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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My friend Jack was imprisoned cannabis offence. Towards

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My friend Jack was imprisoned for a cannabis offence. Towards the end of his sentence, when he was in Kirkham open prison, he was suddenly one morning taken out of his room, handcuffed and transferred to Preston Jail. He was advised that he was a high risk offender, guilty of some sort of paedophile offence. He was refused details but all his outside contacts were restricted. On his release from Preston he was sent to a hostel in Manchester and sent to the local police station to sign on the sex offenders register. He has never been charged, let alone convicted, of any such offence. Eventually he was released from the hostel and allowed to return home and recommence work. However, eighteen months down the line, he is still under the supervision of the Probation Service which is still insisting that he is a high risk offender. During this time he has never been formally charged with any such offence. The probation officers are still refusing to give him any details of the supposed paedophile offence. I have spoken to officers myself and they say that they cannot give me any details but that they do not only deal with facts but with 'other information.' My friend is being driven to the edge of a nervous breakdown by this. He knows that he can apply to the Ombudsman but he cannot get any co-operation from the Probation Service to submit to the Ombudsman. They do not answer communications or release any information. I cannot understand how this can in any way be legal. Can you offer any direction?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Why wont the Ombudsman investigated? Or why wont the Probation Service submit anything?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jack has been advised that the Ombudsman will investigate but only if he can submit evidence that the Probation Service are refusing to release information i.e. a formal communication stating that they will not do so. I do not know if this is correct - it is just what he has told me. Not surprisingly he has had no luck so far in getting probation to put anything in writing in this context. It would appear that they can more or less do what they like. In fact they can because they have been treating Jack as if he were a convicted paedophile for 18 months now, and that excludes his treatment whilst still in Preston jail, and despite the fact that he has never, in his entire life, been charged with a paedophile offence.

He has employed a solicitor but she was unable to achieve anything. Social Services confirmed that they did not hold anything on file. We do not know where this or these accusations come from .... only that they appear to have been accepted and acted upon. I know this is bizarre but this is the situation he finds himself in. I think he needs to get to the Ombudsman somehow. He is probably the only authority who can force the probation service to release whatever information they are acting upon and so that Jack can then take the appropriate action to clear his name and perhaps third parties may be called to account

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok, that is strange, usually if you have tried Probation and they refuse to do anything they should look into this - otherwise what is the point of an Ombudsman.
What he can do is Judicially Review the decision of Probation to move him and not disclose or give details about anything. He needs to seek a review which means a High court Judge considers the matter to see whether the actions taken by Probation are reasonable and legal.
The Judge will either agree with the decision or remit it back for them to consider it further. His Solicitor should be able to do this, but they are procedural steps, such as sending a pre-action JR letter before commencing it.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, this is OK. Thanks for the advice. I think Jack needs to look further into ways of submitting information to the Ombudsman. As you say, there is no point in having one if he is unreachable. Jack may have been ill advised. Otherwise I think legal action, as you describe, will have to be the only way forward.

Thank you for helping in this odd and seemingly intractable situation.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Happy to help - good luck.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
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Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If you have not done so already might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex