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to be utterly devastated that my middle aged, middle class sister has just revealed to me

(139 Posts)
shockedsister Tue 07-Jul-09 16:25:35

... that she was held for two nights in a police cell four years ago, on suspicion of the attempted murder of ex DP? I can't believe that she has carried this secret on her own and not told anyone in our family until last night. sad sad sad

She's now in pieces since discovering that a new change in the law (brought in in response to the Soham murders) means that this charge will appear on her CRB disclosure - and she's a teacher who is totally devoted to her work.........

Apparently the incident happened a year after they got together, after he discovered she was planning to leave him. The family knew she'd been the victim of domestic violence, as the police had been called to her flat several times in the first few months of their relationship. He'd broken her nose and pulled clumps of her hair out, threatened to burn her flat down. I also suspect that he sexually abused her, but I haven't had the courage to ask her. We were desperate for her to leave him but instead they moved away to the coast and things seemed to go quiet. She told us that he'd got counselling and was determined not to do it again.

What I now know is that although he'd stopped physically abusing her he'd carried on bullying her in other ways, and she'd decided to leave. When he found out he locked her in their flat and launched a sustained attack on her through the night. She insists that he got stabbed by accident, that the knife was stuffed down the side of the sofa - she was intending to open the door with it when he was asleep, and that it injured him in the middle of the night when he jumped over the back of the sofa, head butted her and bit her face.

I'm not sure what to believe. I wouldn’t blame her if she had stabbed him. He’s a horrible, horrible man, with a history of abusing women (though no charges or convictions - which means he can continue to practice as a lawyer). His ex wife used to sleep with a claw hammer under the pillow, and when she finished the relationship she had to leave her house under police escort.

After what happened with my sister he ended up in intensive care for 3 days but refused to bring charges against her. The police documented her injuries and wanted her to bring charges against him for assault but she also refused.

Apparently he used this incident to stop her leaving him for the next four years, while he spent his way through the equity of her flat which she’d sold when they’d moved away from London. He told her that if she left him he’d tell my elderly parents (who my sister adores) that she’d been arrested for attempted murder. sad

Over those four years she turned from a slim, beautiful, successful woman of independent means (she was earning 40K a year as a senior teacher in London and owned her own flat), into an overweight drinker with terrible low self-esteem.

She did finally work up the strength to leave him last year, and he didn’t tell my parents about what had happened. He didn’t care any more – he’d used her up and lost interest.

But my poor sister has carried this burden on her own all this time. And now she is terrified her career as a teacher – the only thing in her life which she still has which is important to her can’t continue.

Sorry for the long post and I’m not sure what response I’m looking for. I just feel so sad that my sister has carried this worry on her own all this time.

AddictedtoCrunchies Tue 07-Jul-09 16:29:30

Surely if she wasn't charged for the crime then it won't show on her CRB record? If she was released without charge I mean?

Not that I know anything about this sort of situation but I didn't want to leave without saying anything.

I'm sorry for her.

Lulumama Tue 07-Jul-09 16:30:21

don't know what to say except how awful and I am really sorry. all you can do is be there for her

not sure that AIBU was the right place to post though.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Tue 07-Jul-09 16:30:43

I an't answer the practical questions, but I am so glad your sister had the courage to leave. Sounds as if the knife incident was at worst self defence.

Is she in a union where there is a telephone advice line? Often there is

stillstanding Tue 07-Jul-09 16:32:53

I can't imagine that something can go on your record unless you are actually charged ...

lljkk Tue 07-Jul-09 16:35:47

Aww, I think it's sweet that you feel so shocked & sad for your sis.
That kind of incident would be ordinary in branches of my family.

scaryteacher Tue 07-Jul-09 16:36:10

She really needs to contact her union and her HT (if necessary) and explain what happened. If she stays at her current school, and has passed her CRB, then I think that one stays in force until she applies for and accepts another job. Does she have a criminal conviction? You need to have a look at the crb website and the ISA page on there to get some idea of what is happening.

I am so sorry for her; it's an awful thing to live through. She is probably ashamed; but I bet she feels better for telling you.

dittany Tue 07-Jul-09 16:36:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Northernlurker Tue 07-Jul-09 16:37:01

If being released without charges shows up on CRB than that makes a mockery of innocent till proven guilty doesn't it? angry

I don't know the rights and wrongs of that but surely no employer can act against her because of it? If it's coming up then she needs to tell the people doing the CRB what wil come up and explain the domestic violence side of it. Was she involved with any charity, support network or solicitor who may be able to vouch for her story if needed?

crazylizzy Tue 07-Jul-09 16:40:23

Not sure regarding the whole CRB check but I know that you do have to declare any arrests on a traveling visa irrelevant of if you were actually charged or not.

I would recommend your sister ring someone, maybe CAB, and ask so she has solid straight answers regarding the matter.

I'm so sorry to hear what happened to her sad Sounds truly awful.

shockedsister Tue 07-Jul-09 16:45:04

She has no criminal convictions.

But now the law has changed details of past accusations will appear on the records of those people who apply to work with children. Apparently this change has been made because Ian Huntley had been the subject of several accusations of sexual assualt, but it didn't appear on his record as he was never convicted of anything.

She doesn't want to stay in her current school and needs to find other work. She's been head hunted in the past few weeks for a very good job but feels unable to apply because of this thing hanging over her.

Sorry for posting this here. I know it's not the best place for it, but it's a busy board and there are loads of kind, knowledgeable people here. I think I was hoping for a bit of comfort and reassurance. I'm in shock still.

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Tue 07-Jul-09 16:57:48

oh, your poor sister - she sounds like an amazingly strong woman. Maybe she could have a chat with a solicitor.

I have to say that i agree with this new law change as it is there to protect children. But then this is a case when OK so the circumstances must be taken into account, she is obviously no threat to anyone let alone children. If this were to jeopardise her career it only means that pig has continued control over her angry. Also, why should she have to have this dragged up and have to talk about it with regards to her job. Distressing in the very least.

There has to be something she can do about this - she wasn't even convicted FFS. I think seeking some sound legal advice is her best bit.

I hope it all works out for her.

Northernlurker Tue 07-Jul-09 16:58:28

well look she's not going to be the only teacher with a private life that's involved the police. Horrible things happen and people make mistakes but I'm sure as long as she is honest and upfront about it then it won't impact on her. I think she needs to do two things - speak to her union and get some counselling about the whole relationship thing if she hasn't already. It would be very easy for this thing to tip her over into feeling that man still controls her and his actions are governing her life evben now and she should get some help with that.

verygreenlawn Tue 07-Jul-09 17:03:48

She definitely needs advice, I have had a look at my very recent crb certificate and it does say "records of convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings" which suggests it goes much further than convictions alone.

crb website is crb.gov.uk, info line is 0870 9090811.

Hopefully someone else can give her more detailed advice.

shockedsister Tue 07-Jul-09 17:03:50

Agree northernlurker.

She is having counselling, thank goodness.

I think one of her major problems is that she hates the thought of having to talk about what happened to her to anyone related to work. She says she doesn't want people to think of her as a victim. The thing is though - she is a victim. And a survivor.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 07-Jul-09 17:34:08

God, I hate the new law change as it completely does away with the concept of innocent unless proven guilty. An enhanced CRB check can even record allegations or gossip which have not led to an arrest. I'm afraid that schools will be likely to err on the side of caution when faced with two candidates, one of whom has had contact with the police and one who hasn't - even if both are unconvicted.

This is a problem the teaching unions drew attention to in the media last month
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8105077.stm

I know quite a lot of people who need enhanced CRBs and they live in fear of malicious allegations, because regardless of the truth, an accusation will be put on your criminal record and at the end of the day is treated the same as a full conviction. Try googling the case of John Pinnington to see what I mean.

However, there may be some hope for your sister. Non-conviction information is disclosed at the discretion of a senior police officer. She needs to have a discussion with her union about whether this can be expunged from her record given her individual circumstances. The civil rights group Liberty have an advice line she may want to try.

Good luck

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 07-Jul-09 18:10:17

Message withdrawn

southeastastra Tue 07-Jul-09 18:17:29

this may be helpful

littleducks Tue 07-Jul-09 18:18:31

In my experience if you are upright and honest about the info that is on your crb (ie you dont lie and say it is clear when its not) then people arent too bothered about what is onn it if it wont impact on the job

All she would have to say was that she was arrested for assault/gbh but released without charge, she prob wouldnt have to go into detail just say there was an incident that happened and she was innocent

pickyvic Tue 07-Jul-09 18:19:47

agreed shiney - my understanding is that it is for the courts to decide on whether she was innocent/guilty, not up to her ex or even the police to decide on whether charges would be pressed. if she had done it and the police had evidence then she would have been charged and dealt with by the courts. (im a special. still learning!)

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 07-Jul-09 18:22:58

Message withdrawn

pickyvic Tue 07-Jul-09 18:36:29

think a little more info may be required although perhaps the details are sketchy because its not in the first person or something? (ive not been in the job long enough to get cynical! yet! lol)

(and thanks shiney ....im very new to this but am loving it. ive applied to another force as a regular so fingers crossed! i soooooo want it to be the day job!)

catinthehat2 Tue 07-Jul-09 18:43:09

Can I just make it clear at this stage that I am NOT the poster called "Catkinsthecatinthehat".

catinthehat2 Tue 07-Jul-09 18:43:27

I've noticed the most dedicated trollpersons on this site use sockpuppets with similar names to current posters.

shockedsister Tue 07-Jul-09 18:43:57

shineoncrazydiamond - that thought did go through my mind.

I'm going to go and ask her. Now.

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