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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My son was arrested for cyber grooming. He was on an 18+

Resolved Question:

Hi there. My son was arrested for cyber grooming. He was on an 18+ website and was talking to someone who then apparently stated she was under 16. Instead of stopping the conversation he continued with it and suggested they meet up. The Police arrested him before a meeting ever happened. He is currently on bail. I have just found out that after going through his phone and computer the officer in charge is satisfied that it is an isolated incident. This is good news but despite this he thinks my son will get charged and is most likely to be convicted with a non-custodial sentence. My son is in the Army Reserves and we are very concerned that this may affect this but we don't know if it would. The Army Reserves are his life and I am very worried that he could become suicidal if he was thrown out. He has a mild learning difficulty called dispraxia and has problems with concentration and dexterity however he is also socially awkward and has no friends. When at school he again had no friends and was bullied. He uses social media to make friends but mainly girl friends I would say. The fact that this person was communicating with him and taking an interest was probably enough to cloud his judgement. Also due to his condition he is also not very logical in his thinking.
I just wondered whether you had an basic advice for me.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

Does he have any previous convictions?
Has he been interviewed? If so, did he admit the offences?
Alex

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No previous convictions
He works in my factory. The Police picked him up from work and took him to the Police station to interview him.
When they came back they sat down with me and him and went through exactly what was happening. Yes he admitted it. The detective gave me his number and has updated me from time to time. They realise that he was very cooperative and respectful and were sympathetic due to his learning difficulty.
Now they say that they have been through his phone/computer and ... the rest was in my initial question I think...
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

Just to be clear, the Officer didnt have the computer/phone records when suggesting it would be non custodial?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
His bail runs out in another 8 weeks but the detective said he would contact me if the cps had made their decision before this time. He said that he would either get a caution, a conditional caution or be charged. He thought it would be a case of being charged but he thought the outcome would most probably be just community service rather than a custodial sentance. My main concern is if he is charged with the Army find out about it? He has his job at my factory and a small flat but the Army Reserves are his life. He was even considering trying to join the the regular army.
I have just received your latest message...
Now they have gone through the computer/phone records and accept that this is an isolated incident the detective thinks that if charged he will get a non-custodial sentence (this is just his opinion - which I asked for).
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

Well the Army wont be told, that is for sure. It would be up to him to disclose it, but they wont be informed by anyone.

I agree, its likely to a non custodial sentence if it was only talking, never meeting and not prolonged contact.

But the Army wont automatically be told.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. That is a relief.
Obviously a caution would be the best result but is there any way of influencing the CPS decision process?
Also, if charged do you think there are any grounds for a non-conviction due to mitigating circumstances mentioned in my initial question, i.e. dispraxia etc.
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

Sadly no way of influencing the decision. I also dont think you have any grounds for non conviction - its mitigation but its not a defence.

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks. That's exactly what I thought.
Do you think there is any reasonable chance they may just caution him or should we be prepared for a conviction?
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

This is a serious allegation, but people have been cautioned in previous history for rape. He may well attract a caution but I would be prepared for a conviction, that is only sensible.
Can I clarify anything else? Alex

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
we will assume he it be charged and then subsequently convicted at court.
The detective said not to worry too much about organising a lawyer as it was more or less a formality and should probably be allocated one via legal aid but do you think it is worth finding a specialist to represent him? I will pay for a good one if you think it could help the outcome (severity of the punishment that is).
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

A specialist wont make any difference. It's fairly low level crime. He can pay for one of course, but he won't be able to recover that cost back.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
thanks
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site doesn’t pay me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance! Alex

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