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I purchased goods from a lady 11 years ago but it turns out…

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I purchased goods from a...
I purchased goods from a lady 11 years ago but it turns out they were her husband's and not hers to sell in his absence from the family home (they were seperated, later divorced) and to cover up she said the house had been burgled while she was asleep and he reported this to the police. An item has now been identified which I sold on 8 years ago and I am to be interviewed by the police. What is my legal position in this situation?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: UK Law
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6/21/2010
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 8 years ago
Jo C.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
no. only my diary notes. this couple were family friends so we were trying to maintain relations with both. the lady invited my wife and I to her home for a social visit on 30.1.99, her man friend was also present. during the evening she said her husband had left her without any money and she then showed us items she said were hers to sell. I asked if she was certain that they were hers, she said yes. I said I would think about it. One week later on 7 feb 99 I rang her and asked her again if they were hers to sell and again she said yes and that there would be no hassle from her husband. I said I would call the next day to look at the items again and pay for them if we reached agreement on price. She named a time for my visit and insisted on cash should we agree a deal. I visited her alone on 8 feb 99 and asked her again if they were hers to sell. She again said yes. I selected 4 items and paid £500-00. I believe, subject to police confirmation, that the husband reported the alleged burglary in the prior year, i.e., 1998.
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 8 years ago
OK. did you have any idea these items were not hers to sell?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
yes. this is why I asked her several times if they were hers to sell. But she gave me the impression that in the circumstances of her husband leaving her without money she had his leave to sell these items.
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 8 years ago

In that case, you have committed an offence.

 

It should be a no comment interview with the police and you need a solicitor with you.

 

If you knew the goods belonged to another or suspected that they may have done then purchasing them was an act of handling stolen goods.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I misunderstood one of your questions. I did not suspect that the lady might not have proper title to the items she offered me but in the circumstances she had explained to me at the time my belief was at that time that the items were her property to sell or dispose of as she wished.
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 8 years ago

Hi,

 

If you are saying that you did not know or suspect that the goods were not hers to sell then you do have a defence for handling stolen goods.

 

However, there are other offences under the proceeds of crime legislation that do impose a much greater duty upon the defendant and you could be prosecuted for something under that unless you can show there was no reason to suspect that the goods were not hers to sell and the burden of proof passes to you to show that.

 

You would have a defence though, so although you need a solicitor in police interview you can safely answer questions.

 

That said all of this is really advice you should be getting from your own solicitor as he will have had full vision of the case and I have not. Good luck
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