As a young adult, Tony had been part of a gang who regularly got into trouble with the police. This had resulted in him receiving four convictions, three of which were for theft/burglary offences. His last conviction was over 30 years ago.
In 1978 he had been convicted of a sexual offence, “intercourse with a girl under sixteen”. He was 18 at the time and the girl in question (who was his girlfriend at the time) was almost 16. Her father had reported Tony to the police and he had received a suspended sentence.
At the time of his conviction, both his solicitor and his probation officer told him that as his offence was of a sexual nature, it would never be spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and he would have to disclose it whenever he was applying for work.
Over the years, Tony disclosed his conviction whenever he was asked, with varying degrees of success. It always caused him a certain amount of anxiety and embarrassment but he thought that he had no choice. It was only when applying for a new insurance policy and the broker told him that his conviction was spent that he started to doubt what he had been told by his solicitor and the probation officer. The broker recommended our disclosure calculator.
After submitting the details of all four convictions, the result provided by the calculator was that Tony’s entire criminal record was spent in July 1989. This meant that for the types of jobs he would be applying for, he no longer had any need to disclose his conviction.
“Although it’s been a long time coming, this has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t given the correct advice at the time but you can’t dwell in the past. I’m just pleased that I never have to disclose it again”.
There is a lot of confusion around the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and certain misconceptions that rehabilitation periods are based on the offence rather than a sentence or disposal. This can mean that individuals disclose details of their criminal record for far longer than they are required to.
- Use our disclosure calculator to work out when your conviction becomes spent.
- Practical information: Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
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.