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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69776
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My wife has been clearing out the loft and selling things on

Customer Question

My wife has been clearing out the loft and selling things on ebay, (some of these items were sent to us over 6 months ago by my previous employer) these had been mixed up with the to sell pile, and have been sold.
my previous employer is pressing charges, what should i do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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

What is he pressing charges for?

How did he find out about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i think he found out via ebay.


he has informed the police, the came to my home on tuesday and i spoke to them over the phone as i was not in. i will be going to see them on saturday.


i had explained over 3 weeks ago this was an error as these itmes were mixed up with items to sell.


i ofered to cover the cost to replace them.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

How does he know they belong to him?

Are they unique?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

2 of the items had serial numbers, and were registered. the rest was generic total, 6 items in total total cost approx £1000.


i have nothing to deny, we did sell them, but it has been an admin error.


i offered to go to see the police at the weekend to try and clear this up.


i hve today gone over my paperwork on leaving the company, we did sign a mutual letter saying neither had any further claim over the other.


i am not sure how best to procede with the police, apart from telling them the truth.


and trying to explain the mistake...

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I see. So they can identify them.

How did their property end up in your loft?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes two item could be the rest not.


they sent it to me.


on leaving, they were happy i didnt have any more company property, if they had asked i would have looked for it and returned it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

But didn't you know that you had this property? Sorry if I'm missing the point.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

these items were posted to my parents address about 6 months ago. they were then put into the bottom of a bag and forgotton about.


the bag went from thir house to my house and was put into the loft by my wife.


i forgot this had been sent to me.


last month we dacided to do a clear out and my wife had posted them on ebay.


in between them sending the items and them being sold, i was involved in an violent attach and had suffered a head injury and have been very forgetfull ever since.


i do have a police report on the incident.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Are you asking if they will accept this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

am i in trouble, in short?


how much trouble?


is my version and being willing to cover the cost of this error, justification?


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry and I wish I could say something else but I'm afraid that you probably are. Your employers will be sayng that you stole these items and since this is theft from employer that will mean that the sentencing options are greater than normal.

To be wholly honest, i would brace yourself for a charge I;m afraid. Obviously I haven't had full vision of this case and I have seen thefts from employer discontinued on fairly strong evidence in the past. However, whichever way you look at this, items which belonged to your employer and can be traced by serial number were found on Ebay and thats a problem.

Whether or not they are going to accept that it was al an accident dpeends basically upon your credibility which I can't assess in this forum but I have to concede that it does look suspicious.

Being willing to cover the cost goes only to mitigation rather than to the issue of innocent or guilt Im afraid.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

even though these items were posted to me and not taken.


also there is a letter stating we have no claim over each other in the future and all business has been finalised.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
But the problem is that they will probably say that you knew you did have items that shoud have been returned to your employer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

they should have know they sent them to me also and should have asked for them back.


what about the closing letter, saying the company agrees not to pursue any claims against me.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, possibly but you should have sent them back. Thats the problem.

The closing letter was obviously sent when the company didn't know about this and the difficulty is that they will be saying that you did and should have corrected the error.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

final question


If that is the case and with this letter in mind, what if i went with a different tact.

I am currently back in the UK having started working for a company based in Wales 2 months ago (not sure if this is relevant but just in case).

I resigned from my previous employment in January this year - the split was acrimonious - they refused to pay me what I was owed and I had to fight to get only some of it (that's pretty common in Kenya).

Upon leaving the company a letter was signed by both myself and my employers stating that neither owed the other anything. I still have my copy.

Some company items were purchased and sent to my parents in the UK. however as I did not visit the UK very often, some items were placed in the garage/loft etc by my parents to be out of their way. Figuring that since I was not asked for these items when we were settling my leave package and signing the letters I have mentioned, I sold these items on eBay. I kind of assumed the company thinking was 'well, we've ripped him off for thousands of dollars so let's ignore the other stuff'. Anyway, 2 items, it seems, were registered to the company and having seen that I am selling them, now the boss has contacted UK police and reported them as stolen by me. I am supposed to be seeing the police this weekend. Where do I stand? I told the police it was a mistake and that these items were sold along with my personal belongings. Which is partly true - I told family to eBay some of my things…

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, its as I've said really.

Obviously you can only tell the truth or say nothing.

You may as well go in. If you don't they will only arrest you.

If this is your defence then it will have to be offered but I would brace yourself for them to disbelieve it. There is at least a risk of that.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69776
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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