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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was formally diagnosed with high functioning autism in 2004,

Customer Question

I was formally diagnosed with high functioning autism in 2004, aged 25, during a mental breakdown. During that time I unfortunately got into trouble with the law which caused me to receive a criminal record. I now want to pursue a career in supporting children and young adults with autism and similar conditions, but I am finding the criminal convictions that I received during my breakdown are preventing me from being employed.

I have been told that I am excellent at dealing with people with mental health related problems, as I have a good understanding of what they may be going through as I have been through it myself. I can prove this with character reference letters and records of training courses that I have done in supporting children and young adults with disabilities.

I am an organised person and have numerous folders of reports and letters from my breakdown period to the present day. I feel confident that I have a strong enough case and would have enough evidence to go to The Supreme Court in order to remove my conviction. I have obtained my original archives from the two Court Cases, the May/June 2005 case for ABH and criminal damage and the March 2008 case for fire arms offences. These have in depth details that suggest that I was mentally unstable at the time of being sentenced.

During the time of my breakdown from April 2004 to June 2005 I believe I was poorly managed by the Birmingham Social Services and the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust. I feel they let me down by not giving me the correct support and help that I needed in order to make a full recovery. I, and my family, went through a very traumatic time as I became a completely different person due to many circumstances, one being the administration of the wrong type of medication that caused me to behave completely out of character. I became violent, aggressive and suffered memory loss.

As a result, and also due to my father being terminally ill at the time, I was placed in several hostels by the Social Services. The change to my daily routine was very unsettling and I was also verbally bullied and physically threatened by staff who did not understand my condition. The Police were called on several occasions. On one occasion a male Police Officer assaulted me during an arrest and I was pinned to the floor, handcuffed and taken to a cell for 8 hours, I feel I was treated very badly by them.

I ended up having a meltdown, which is typical of people with Aspergers who are under immense pressure, and whilst in a hostel I damaged a glass door panel and pinched and kicked Staff whilst being held on the floor. I was arrested for criminal damage and ABH and had to serve 3 weeks on remand at Winson Green Prison in Birmingham. Whilst in the hostels and prison my family and Social Services were actively trying to find a rehabilitation unit for people with Asperger syndrome in order for me to get the correct treatment I so badly needed in order to recover from my breakdown.

This proved to be difficult and at one point my family was told that I would only get the correct therapy and treatment in a rehabilitation unit if I broke the law and was sent to prison. This would mean that funding could come from the prison services for my placement in a unit outside of the Birmingham area. After 3 weeks in prison I was sent to an Asperger Syndrome Specialist Rehabilitation Unit for adults in Bedfordshire.

The treatment I received there was very helpful and when I was discharged from the Unit a top Asperger syndrome and Autistic Psychiatrist prescribed me an antipsychotic medication, Olanzapine. It was useful to begin with and got me out of my depression. I was discharged after 7 months of rehab and was told at the final meeting with the Psychiatrist that after 6 months I should be taken off the drug. I tried several times to get off the Olanzapine when I saw my GP. However he advised me to carry on taking it. I have read about the side effects that Olanzapine can have on an individual and I strongly believe that it caused changes in my personality. I had unusual thoughts and behaved strangely, probably as a side effect of taking this medication.
For example, after leaving the Unit and having made a good recovery from my breakdown but still feeling very vulnerable and in need of support, I felt I needed to show my anger towards the police for what they had put me through during my breakdown. I therefore set up an anti-police chat room online. I then became paranoid and believed that the physical threats I was receiving from people online were from the police. I felt I needed to protect myself so I bought weapons from the internet. This is also mentioned on my CRB. At no point would I have actually used them as it is not in my nature to be violent.

I have had no luck in finding an understanding criminal lawyer as I was mentally ill at the time and was not attention seeking or being naughty as the Psychiatric put on my report to the CPS
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

How can I help with this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for getting back to me at a library right now only have 5 minutes left and would like some contact details of maybe removing the conviction of ABH and criminal damage and changes to fire arm offence CRB form that has items on there that were dropped by CPS sio should no longer not have been on the form in the 1st place

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

paid the fee of £33 as my last option as the last criminal lawyer suggested online would not help remove at least one conviction of ABH and criminal damage if it not possible to remove having mace spray on me.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Are you saying that you were convicted at trial or that it was dropped?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
On iPhone now was unfit to plead guilty at the time if the trial & have proof of this from copies if emails from family members
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Ok, so are you saying that you were convicted at trial or that it was dropped?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
All I want now us a criminal lawyer to at least read through all my original documents & court achieves that I managed to obtain & may then consider taking the ABH & criminal damage to the Supreme Court!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I can guarantee will never reoffend again & already help and support family & friends children with mental health related problems & 100% safe to look after them properly and been told I could do with an updated psychiatric report & only a criminal lawyer can write a referral letter & not my GP that would be something that a criminal lawyer can help me with to prove I a changed person and come over my breakdown.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
What it be possible to give me the information I have asked for?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Being denied appealing against ABH & criminal damage in may/June 2005 within the 28 day time period was wrong & should have been allowed to appeal as the criminal lawyer would not allow an appeal
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
What I need to know is this

Are you saying that you were convicted at trial or that it was dropped?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No comes up on my CRB otherwise would not be asking for your advise & will not be giving a good feedback if lawyers are always being difficult with me be denying me a fair trial, thanks for your time would have been nice to get an understanding lawyer for a change and feel I wasted £33 as you asking question that are disclosed on my 1st post all explained there!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Sorry but I will not be continuing with this then.

Opting out.