Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Legal experts - how do you get a conviction against someone who's dead?

(11 Posts)
kotinka Fri 07-Dec-12 11:34:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 07-Dec-12 11:41:34

There is no conviction without trial, and a dead person cannot be tried. But when hundreds of people come forward with the same allegations, they seem to be accepted as true.

There are no consequences for the deceased.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 07-Dec-12 11:44:50

OldLady but can't the victims claim compensation from the estate of the dead person? If so, wouldn't some kind of "official verdict" be required?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 07-Dec-12 11:53:45

That would be a civil case, decided "on the balance of probability", not a criminal one. ("Beyond all reasonable doubt")

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 07-Dec-12 11:59:57

There's a related thread to this in chat today actually, here's what I said there:

On the question of proof, you don't need the perpetrator to be alive or to admit the allegations - both criminal convictions and civil claims can be upheld on the basis of less than 100% proof (beyond reasonable doubt/balance of probabilities respectively).

You don't need a criminal verdict to claim civil compensation - they are separate and independent types of legal action.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 07-Dec-12 12:44:34

Ah so there would be a court (?) case of some kind that got decided and that would be in the civil courts, then the compensation could be claimed?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 07-Dec-12 12:52:14

I think (but am no expert) that a victim seeking compensation from the estate of a dead person would have to start a civil case and show what financial loss has been caused to them, eg, the abuse means I didn't do as well at school as I should, so I have a crappy job instead of a high-flying career... But I can see that you'd need to start the case soon after death, because there might well be difficulties retrieving the money once it has been disbursed as per the Will.

<at end of sketchy knowledge now>

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 07-Dec-12 13:02:58

Ah yes that makes sense, thanks OldLady.

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 07-Dec-12 13:04:28

Compensation would be claimed in a civil action (a civil claim is essentially a claim for money). The claimant would have to establish on the balance of probabilities that abuse took place and that they have suffered some form of harm as a result. It's not straightforward and would probably require a full psychological analysis of the claimant (victim), showing that the abuse had damaging consequences for the claimant's future life/prospects. If you're claiming against an individual then once they're dead, you need to claim before the estate is dissipated. In the Savile case, his estate has been frozen pending the anticipated civil claims.

Dawnporker Fri 07-Dec-12 15:16:44

A Criminal Prosecution is off the table. A claim against the estate is potentially on the menu predicated on it (the assets) not being 'distributed'.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 07-Dec-12 15:46:31

Thanks both!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: