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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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All property relating to my business was seized by the police

Resolved Question:

All property relating to my business was seized by the police as they thought it was illegal (it wasn't). In court I was acquitted of all charges relating to my business. When I tried to get my property back in feb 2009 I found out that the police had not stored it correctly and that around £70,000 worth had been lost, disposed of or damaged. The police have admitted that it was damaged while in their possession but say they do not have to compensate me for my losses.
The police action caused me to lose my business, my home, family and friends. It has left me in debt and with a very poor credit rating because of this I cannot afford to pay a solicitor/barrister up front.
Can I sue them, what for and how do I go about it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

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

The relevance of Sutcliff v South Yorkshire is this. That was a case where the mother of a Ripper victim sued the police effectively for failing to catch him earlier and thereby prevent her daughter's murder. She got short change from the Court. The ruling was that the police are not responsible for damages consequential to their investigation or the failures. That is the point they are making and it is a good one.

However, there is a claim for the actual items that were lost or damaged. The value of those items can be claimed simply enough by suing at the county court.

What you cannot do is claim for the losses to your business which is their point arising from Sutcliffe v South Yorkshire police.

If you cannot afford to pay then you will need to self represent. You will still have to pay court costs although they are reclaimable.

Also, you need to act swiftly as you are close to time barring. You have six years from the date of the wrongful destruction to bring this claim.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70008
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo.


 


I believe the sutcliffe v police relates to Sutcliffe suing the police because his car was destroyed (arson) whilst in the polices' 'custody'.


 


After sutcliffe had been arrested his car was taken for forensics. When he was imprisoned he asked that his car be sold and the money put into his prison account. It turned out it had been burnt out in a police station compound.


 


I think the ruling was that the police don't have to be Insurers and the case went against him.


 


Obviously my case is different. My goods were seized to either stop me from continuing a crime (which I wasn't); or as evidence, (the police aren't totally clear on this but assume the former).


 


Originally I was convicted of 'conspiracy to aid and abett' (unknown in Law)


The whole case was a farce, we were going to to be found guilty no matter what. The 'boys' had 'decided'.


 


My Barrister told me we wouldn't get justice until we got to the court of appeal and he was right.


I was acquitted of all charges relating to my business on appeal by the Lord Chief Justice. The CPS asked for permission for a retrial which was refused so they went behind his back and did it anyway! Luckily the judge ruled that this was an abuse of process and Autrafois aquit applied (forgive my poor latin).


 


The police wanted to and did put me out of business.


 


They admit that the damage was caused by poor storage on their part.


They know they have left me destitute and unable to pay for legal representation.


They know that legal aid is not available for this case


 


Do the police, as bailors, have a duty of care when seizing and storing my property?


If they damage, lose, destroy my goods do they have to compensate me? they certainly don't think they have to!



If they do, who do I sue, the officer in charge of the case or the chief constable?


 


The police have dragged their feet over anything to do with this and have considerably shortened the time I have to get them into court.


 


What the police, cps and the original trial judge did was wrong on very many levels and they must not be allowed to get away with it...


 


However I am a realist, if I am wasting my time please tell me.


 


Yours Paul


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If thats what they are relying upon and you know that then that has no relevance.

I have to say that I haven't heard of that particular action but that doesn't mean its not binding law.

But you are right. If they have lost items belonging to you then they are liable for those specific losses.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi again.


 


Could you just answer this bit please.


 


Do the police, as bailors, have a duty of care when seizing and storing my property?


 


If they damage, lose, destroy my goods do they have to compensate me? they certainly don't think they have to!


 



If they do, who do I sue, the officer in charge of the case or the chief constable?


 


Ta v much


 


Paul


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The individuals don't but the force do.

Surcliffe does appear to have weakened it but on different issues.

Sue the constabulary not the officers.

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