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    • was her cr edit fi le shot anyway when she took this loan out?   dx  
    • in this instance DCBL are operating as mere powerless debt collectors, a DCA.   a DCA are NOT BAILIFFS and have  ZERO legal powers on ANY debt no matter what it's type.   if their client really had a debt in your name, they'd contact you themselves.   as long as they know your correct address it is safe to ignore silly threat-o-grams.   and tell the others that too.   dx      
    • Hello all.  I'm looking for some advice if I may.   I received a Notice of Debt Recovery dated 26th May from DCBL relating to an alleged debt of 71.08 that apparently I owe to East London Energy/Engie. The problem is, I don't recognise the debt at all and when I moved out of the property I lived in which was served by ELE/Engie, my account was all up to date as I pay by direct debt. I even left them with my forwarding address, which they still have on their records and the closing bill was sent to that address.   DCBL are saying that ELE have sent me correspondence about this debt that I've failed to respond to. But the first I have heard about it is the DCBL letter itself. It's totally flummoxed me.   Here's the problem though, ELE never, and I mean, never, answer their phones. I have called about 30 times, no word of a lie, every day since receiving their letter. Not once have I got through to someone. They're not responding to my emails either.    On the local residents group on facebook there loads of households moaning about the same thing. Lots of them have received these letters, some have managed to get through to speak to someone, some have been told it's an error, others have been told 'you owe the money, tough pay it'.   Everyone is complaining that they can't get through to ELE to speak to someone. I don't know what to do.   Apparently if I don'y pay DCBL by 10th June they will review my case for legal recovery. It all seems desperately unfair, especially when I was the one who was informing ELE when they messed up their billing or failed to take a direct debit. I'm scrupulous about my bills. If I genuinely do owe the money I would have gladly paid it, but I just can't understand where this alleged debt has come from.    Does anyone have any advice? I'm at a loss but really don't want to pay DCBL for this debt I have no knowledge of and their added administration fee. 
    • Hi all, I hope you are all well in this strange time? I'm trying to assist my cousin in a complaint that she has with the PDL Uncle Buck, and I've reached a stumbling block. Loan Amount:       £400 Charge for Credit: £350 Agreement Date: 05-Oct-2018 Disputed Balance: £276.79 From initial information I've seen it's been a comedy of errors with there administration side, but for her, misery. Original Payment schedule sent out to her started from 26.03.2019 - she questioned this. They never replied, so took it as that was 1st payment date. 7th Nov 18 she gets a Missing payment and a charge. Questions this, they adamant charge stands as it was a clerical error, she again disputes. 3 weeks of in arrears messages, they eventually agree to refund £15 - but now insist on I&E as she missed the payment - no change in circumstances. She asked for 3 days grace til payday. No reply.  Default notice issued. This eventually gets it self sorted and they missed payment was factored into the remaining. Dec 18 her fiancee passed away, no way to afford the payments & funeral costs until insurance settles  - UB continue to harass despite telling them the issues. Some how she finds the cash an pays something towards the balance, just to stop the harrassement. She loses her job in Feb 2019 - informs people she owe money to, that now on uni credit. UB state that if she pays x amount they can do a payment plan as she's already in arrears. I told her it's against FCA Conc regs, she emails them - nothing back. No chase emails / calls or anything till end Apr. Settlement offer - pay £355 and we will take care of the remaining balance of £535 she emails them to say she can afford £50 pcm based on the the settlement - they agree. August she gets a statement, remaining balance £235 - they had not used the settlement figure as this was to be paid in full only and also incurred missed payment charges(?) I write an email for her email requesting DSAR etc sent on 1st Sep - acknowledged 10th Sep - info sent through 10th Oct - Account was placed on hold from sept til receipt of DSAR. DSAR shows - comment of being financial difficulty, on UC, payment schedule - 9 call attempts, 4 CPA attempts (she requested this to be cancelled 2mths after taking out loan) list of charges and interest after being informed on UC and put into payment plan. Complaint goes off - complaint partly upheld - £235 still outstanding. Complaint again. Account on Hold again. Fast forward to Jan 2020 - Complaint still being looked into will have response within 6weeks.. Email received - Settlement remaining Balance £320 (they added further charges!) can do 40% settlement in 2 payments. Email goes back stating it's under investigation, would accept £150 settlement but over 5 payments. No reply. 21st Feb - Email Settlement remaining balance £276.79 - can offer settlement figure of 195 but require a payment of £55 within 3days --- this is still despite her being on UC and no reply to settlement. She replies - stating can not afford £55, can do £10 pcm to settle. - They accept, but the balance is now 266.79 and not the 195. No acknowledgement. Payment schedule issued for 10pcm totaling 266.79 -- questioned again - no reply or acknowledgement. March - she notices that UB is no longer on one of her Credit Reports. I told her to check Credit Karma & Totally Money - Both show that they are marked as "Settled"  £0 balance from 03/03/2020 So left it as that. May she gets a call from UB collections, chasing £266.79 as she's defaulted again on her agreement (note - they've never acknowledged any questions) - she informs them that as far as she and her credit reports are concerned she owes nothing. Also stated that even if she did - it should be written off, incorrect balances and reporting and as it's gone against CONC where they insisted on a Payment to set up a payment plan. Person raises a complaint on her behalf and said she is going to get the Credit reports amended as it was a clerical error. 26th May - Sum Of arrears notice " On 05-10-2018 you entered into a fixed sum credit agreement with us under which you borrowed £400.00 repayable by 6 monthly instalments. Your arrears under the loan agreement The opening balance (which is the total amount that is due and owing under this agreement) at the date of the previous Notice of Sums in Arrears (dated 26-11-2019) that we sent to you was £318.27. On this date, the payments that you had failed to pay when due under your credit agreement amounted to £259.29. We are required to periodically send you Notices of Sums in Arrears, at intervals of not more than six months, while you remain behind with the repayments due under your credit agreement. The balance now due under your loan agreement on the date of this notice is £266.79. The total amount of your arrears (the sums that you have failed to pay in full when due in accordance with the terms of your loan agreement) is £207.81" 29th May -  We acknowledge your complaint and are sorry to learn you are dissatisfied with our service. Uncle Buck Finance LLP T/A Uncle Buck (the Partnership) was placed into Administration on 27 March 2020. I confirm that Paul Boyle, David Clements and Tony Murphy of Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency (London) Limited were appointed Joint Administrators of the Partnership. They are licensed to act as Insolvency Practitioners by the ICAEW. They are bound by the Insolvency Code of Ethics when carrying out all professional work relating to an insolvency appointment. Today - Final Response:   How Uncle Buck understands your complaint You are unhappy that according to your credit file the balance of your loan had been settled and now you have been advised this is incorrect due to an error made by an agent. Our Investigation and outcomes  An email was sent to you on the 21/2/20 offering a settlement figure of £193.75 against your outstanding balance of £276.79 and that if accepted this would close your account. We advised that we needed a payment of £55.35 to hold this settlement offer. You responded to the email the same day advising that you were unable to take advantage of the offer and asked if we would accept your original offer of £10 per month. We responded on the 24/2/20 asking you to complete an income and expenditure form. This was sent back to us the same day. On the 25/2/20 we advised you that we accepted the offer of £10 per month.  You then responded with the date you would be making the payments, confirmation of this was sent on the 26/2/20.  You then queried the amount outstanding; Claire then spoke to you to discuss why the balance was not the £193.75 as this was a settlement offer. < She has never spoken to anyone about this. -- the person who raised the complaint said an email was sent out! As previously advised the agent who made you a partial settlement offer on the 21/2/20 made an error and added a code to your account which meant that your credit file was shown as partially settled. This has now been corrected. I apologise that this error was made and will be upholding your complaint.  However, I can not agree to write off the balance due to this error.   At no time did you receive correspondence from Uncle Buck advising that your balance had been paid.  You were advised on several occasions after this date what the balance was and a payment plan was agreed. Please contact our collections department to discuss the arrears on your account by the 11/5/20.  If no contact is made then collections activity will commence and your account will be removed from write only. This is our final response. Please note, any complaints raised to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), will be directed to Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency (London) Limited.  They are no longer dealing with any complaints raised for the Partnership. And that's where I come to a block - they are saying that FOS will not deal with this complaint, really do not know what next steps are for her to get this resolved. Am I correct that they should not be asking for a payment to agree a settlement especially when someone has declared financial difficulty Any advice would as always be grateful  
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Lionheart007

Falsely Accused Of Benefit Fraud - help?!

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Help – falsely accused!

 

I have received ESA (contribution based) since 2011.

After years of only receiving awards letters that notified of payment rates,

I received an Interview Under Caution (IUC) a few months back,

which led to me realising that having claimed my pensions early for medical reasons last year, that I should have informed the DWP.

 

I honestly did not know this, because none of the awards letters ever mentioned mention this,

the last time I went on the .gov website regarding ESA was back around 2011/2012 when claiming my pensions was the last thing on my mind.

Since 2011/12 my health has worsened and I went through a difficult divorce, the reasons why I claimed my pensions early.

 

I went to the IUC and cooperated stating that I honestly did not know I needed to inform them when being on ‘contributions based’ ESA none of my x-wife’s earnings or savings dividends etc were ever taken into account.

 

I expected to have to pay the overpayment back AND “off recording” the DWP Officer said it was very unlikely I would be prosecuted.

I paid the overpayment when the letter confirmed how much I owed.

 

HOWEVER,

imagine my shock horror when I received a letter last week asking me to pay 50% of the overpayment (with loss of benefits for a month)

OR face going to court to be prosecuted and get a criminal record?!

– surely this is here to target benefit fraudsters NOT those who have acted in all innocence in a way that most people would understand in the circumstances?.

 

At the moment I cannot afford a solicitor

I feel that this is very unfair and am considering going to court and representing myself to clear my name,

since I understand that even paying the Administrative Penalty is an admission of guilt

 

I do not agree that I have committed an offence, let alone ‘knowingly’ withheld information without ‘reasonable excuse’.

 

I also now understand that the amounts of money involved are below what the DWP would normally process this way

and why they did not go down the civil investigation route I don’t know?

(this apparently normally ends with a Civil Penalty of £50 instead of an Administrative penalty of £700+.....).

 

With the stress of all this, on top of worsening health, and still coming to terms post divorce where the main factor was my poor health,

any tips information recommendations would be great fully appreciated.

 

THANK YOU.

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because none of the awards letters ever mentioned mention this

every award letter says on its second line:

 

 

you are required to immediately report any change in your circumstances to us, or the circumstances of your partner


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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If you feel that what has been done is wrong, represent yourself in Court and argue your case.

 

You need to see your doctor and how the situation is making your help worse and explain what I believe is a genuine mistake, get it all put on your medical records asap.

 

Going to Court and representing yourself may well make the DWP think twice about prosecuting it gives you more time to prepare your case and you can put your case across.

 

Courts unlike the DWP will probably look at the bigger picture and may consider your motivations and giving the extreme circumstances will be more human and consider the facts as opposed to the DWP finding everyone guilty because their rules have been breached, or not.

 

Don't give in to them matey, fight your corner because if you don't, you will always be thinking if only I took that option.

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@spitfire..

 

There is no corner to fight, OP failed to declare a change that all award letters tell them to report.

 

He has been offered an administrative penalty for his innocent actions and representing himself at court will still find them landed with a criminal conviction as they have to declare a change in their circumstances.

 

DWP have not found him guilty, you do not need to plead guilty to be offered an administrative penalty, the case just has to be prosecutable, it's also not the DWP that will be doing the prosecution as such but the CPS acting on there behalf.

 

That being said any fine the courts give should be less than then the 50% amount the administrative penalty is offering, but then you have a criminal fraud conviction to report to any prospective employers etc.

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If OP thinks he has been wronged, of course he has the right to fight his corner.

 

What he has been offered by the DWP is just that, an offer, certainly does not mean that he is guilty because they make him an offer.

 

Let the Courts decide, lets see if the DWP continue with their threats, OP has indicated that he is retired to so worse case scenario if and I mean if the Courts find him guilty, he will have a criminal record, so be it, its not the end of the world, but I don't think they will, if the OP explains his reasons.

 

I am sure the CPS have better things as to consider rather than taking the easy option and prosecuting someone who I believe made a genuine mistake, to say that the DWP have not found him guilty of this, please explain why they are threatening or should I say, would need to involve the CPS?, the CPS only considering people that they feel are guilty, unless the OP has handed himself in or the DWP think that he is guilty?, what option are you taking, because it can only be one of the two.

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you are required to immediately report any change in your circumstances to us, or the circumstances of your partner.

 

This is the killer. The person failed to do this.

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You may not want to hear this about your situation IS SERIOUS

 

 

You are required to notify the DWP of any changes as advised earlier. The section of law you will need to read up on is s111a and /or s112 of the SSA 1992 from here >>

 

 

Here is what is said from https://www.criminallawandjustice .co...Fraud-Offences

 

Last summer, the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, QC, announced new guidelines for prosecution of benefit fraud. One of the changes in these new guidelines is that prosecutors should charge under the Fraud Act 2006 where “the alleged offending merits such an approach and prosecutors anticipate a very substantial prison sentence”. The headlines that resulted from these new guidelines were that charging under the Fraud Act has a maximum sentence of 10 years, opposed to seven years under the Social Security Administration Act (SSAA) 1992. There are, however, other substantial differences between the general offences under the Fraud Act and the specific offences under the SSAA.

 

 

The sentencing Council say this >> https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...benefit-fraud/

 

 

Dishonest representations for obtaining benefit etc Social Security Administration Act 1992 (section 111A)

 

Tax Credit fraud Tax Credits Act 2002 (section 35)

 

False accounting Theft Act 1968 (section 17)

 

Triable either way

 

Maximum: 7 years’ custody

 

Offence range: Discharge – 6 years 6 months’ custody

 

False representations for obtaining benefit etc Social Security Administration Act 1992 (section 112)

 

Triable summarily only

 

Maximum: Level 5 fine and/or 3 months’ custody

 

Offence range: Discharge – 12 weeks’ custody

 

Fraud by false representation, fraud by failing to disclose information, fraud by abuse of position Fraud Act 2006 (section 1)

 

Triable either way

 

Conspiracy to defraud Common law

 

Triable on indictment only

 

Maximum: 10 years’ custody

 

Offence range: Discharge – 8 years’ custody


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If OP thinks he has been wronged, of course he has the right to fight his corner.

 

What he has been offered by the DWP is just that, an offer, certainly does not mean that he is guilty because they make him an offer.

 

Let the Courts decide, lets see if the DWP continue with their threats, OP has indicated that he is retired to so worse case scenario if and I mean if the Courts find him guilty, he will have a criminal record, so be it, its not the end of the world, but I don't think they will, if the OP explains his reasons.

 

I am sure the CPS have better things as to consider rather than taking the easy option and prosecuting someone who I believe made a genuine mistake, to say that the DWP have not found him guilty of this, please explain why they are threatening or should I say, would need to involve the CPS?, the CPS only considering people that they feel are guilty, unless the OP has handed himself in or the DWP think that he is guilty?, what option are you taking, because it can only be one of the two.

 

They are not threatening anything.

 

OP has committed benefit fraud by failing to declare a change in income/earnings.

Every letter received states changes you need to tell us about, oops I ignored that!

 

As such he has been interviewed under caution and there is sufficient evidence to prove an offence has been committed.

The actual OP appears to around the £1,500 mark looking at the what has been posted and an administrative penalty has been offered in the first instance as the case is prosecutable, that does not mean they are guilty, but there is sufficient evidence with which to get a conviction.

 

Should they not accept then legal proceedings will be taken which is policy and standard practice.

No threats it's all laid down in the readily available prosecution policy.

 

Owing to issues you have with the DWP you are blinkered to them and we only have one side of the story here and from the fact that OP has failed to declare a change in their circumstances which everyone knows they have to do, it is clearly not a false accusation, as they have received money they must have known or been expected to know they shouldn't have.

 

We do not know what was stated at IUC, what was put on any claim forms etc to be able to make the judgement that OP is totally innocent in this.

Remember ignorance is not a defence.

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A criminal conviction IS a big deal and one most people would prefer to avoid as it is declarable.

CPS is a big org who will prosecute anyone where there is a reasonable chance of a Conviction; this is one of those cases IMO. She can pay the Admin Penalty to avoid prosecution but it will be noted on the claimant's Benefit file.

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CPS is a big org who will prosecute anyone where there is a reasonable chance of a Conviction

 

That is only part of the CPS's yardstick.

They have a two-fold 'basic standard'.

 

First there must be: a 'reasonable prospect of a successful conviction', but secondly, it must also be 'in the public interest' to prosecute.

 

They have added further details to their guidance regarding prosecutions for benefit fraud, in particular regarding their interaction with agencies such as the DWP, and I hope to do a more detailed post on these factors later.

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They are not threatening anything.

 

OP has committed benefit fraud by failing to declare a change in income/earnings. Every letter received states changes you need to tell us about, oops I ignored that!

 

As such he has been interviewed under caution and there is sufficient evidence to prove an offence has been committed. The actual OP appears to around the £1,500 mark looking at the what has been posted and an administrative penalty has been offered in the first instance as the case is prosecutable, that does not mean they are guilty, but there is sufficient evidence with which to get a conviction.

 

Should they not accept then legal proceedings will be taken which is policy and standard practice. No threats it's all laid down in the readily available prosecution policy.

 

Owing to issues you have with the DWP you are blinkered to them and we only have one side of the story here and from the fact that OP has failed to declare a change in their circumstances which everyone knows they have to do, it is clearly not a false accusation, as they have received money they must have known or been expected to know they shouldn't have.

 

We do not know what was stated at IUC, what was put on any claim forms etc to be able ro make the judgement that OP is totally innocent in this. Remember ignorance is not a defence.

 

From reading this you have already found OP guilty, some acheivment.

 

As for being blinkered because of my issues with DWP, giving that I have just proved my case against them, blinkers must be working fine.

 

Ignorance may well not be defence, but CIRCUMSTANCES leading upto and the fact that the OP has not got a criminal record, nor attempted to commit a criminal offence BEFORE are all factors that would be considered, IF THEY EVENTUALLY FIND HIM GUILTY.

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So did they have a change in circumstances, yes.

Did they fail to notify this change in circumstances, yes.

Have they therefore failed to promptly notify a relevant change in circumstances, yes.

 

Without the full facts i.e. both sides of the story and the actual circumstances of how this came to light,

are they potentially guilty of a fraud offence, who knows,

 

but as an administrative penalty is a sanction that does not have to prove guilt then they have not been found guilty of an offence,

however they have been deemed to have failed to notify a change of circumstances,

which the OP is admitting to which is sanctionable.

 

As such no one has found them guilty, they have just been offered what the prosecution policy states should be offered.

Can they decline this of course they can, in which case they will potentially go to court and could get something far worse.

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Help – falsely accused!

 

I have received ESA (contribution based) since 2011.

After years of only receiving awards letters that notified of payment rates,

I received an Interview Under Caution (IUC) a few months back,

which led to me realising that having claimed my pensions early for medical reasons last year, that I should have informed the DWP.

 

I honestly did not know this, because none of the awards letters ever mentioned mention this,

the last time I went on the .gov website regarding ESA was back around 2011/2012 when claiming my pensions was the last thing on my mind.

Since 2011/12 my health has worsened and I went through a difficult divorce, the reasons why I claimed my pensions early.

 

I went to the IUC and cooperated stating that I honestly did not know I needed to inform them when being on ‘contributions based’ ESA none of my x-wife’s earnings or savings dividends etc were ever taken into account.

 

I expected to have to pay the overpayment back AND “off recording” the DWP Officer said it was very unlikely I would be prosecuted.

I paid the overpayment when the letter confirmed how much I owed.

 

HOWEVER,

imagine my shock horror when I received a letter last week asking me to pay 50% of the overpayment (with loss of benefits for a month)

OR face going to court to be prosecuted and get a criminal record?!

– surely this is here to target benefit fraudsters NOT those who have acted in all innocence in a way that most people would understand in the circumstances?.

 

At the moment I cannot afford a solicitor

I feel that this is very unfair and am considering going to court and representing myself to clear my name,

since I understand that even paying the Administrative Penalty is an admission of guilt

 

I do not agree that I have committed an offence, let alone ‘knowingly’ withheld information without ‘reasonable excuse’.

 

I also now understand that the amounts of money involved are below what the DWP would normally process this way

and why they did not go down the civil investigation route I don’t know?

(this apparently normally ends with a Civil Penalty of £50 instead of an Administrative penalty of £700+.....).

 

With the stress of all this, on top of worsening health, and still coming to terms post divorce where the main factor was my poor health,

any tips information recommendations would be great fully appreciated.

 

THANK YOU.

 

Hi mate, how do you now understand that the amount of money involved is below what the DWP would normally process in this way (case law) and have you proof that similar cases have ended with a civil penalty as opposed to an Administrative penalty.

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From reading this you have already found OP guilty, some acheivment.

 

No one has found the OP guilty, they are entitled to a presumption of innocence until they are found guilty by a court.

However, that doesn't mean:

a) that DWP can't seek an administrative penalty. nor

b) posters can't give the OP an indication of how they think things will go if it does go to:

i) the CPS, or then

ii) prosecution.

 

Ignorance may well not be defence, but CIRCUMSTANCES leading upto and the fact that the OP has not got a criminal record, nor attempted to commit a criminal offence BEFORE are all factors that would be considered, IF THEY EVENTUALLY FIND HIM GUILTY.

 

Factors that count towards mitigation of sentence after a finding of guilt in court, not a defence to a prosecution......

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Hi mate, how do you now understand that the amount of money involved is below what the DWP would normally process in this way (case law) and have you proof that similar cases have ended with a civil penalty as opposed to an Administrative penalty.

 

Non-fraud cases tend to get a civil penalty i.e. someone notifies a change late, they get a civil penalty as there is no fraud interest.

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No one has found the OP guilty, they are entitled to a presumption of innocence until they are found guilty by a court.

However, that doesn't mean:

a) that DWP can't seek an administrative penalty. nor

b) posters can't give the OP an indication of how they think things will go if it does go to:

i) the CPS, or then

ii) prosecution.

 

 

 

Factors that count towards mitigation of sentence after a finding of guilt in court, not a defence to a prosecution......

 

No you do not give the facts in mitigation, you give the facts and the evidence during the proceedings.

 

OP has clearly indicated that he never intended or was predominately motivated in committing an offence and he needs to give those reasons.

 

Mitigating or pleading with a Court comes after a judgment is made, not before.

 

What you are saying is that OP only uses his defence after he is found guilty, don't think so.

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Non-fraud cases tend to get a civil penalty i.e. someone notifies a change late, they get a civil penalty as there is no fraud interest.

 

OP has indicated that similar cases have been dealt with by Civil Courts, I am only going by what he has writing.

 

The point that I am trying to establish is that if the OP can demonstrate that others who are guilty of what the DWP have claimed, he can rely on those cases if proven guilty to argue that he has been treated differently.

 

It is my understanding that Judges will look at similar cases as a means of sentencing.

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What you said was:

 

Ignorance may well not be defence, but CIRCUMSTANCES leading upto and the fact that the OP has not got a criminal record, nor attempted to commit a criminal offence BEFORE are all factors that would be considered, IF THEY EVENTUALLY FIND HIM GUILTY.

 

"would be considered, IF THEY EVENTUALLY FIND HIM GUILTY." ; make your mind up if they are defence (which happens before a finding of guilt), or mitigation which happens "IF THEY EVENTUALLY FIND HIM GUILTY."

 

No you do not give the facts in mitigation, you give the facts and the evidence during the proceedings.

 

OP has clearly indicated that he never intended or was predominately motivated in committing an offence and he needs to give those reasons.

 

Mitigating or pleading with a Court comes after a judgment is made, not before.

 

What you are saying is that OP only uses his defence after he is found guilty, don't think so.

 

 

OK, then, what is his defence, and to which charge(s)?.

Do you think Ghosh is relevant?, (and if so, how?). If not, why not?.

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 956 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

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