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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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About two years ago, I dialled 999 during an argument with

Customer Question

About two years ago, I dialled 999 during an argument with my husband. I have a history of self-harm and suicide attempts, and during the course of the argument he physically restrained me to stop me hurting myself. I tried to leave the house to run in front of a car but he prevented me. In my anger, I phoned the police and told them he was refusing to let me leave the house. In my testimony I told them only that he had restrained me, but did not tell them why or mention my history of self-harm. They arrested him and kept him overnight. In the morning (he hadn't slept for about 40 hours by this point), they advised him to accept a caution, and he did. He was told that this would be the simplest course of action and was the only way to avoid a court case (although I had already told them the previous night that I would not be willing to go to court or press charges).

Prior to this event, I had been diagnosed with a mental health condition, but had not yet accepted treatment for it. I have now been treated for my health problems and am stable, and would like to have the caution removed from my husband's record. I believe that, had the police known of my mental state, they would not have accepted my testimony so readily. Is there any chance that the caution can be overturned on the grounds that I was mentally incapacitated when I made the accusation?

(If it's relevant, the police force in question is the London Met - I believe they have a zero tolerance policy towards domestic abuse.)
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Sadly not.
Alex Watts : In order to get a caution you must admit the offence.
Alex Watts : If he admitted the offence then the caution is administered
Alex Watts : As such you can't now get it removed especially as 2 years has passed.
Alex Watts : There was an offence and he admitted it
Alex Watts : Therefore the caution was justified
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

But he only admitted the offence because he was told to do so. People admit all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons - to protect others, to protect themselves, because they haven't slept for 40 hours...

Alex Watts : It's simply too late.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

And there WASN'T an offence - I made a false accusation

Alex Watts : He had a right to legal Advice.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

He didn't know he was allowed legal advice - he's a normal guy, not a lawyer. He doesn't know the ins and outs of the legal system.

Alex Watts : But the police believed there to be an offence and your husband must have admitted it, otherwise they can't give a caution.
Alex Watts : Sadly he admitted the offence, he accepted a caution.
Alex Watts : It can't now be overturned.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

He did admit it, but he can't be the first person to admit to something they haven't done.

Alex Watts : I am sorry as I know this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have to be truthful
Alex Watts : That may be so, but he admitted it, the caution was administered and it is now 2 years later.
Alex Watts : You asked can it be overturned - in reality no.
Alex Watts : He can write and ask that it be.
Alex Watts : But there is no guarantee.
Alex Watts : If he didn't do it, he should not have accepted it.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

So basically, any woman (even a complete basket case) can accuse a man of anything, and the course of action the police will take is to deprive him of sleep and then tell him (untruthfully) that he basically has no choice but to accept the caution. That's entirely sexist.

Alex Watts : Yes.
Alex Watts : But if the man refuses to accept a caution then it can proceed to court and a judge can decide who is telling the truth.
Alex Watts : If the woman admits she was lying the police can charge her with wasting police time
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

Why should he have to go to court for trying to prevent his wife from slitting her wrists again?! Of course he's going to take the option that doesn't involve going to court - and the police know that.

Alex Watts : The man would have been entitled to legal advice at any time,
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

I don't mind getting charged with wasting police time.

Alex Watts : If he refused to accept that so be it.
Alex Watts : Its too late now, you have waited 2 years.
Alex Watts : If it had been weeks even a month or so something could have been done.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

But he didn't KNOW that he was entitled to legal advice; besides, we were both students at the time and couldn't have afforded legal advice.

Alex Watts : But 2 years is far too long.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

I was getting treatment for two years.

Alex Watts : That makes no difference.
Alex Watts : He was offered a caution he accepted it, he did not have to.
Alex Watts : He could have had legal advice and they tell you that when you are booked into custody and again when you are interviewed
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

He wasn't told that.

JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

And, again, we couldn't have afforded legal advice.

Alex Watts : Even so it's too late. 2 years is too long a time.
Alex Watts : You get free police representation there is no charge.
Alex Watts : But it's been 2 years.
Alex Watts : Can he do anything - write and ask.
Alex Watts : Legally can he do anything - no
Alex Watts : It's been too long
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

I can't believe two years is too long to confess that you made a false accusation, but it's not too long for people making accusations against people like Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris - those things are 15, 20, 30 years in the past and that's not too long for the police to try and make it right.

JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

How can two years be too long to try and make this right?

Alex Watts : those are sex abuse charges, there is no time limit on charging.
Alex Watts : Assault the police have 6 months then it is time barred.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

But there is on admitting that you wasted police time?

Alex Watts : There is nothing he can do apart from write and ask.
Alex Watts : Wasting police time limit also 6 months, so that is out of time too
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

Ok. Thanks for your time. I'll try Mankind and see if they can help.

Alex Watts : Yes write to the police.
Alex Watts : If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my service to you today.
Alex Watts : If the system won't let you please do say.
Alex Watts : If you need further help please click reply.
Alex Watts : Please remember I can only give you the legal answer which is not necessarily the answer you want, but I have to be honest.
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

Ok, no - I understand that. Thanks for your advice.

Alex Watts : all the best and have a good night,
JACUSTOMER-t6yxcst5- :

Apologies for the low rating. I didn't learn anything new from your answer that I hadn't already learned by googling, so I'm not willing to pay for information I had already found myself. Thank you for trying to help, though.

Alex Watts :

Sadly your poor rating lowers my site performance on here and affects my standing

Alex Watts :

I would ask you to reconsider the rating.

Alex Watts :

remember its my service to you and not the answer you are rating

Alex Watts :