Joshua's story - giving Joshua legal help when he had nowhere else to go
Giving Joshua legal help when he had nowhere else to go
Joshua was 31 years old when he came to us in August 2015. Due to an offence committed in 2007 when he was 20, Joshua had been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 8 years. His name was due to be removed in 2015.
In 2015, he was charged with failing to comply with reporting obligations under the Register. He did not re-report a gym membership and a Twitter account. Although minor, if he was unable to contest the charges he would have had a criminal record persisting past 2017, when the original conviction would no longer appear in most criminal record checks. This caused him considerable distress as he had found it impossible to find employment with a criminal history.
Joshua wasn’t eligible for a grant of Legal Aid, nor could he afford private representation. IMCL was the only free legal service in the area.
Joshua explained that he had had difficulty understanding his obligations. He had been suffering from serious depression for a number of years and had issues with concentration and processing complex information as a result of a head injury sustained when he was a child. We knew this could be a defence to the charge.
We agreed to assist Joshua and were also able to arrange a pro-bono barrister to run his contested hearing. We engaged a psychologist who also appeared in court to explain his difficulties.
The Magistrate found Joshua not guilty, meaning that in 2017, when Joshua applies for jobs, his criminal record will not be disclosed in most cases. This gave him a much greater chance of finding work. If it wasn’t for IMCL’s work and assistance in providing representation for Joshua, he wouldn’t have been able to contest the charges against him and achieve such a life changing outcome.
“IMCL listened to me. I wouldn’t have been able to get this result without them. I had nowhere else to go for help. I made a mistake when I was young. Now I can look for a job and move on with my life.”