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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have recently found out that I have been the victim of theft.

Customer Question

I have recently found out that I have been the victim of theft. Many years ago, I bought a lottery ticket which went missing - I thought I had lost it. Recently, I have come to understand that the lottery ticket was actually stolen and the perpetrator has cashed in my ticket and became very wealthy. This occurred in 1996/97. Is there anything I can do about this ?

I looked intensively for this this ticket at the time but I was not absolutely sure of the numbers and so could not approach the National Lottery as I could not confirm the numbers I had chosen or provide the actual ticket. After a while, I gave up the search and, noticing the prize was claimed a few years later, assumed that I must have been mistaken. However, the perpetrator has apparently admitted his actions on a facebook forum to which I do not have access. Please advise further.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you answer tailored to your circumstances I will need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What action would you like to take about this theft?

What would you like to achieve?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would like some financial redress as, had I been able to make my claim, I would not currently be facing future financial difficulties. Also my child has/will miss out on opportunities that should have been theirs.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry for any delay you are experiencing. Unfortunately there are some bugs online and have been for a while. Its not something I have control over because the site is hosted in California and I am in London.

Why did you only recently become aware of this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have heard people at work talking about this (who somehow must have access to/knowledge of this forum). They were talking about it near me but in hushed voices but I did hear what they said. It could have been an anonymous story but the determining point for me is that they mentioned the persons name - it was the name of the person I shared a house with at the time (Lee). I have never told anyone all the details of this incident - and, as I mentioned there was a timelag of a couple of years before the claim was made and so I thought I must have been gravely mistaken. So, the information cannot originate from something I have said to someone on the topic.


 


Also, as I was looking for this ticket all those years ago, I remember Lee sitting on the stairs outside my room and asking if I was OK and whether I was looking for something. I was quite upset/confused at the time so just responded (through the closed door) that I was OK. Sometime after that I moved out of the shared house but continued to look through my personal papers for the ticket but never found it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
.

Thanks for the information.

You can always report it to the police. There is no time barring upon criminal offences although its fair to say that from a prosecutors point of view delay is a disadvantage.

If there were to be a conviction then you would probably get a compensation order.

The police can also bring a Proceeds of Crime prosecution.

Alternatively you could sue in conversion. The difficulty that you will face is time barring unfortunately. You had six years from the date of the wrongful act to sue under the Limitation Act 1980. You can make an application to extend time under the Limitation Act but you need to show a really good reason for not acting in time. Courts are pretty hot about time barring.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I did not realise a crime was committed until recently. Would this help extend the timings for the Limitations Act?


 


Would the police take this seriously? I have considered going but thought they would just laugh at this.


 


I understand that this is a sensitive situation. The person concerned will not want to be labelled. On the otherhand, this is seriously impactful on myself and my family and so I feel I do need to pursue this.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for the delay overnight.

Only recently becoming aware of this is a basis of an argument under limitation although obviously nobody can guarantee it would succeed.

I can completely see why you want to take action.

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