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Paul – Finding out my conviction was spent after using the disclosure calculator meant I could take up a great job

Paul had been convicted of a sexual offence about 20 years ago which resulted in a short prison sentence.

Ashamed and embarrassed about the conviction, Paul did everything he could to move on from it. This meant making sure that he never put himself in a position where he needed to disclose it, for example the types of job he applied for and for many years, starting a new relationship.

At that time, very few companies carried out criminal record checks so Paul was able to get himself a job quite quickly. He worked hard and stayed at the same company for many years working his way up the corporate ladder. Several years ago his company started doing criminal record checks on all new employees, but long serving staff were never asked.

Last year Paul found himself in the fortunate position of being ‘head-hunted’ by a large international company. After a meeting with the CEO, he accepted the job and waited for his recruitment pack to arrive. When it did, Paul was horrified to discover that the company carried out basic criminal record checks on all members of staff.

Paul quickly established that the certificate would only show unspent convictions but he vaguely remembered from his time in prison that sexual offences were never spent. Paul had no intention of disclosing his conviction to the new company and felt therefore that his only option would be to withdraw from the job.

A final search of the internet led him to Unlock’s website and in particular, the disclosure calculator. After inputting the details of his conviction, Paul could not believe it when the calculator result stated that his conviction was spent. Further reading on Unlock’s information site confirmed that rehabilitation periods were based on the sentence received and not the offence that somebody was convicted of.

Paul said:

“I was surprised and delighted to learn that my conviction was spent and wouldn’t be disclosed on a basic check. I loved the simplicity of the calculator and the fact that I could use it and remain completely anonymous. That’s such an important factor for anybody with a criminal record.”



Unfortunately, once people receive a conviction the information available to them can be quite limited, confusing or just incorrect. As Paul discovered the time it takes for a conviction to become spent is based upon the sentence you received and not the type of offence you’ve committed. We’d recommend that anybody with a conviction finds out when their conviction will become spent so that they’re clear about what they do and don’t need to disclose.


Notes about this case study 

This case study relates to our disclosure calculator.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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