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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70535
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A relative has recently been convicted of an internet offence.

Resolved Question:

A relative has recently been convicted of an internet offence. He has been placed on the sex offenders register. He received a sentence of 16 months, suspended for two years and a supervision order. he has been told by the probation service and the police service that they will disclose his offence to any employer. This will seriously compromise his employability and most certainly ensure he will never work again. He is a self-employed software developer. Although he has no employers, he obtains short term contracts with clients. He has no contact or has ever had contact with children. It was an internet offence with no identifiable risk of a contact offence. He has mental health problems and has had them for some years. He has been receiving support from the local mental health depatment of the NHS. He lives alone with a mortgage to pay. Ineveitably, without employment he would lose his home. Can you advise please?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are you hoping to achieve in the circumstances? What type of advice do you require?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any way that this situation can be avoided. Can that decision be appealed against? Should he get legal advice. It wasn't part of his sentence. It is something that he has been informed of since sentencing. Surely the justice system don't want offenders to be prevented from being able to continue their career and to earn a living. His work is his only lifeline, preventing his illness from becoming worse.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I think this is something a criminal lawyer colleague of mine is best placed to deal with. I will send this to her and she will take over shortly. No need to respond in the meantime, thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi. That would be me!I am afraid that they do have a right and a duty to disclose information of this nature to employers if there is a risk caused by the presence of the suspect.They could disclose this to employers. It depends upon the level of seriousness and the perceived risk.In terms of appeal, the issue here will arise from the sex offenders register rather than the sentence per se and one of the conditions is the right to disclose relevant information if there is a genuine risk.Sorry but I have to give you truthful information.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He would not have employers, but clients. Does that make any difference? If he were a self-employed plumber or electrician, having been convicted of the same offence, would he be expected to disclose it to every single client/customer?Are we also saying here that they must consider he is a high risk of re-offending and possibly at his place of work.. In their pre-sentence reports, both the psychiatrist and the probation officer put him at a very low risk of re-offending. It's as if nobody has taken any notice of these reports or taken into account why the offence was committed in the first place. I'm not clear whether he has an opportunity to appeal against their disclosure decision. Can he ask for the reasons behind their decision, bearing in mind, no children have been involved.
I got this from the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Is it still law or has it been superceded?"Section 327A: Disclosure of information about convictions etc. of child sex offenders to members of the public
This section: • Requires the Responsible Authority to consider disclosing information about the previous convictions for sexual offences against children of a child sex offender to a member of the public. • Creates a presumption in favour of disclosure (even if no-one has requested it) if the child sex offender poses a risk of serious harm to any children and disclosure is necessary for their protection. • Empowers the Responsible Authority, in making disclosure to a particular person, to impose conditions preventing any further disclosure. • Requires the Responsible Authority to record its decision whether or not to make disclosure in each case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't rate until I have a reply to my last query.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I was offline.
A plumber or electrician would be a worse position as they would have to go into people's houses.
In theory the police would disclose to anybody they perceive would be affected. That isn't always realistic though.
They are not bound by the psychiatrist report. The view of the police will be that any risk is too great.
S327a is still the primary law on the point. It has been tinkered with a little but not substantially.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70535
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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