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Ask Alice H Your Own Question
Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Hi I have been cautioned by the police and a report is being

Customer Question

Hi I have been cautioned by the police and a report is being sent to PF under the computer misue act 1990 section 1. A hotel I was suspended from have reported this, the police had a record of my SKY account and my ip address obtained from Sky. The hotel claim misuse caused £2000 worth of false bookings. When questioned I answered no comment to every question. Where can this go?


 


sorry the sky account is in my husbands name but I pay it via my bank account. Is this against data protection?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.

Alex Hughes :

My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.

Alex Hughes :

Please clarify how this alleged offence is said to have occurred.

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

Hi

Alex Hughes :

Hi. Please clarify how this offence was allegedly committed.

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

via an external booking site the hotel uses

Alex Hughes :

OK. And why is that a crime?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

They have info from sky and the company booking.com, which shows an ip addresss they say is mine, that accessed site opened up rooms for a date they were full for and they say its cost them £2000 to relocate these people

Alex Hughes :

I see. And are they alleging that you have made any financial gain from this?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

no no financial gain but that I was not authorised to do so on their behalf- I was suspended from my job during this time. I have an employment constructive dismissal claim against them

Alex Hughes :

OK. Finally - have you ever been in trouble with the police before?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

no never

Alex Hughes :

Based on the information you've given you could be prosecuted for computer misuse and/or fraud. Fraud involves dishonesty and an intention to make a gain or cause a loss. With an alleged loss of around £2,000 involving some planning, if found guilty you could be looking at a high level community order - this could be supervision, unpaid work or curfew. If you plead guilty then a discount will be applied to the sentence reducing the number of hours etc. As you have never been in trouble before I really don't think prison is a real prospect. You haven't gained anything and no harm has been caused to consumers/public.

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

how do they prove it was me and how can they obtain information from sky- it is my husbands account, it could have been anyone within this house?

Alex Hughes :

Who was your employer?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

Merchant City Inn limited- they have only employed myself since nov 2013- although I was in that position in company for 19years

Alex Hughes :

The information from Sky is not an issue. Section 35 Data Protection Act 1998 states that there is an exemption from non-disclosure for the purpose of legal proceedings including bringing or defending a claim. So if a crime is suspected the DPA will not apply.

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

how can PF prove it was me doing this?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

how will this effect my employment claim?

Alex Hughes :

I don't know how they will prove you committed the alleged offence. But presumably if you are innocent you saif so during your police interview?

Alex Hughes :

Sorry....you made no comment. Why?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

I did not know what to say

Alex Hughes :

But you would have said -- its not me I didn't commit a crime, right?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

no I did not say that

Alex Hughes :

What led them to you and not your husband?

Alex Hughes :

Its his Sky account after all

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

all they said was they were going to caution me and I would hear from the PF, I have never been in a police station I was unsure.

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

They said I must have had the passwords and accessed booking.com with it, yeas its my husbands account

Alex Hughes :

Do you have passwords to access booking.com?

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

they did not ask me how I was pleading.

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

I did have access to these passwords as well as some other ones

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

they did not record the interview just write down answers

Alex Hughes :

You really need a lawyer as soon as possible. Its impossible to say how strong the evidence is against you but I can see why the police came to speak to you - the ip address and your access to booking.com does raise a suspicion. There is no obligation to answer questions but the fact that you did not protest your innocence doesn't help. A lawyer will be able to liaise with the police and get more information and advise you on your best options.

Alex Hughes :

If you did behave in the manner alleged you may wish to consider admitting the offence and apologising as this may result in an adult caution (formal police warning). This avoids court but will be on your record and appear on a criminal record search. But of you did not commit the alleged offence you must fight this tooth and nail.

JACUSTOMER-dwtejzhh- :

any idea how this will effect my employment claim? should I get a lawyer before I hear from the pf

Alex Hughes :

If you admit the offence then you will probably lose your claim with the ET. If you are found guilty you certainly will. But if you're innocent then clearly your employer was wrong to suspend you. Some solicitors work on a no win/no fee basis for employment law cases - the same solicitor coukd advise you on the criminal investigation. And yes - you should go and see a solicitor immediately.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

they did not suspend me for that, they suspended me on completely different thing

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
I'm happy to discuss that issue but its clearly a separate matter - please rate this answer and post a new question marked for "Alex Hughes".