'Unemployable' teacher sues over criminal record

9th October 2009 at 01:00

A teacher who was arrested on suspicion of attempted rape is suing police over claims the incident was wrongly reported to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), making him "unemployable".

Vincent Desmond was cleared of involvement by Nottinghamshire Police after CCTV footage showed that he was in a hotel bar at the time of the alleged incident.

But Mr Desmond is now suing the force for personal injury and loss of income over claims it was negligent to pass on information about the case to the CRB.

Details of the arrest came to light in an enhanced CRB check carried out by a school where Mr Desmond applied for a job in 2005. It also said that Mr Desmond had made "significant comments" about the incident to police.

This information should never have been disclosed to the CRB, Mr Desmond claims. He said it made him "unemployable" and caused him psychiatric illness and loss of earnings. Mr Desmond's enhanced CRB certificate was wiped in March 2007.

Mr Desmond's original case, which made three separate claims, was dismissed by Nottingham County Court in November 2008.

But in the High Court last week, Mr Justice Wyn Williams ruled that Mr Desmond, who is believed to live in the West Midlands, could pursue part of his claim for damages.

The judge said it was "at least open to argument" that Mr Desmond was entitled to rely on the police to take reasonable steps to ensure that the information placed before the CRB was "accurate and complete".

A Home Office spokeswoman said it was normal practice for all information held on the police computer to be passed to the CRB for enhanced disclosures. They have to apply to the local police force to have it removed, she said.

Nottinghamshire Police declined to comment while the case is ongoing.

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