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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71141
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My 18 year old daughter was charged with obtaining services

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My 18 year old daughter was charged with obtaining services dishonestly. She went to have a surgical procedure done on the 8th of August. Her first consultation was 2 days prior to this, a price was agreed and she made payment directly in the companies bank. The teller at the bank stated that payment would be in the recipients account within 24 hours. 24 hours passed and no funds had been received, still on the day of the surgery, funds had not been received by the company, so my daughter stayed at home - fully assuming that the procedure would not be going ahead until they received cleared funds. However, the surgical coordinator at the medispa stated that the manager insists on her coming into the medispa for the procedure that day, she stated that the surgeon and anaesthetist was there already, and they would be angry and want paying anyway, regardless of whether or not she had the procedure, so she needed to come down for it. She went on to say that they would sort out the payment at a later date. My daughter was coerced and subsequently went for the procedure, the following day (Saturday) she had her follow up appointment etc. On the Monday, my daughter emailed asking if payment had been received as yet, and if it hadn't she would need to speak with the bank. the surgical coordinator sent an email saying payment had received in full. On the Wednesday she was supposed to have another follow up appointment, but she was taken into hospital with an infection and severe pain - she emailed the company stating this and also called to confirm, another appointment was arranged on the Friday. When Friday came, she went to her appointment as usual - however the manager was there stating payment had not been received, but they would sort it out after the appointment. So she went to have her treatment, which was cut short - and she went outside to find 2 police officers outside demanding payment from her - bearing in mind she did not have anything on her to make the payment as she only went for a follow up appointment. They continued to say she had better sort it out there and then otherwise she isn't going to like what would happen if she didn't. Long story short, my husband was called to rectify the issue - my daughter later mentioned that her grandma would be able to make the payment in full by any means. However, the officer stated it was too late and no longer an option - so he arrested her, she was released on bail and later charged. Her first appearance is on the 16th October. This manager had 5 days to contact my daughter and say there was an issue with the payment and can it be rectified, it would have been and there would have been no further issues. The police decided to charge her not the CPS, what happens now - our barrister stated that now the CPS have to decide whether or not they agree with the charge, and if an out of court disposal can be used - is this correct? How does this process work? Our barrister has also stated that they will be forwarding documents in the hope the CPS will discontinue the case. I am deeply concerned as my daughter is not in a good way, she wont eat or drink - she suffers from severe depression prior to this incident, but this has caused it to become so severe that our GP has stated that she is incredibly suicidal and is likely to attempt suicide before the first appearance. She is being referred to the crisis team. My daughter is a good child, and has never been in trouble with the police - she is a medical student, and a continuing to prosecute would cause her irreversible damage. Is there anyway we can put this information forward to the CPS? Are there any guidelines when dealing with people who have severe mental illnesses?

Also, I would like to add that the company - has been negligent in that she has been left with deformities from the surgery.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Does she have previous convictions please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No she does not

In short, she admits the offence and you are hoping that CPS will take a view about the merits of the prosecution.
It is possible that this is something that could be considered more appropriate for the civil courts. Clearly she owes the money. The difficulty is, of course, that she has given a false explanation to get treatment which is fraud. It is fair to say that some other prosecutors may have told the complainants to sue but that did not happen here.
Whether or not CPS would discontinue it depends. The best way to encourage them to do that is to pay in full urgently so that the loser has suffered no loss at least now.
You can always get her solicitors to write to CPS asking them to review the public interest of the prosecution. They do have to consider the effect of the prosecution but the fact that she will be disadvantaged by a criminal record is not a ground to drop the case per se.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She didn't make a false representation to the company.

The reason why I believe the case should be discontinued is the fact that she has now been referred to a psychiatrist as she is suicidal and is suffering from severe depression. The psychiatrist has stated that this situation is having an adverse effect on her mental health and will continue to do so if she was to be convicted. They are seeing how the rest of the week plays out with daily visits from the home treatment team. However if she continues to be in a state of crisis - they are looking to admit her for inpatient treatment next week.

We have the funs available to make the payment, we just don't know if we should contact the company directly

They must be alleging some form of false declaration.
I'm afraid her mental health is not a consideration. People can be fragile for lots of reasons. That is not a reason not to prosecute them.
I would pay the company as soon as possible. It is probably a good idea to explain that you intend to do that to the OIC first so that you are protected from any allegations of contacting witnesses. If the company are paid though then that is something CPS would consider.
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