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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I own a bowling alley which was buzzing on friday evening and

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I own a bowling alley which was buzzing on friday evening and whilst returning back to the entrance area I noticed a 6 year old adjacent to me crawling along a wood surface over a wall 3ft off the concrete floor and tapped her on the bum whilst passing.
Later my son told me a complaint had been made by the girls mother who never saw me touch her.
I approached her and expressed my concern at thinking I would hurt her 6 old year daughter who could easily fallen of shelf.
She said the daughter was asked did he smack you harder than me? to which the daughter apparently replied yes.
I also at that time expressed concern that another of her charges was running down the oiled area then she got ratty, and later reported me to the police.
A sergeant visited my house and quickly asked me to sign a bit of paper that he asked me to find and write a brief apology indicating I assaulted the girl and stated it was best to go this way (community) as the other way would be criminal and the adverse publicity and paedophile inference would not serve me or my business well.
He said he wanted to nip this in the bud, but belatedly I wonder if this would do me more harm in the long run as I could go on a register of sorts which might give the licensing authority an excuse to have a review as a non fit person.
Can I rescind this plea if that's what you call this letter.
Maybe the police want this route as the mother might not want her child involved, who knows, what would you be inclined to think would be the outcome of a friendly gesture going wrong
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
He is offering you a community resolution effectively.
If you accept the offer then you are admitting that you struck her. You cannot retreat from that realistically.
This will not lead to addition upon a register but it is generally unattractive. It is very easy to admit to things like that to avoid the greater risk of going to court but there are consequences. I wouldn't suggest it unless you are guilty.
The difficulty here is that you accept doing it. It isn't really clear why you did. That might be just that this forum loses something in translation. It is difficult to say what could happen. They will not want to send a 6 year old to court to give evidence against you so it might be worth refusing.
It depends really what is being alleged. If they charge this as a sexual assault or a child cruelty then elect crown court and you will be acquitted. If it is to be a common assault then you are stuck with Magistrates who do not always make the right decision.
The reason the police are making this offer is that they are trying to get rid of it without telling the mother to stop wasting their time. That is all very well but it isn't really necessarily in your interests.
Can I clarify anything ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I signed the letter as the sergeant stated regardless if it was only a friendly gesture girls mischief you put your hand on her without her permission and that's assault.

I just thought that the description of assault was over the top, but he

insisted it was correct.

After all I weigh 14 stone if I lifted my hand in earnest I could have hurt her.

Is he right

An assault just means touching a person. There doesn't need to be any force involved.
Whether you would have had the defence here of horseplay is difficult to tell. It isn't really clear why you did it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Really, she was tiny and crawling over a shelf adjacent a three foot drop with her mother twenty feet away with her other kids, my gesture was to point out the danger in a friendly way to draw attention to where she was

How did it do that?
What do you mean by a tap? Do you mean a light smack?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes to the latter, all kids of that age get bored and muck about, they couldn't go sideways because of other people adjacent.

Normally I shout to lookout especially over the oiled lanes, anyway the mother and children carried on and finished two games over two hours. In the girls case a tap caught her attention and she came of the ledge, mission accomplished.

That is an assault I'm afraid unless you are a parent or guardian.
It isn't one a jury would convict upon but unfortunately common assault can only be heard by Magistrates.
It isn't one her mother would have reported if she had to pay but unfortunately the police are available and professional victims like this abuse it.
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