Area of law: Criminal law
Complaint reason(s): Failure to follow instructions; failure to investigate complaint internally;
Outcome: Ombudsman’s decision rejected by the complainant
Mr V was charged with two criminal offences and the firm was appointed to represent him in court. Mr V decided to plead guilty and he was sentenced.
Two months later, Mr V contacted the firm to tell them that he had learned that the police believed that he had committed while he was on bail. Mr V was adamant that they hadn’t been. The firm contacted the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), which said that the information the police held was up to them and there was nothing that they, the CRB, could do to change it. The firm pointed out that Mr V hadn’t been charged with offending while on bail but said that if he wanted to challenge the police records he should contact them himself.
Mr V complained to the firm. Following a telephone conference, the firm discovered from Mr V that his CRB record didn’t say anything about offending on bail. They told him that this was good news and that, as far as they were concerned, there was no longer a problem. Mr V disagreed and brought his complaint to us.
>We investigated and found that the firm had acted reasonably. They had explained that his CRB record was correct and had given Mr V all the information he needed to challenge the incorrect police records. The ombudsman decided that there had been no poor service. Mr V rejected the ombudsman’s decision.