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Legal Question

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Legal Question

I always thought that no matter what your previous criminal record was it could not be mentioned during your current trial until a verdict had been reached, I assume this is to protect the jury from being influenced when reaching a verdict, indeed I also thought it was an offence for a juror to look on the internet during the course of a trial but according to the BBC news Christhoper Halliwell a taxi driver is currently on trial for the murder of Becky Godden and jurors were also told he is currently serving a life sentence for murdering someone else.

Has the law changed or have I misunderstood something.

9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Legal Question

My understanding is the same as your's @gleneagles but there has to be something we don't know. His defence wouldn't have let it happen otherwise. I'll see if my lawyer friend is at trhe club tomorrow.

Community Veteran
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Re: Legal Question

@gleneagles the law changed in 2004. There is an exception for Juries in trials for a range of offences under the Theft Act or for child sex offences. In these instances juries may be told if a defendant has previous convictions in the same group of crimes, under legislation unveiled by the government in October 2004.

Provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which came into force in December 2004  allow much wider disclosure of previous convictions and other "bad character" in criminal trials generally.

Until 2004 such evidence is inadmissible unless a defendant is alleged to have carried out repeated crimes in a "strikingly similar" way.

Community Veteran
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Re: Legal Question

What I think is worse is that the police hold a lifetime record on people they've arrested - many of which are released without charge.

Yet a criminal record is considered spent after what. 2-3 years after the sentence is over and you no longer have to declare it on job applications etc

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SpendLessTime
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Re: Legal Question

Community Veteran
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Re: Legal Question

@journeys thanks for the information. Useful and interesting. It makes sense really.

 

 

Community Veteran
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Re: Legal Question

@journeys

Thanks, that was  useful information

@7up

Useful chart but I worked in the health service and when nursing staff attended for interviews they were always told that any past criminal offence had to be declared no matter how long ago it took place, failure to disclose such information would result in the loss of the job.

Criminal checks were made.

Not sure if it applied to other grades of staff or if the rules have changed during the past 20 years.

SpendLessTime
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Re: Legal Question

The chart is for general answers.

There are, by statute, jobs for which all convictions must be declared irrespective of how long ago the offence was. Obvious jobs include Police and Prison Service, health workers , educational workers, legal workers.

Even if an offence is spent, if you had a custodial sentence, how do you hide that in your CV? If you lied about what you were doing, then you can face dismissal action.

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Re: Legal Question


SpendLessTime wrote:

if you had a custodial sentence, how do you hide that in your CV?


Five years gardening and three years as a chef.Smiley

 

 

Community Veteran
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Re: Legal Question


gleneagles wrote:

 

@7up

Useful chart


Not my chart matey, thats courtesy of @SpendLessTime

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