and upon leaving the house I remembered I was on a very early shift at work the following day, so I asked them if I really had to go with them. What did they do? They arrested me in the middle of the street without giving me any answer. So then I had to go with them. They took my DNA, fingerprints etc.

Obviously I requested a solicitor. He turned up relatively quickly, I told him the whole story that is described in the first paragraph of this lenghty email. By that time my neck had started to swell, so I might have appeared more trustworthy, I don't know. The solicitor advised me the police had told him I was 'very drunk and possibly on drugs'. We laughed as it was a flat out lie. I had two beers many hours before (a quick drink with friends after work). I have never done drugs in my life, not even a joint. I even requested to be tested for alcohol and drug levels but the police refused!

The solicitor then told me the alleged victim had refused to give the police a statement. Frankly, I suspect he got scared because at this point telling lies might have had dire consequences for him. So, there was no statement. I got released soon after. It said 'released without charge'.

I still have a letter from the solicitor describing everything I told him. While I admitted we might need counselling due to my ex-husband's financial problems, I never admitted harming him as I was innocent. In fact, he harmed me but by that time I had had enough of the police and just wanted to leave the police station.

My ex advised me the police had never told him they would arrest me. They told him they would just go and talk to me to get my side of the story. Apparently he had been waiting at the door of that station all the time scared of what he had caused but nobody wanted to speak to him.

Anyway, we got divorced shortly after. The divorce was granted and the grounds used were those of my ex-husband's unreasonable behaviour including what he did that night. He signed the papers.

Now, since I 've worked in the NGO sector all my life, another and very natural step for me is to become a social worker. But with an arrest for DV showing on an enhanced CRB I doubt I will get very far.

I would like to know what to do in this case. Of course, my ex will not sign anything saying he lied to the police and only called them because his friend (a local authority officer) told him 'it would look bad if he didn't' as he had left our house following an argument, as this would mean incriminating himself.

I feel the police might have been biased because my country of origin (Eastern Europe) and because my appearance is not mainstream. Why I'm saying it is because on many occassions they dismissed my side of the story, told me 'it might be quicker without a solicitor' and made false allegations about me being intoxicated refusing to test me for alcohol and drugs at the same time. I later researched the arrest procedure and in my case it did not looked how it should have.

I apologise for writing a dissertation.

Best regards

Joanna
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Alex H replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your question. I will try and help you with this.

Just to confirm: you were not charged or give any form of police warning?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Not charged, no police warning, no caution, nothing. I denied everything as I was innocent and after a brief interview with my solicitor present I was released with no charge.

Expert:  Alex H replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I will be away for an hour or so. Please bear with me and I will provide a full answer to your question.
Expert:  Alex H replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your patience. The information held by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), formerly known as the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB), comes from the police database.

Any information revealed by DBS which is disputed can be appealed via DBS or preferably it should be taken up with the police. The system is reliant on police information so ideally you should go straight to the source.

You can complain the police on the basis that the original matter was unsubstantiated, did not result in a warning or court proceedings and it is a violation of your right to private life for disclosure of an unproven allegation. There is some case law which says that old trivial matters should not appear on a DBS check.

So, I suggest you get in touch with DBS and find out the contact details of the force which placed the data on the records and then write to that police force and ask them to remove the information.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello


 


Thank you very much for your advice. I have heard about the possibility of challenging the data disclosed as 'additional information', however been also told this would be a lenghty and costly process unlikely to result in having the information removed.


 


I wonder what has happened to the 'innocent until proven guilty' principle but I guess nobody can answer that question for me.


 


Thank you for your time, your advice is appreciated.

Expert:  Alex H replied 1 year ago.
Hi

The process is neither lengthy nor expensive. It requires some patience and work on your part but ultimately it could be beneficial to you.

It only becomes expensive if you seek professional help and/or decide the Judicially Review the police decision. Even then legal aid may be available to assist you.

The standard of proof, innocent until proven guilty, only applies to criminal trials.

Please remember to rate my answer so that I am credited for my time.

Alex
Alex H, Solicitor/Partner
Satisfied Customers: 2380
Experience: Partner in national law firm with 25 years legal experience
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