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Help, advice needed.


Help, advice needed.

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Sid
Sid
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Hi guys,

Back in 2010 I was sentenced to 5 years SOR & 3 years probation & community order for a count of possession of images. Thankfully I got thru court and probation etc pretty much without anyone finding out apart from someone who was my best friend but as I was god father to her children obviously the police and social services had to inform her. Naturally she went ballistic and we haven't really communicated. But she blames me for messing her life up and when she gets drunk she messages me telling me she is going to shame me and tell my family and friends what I have done. So far for the past 8 years I have managed to talk her round and calm her down and we may meet up for lunch or a quick drink but this time I think she means it.

I'm not sure what to do, I have done my time with the justice system but she seems hell bent on destroying me, after 8 years I need to get on with my life and not keep worrying when she is going to rare up again. Shes told me I'm lucky to be alive after her brothers and cousins were told etc.

Any advice anyone???
BenS
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I might be wrong on this - others feel free to interject.

I am wondering if, with your conviction now being spent, she might be breaking data protection laws if she tells other people about a spent conviction? Telling her this might shut her up. While I understand if she would prefer you no longer to have any contact with her children, you obviously have never harmed or posed any threat to her children. She could just cease contact with you and carry on with her life. How you have "messed her life up", I cannot fathom. I hate this kind of person. I have a similar conviction to yours and resent being labelled a danger to anyone for looking at a picture many years ago.

As her revealing any information on your conviction could. in the worst-case scenario, result in an employer acting illegally on information on a spent conviction, or be a danger to your safety, I would therefore remind her of the legal nature of a spent conviction. Dropping in a few scary terms like Information Commissioner, GDPR, and criminal offences through data protection, might help.
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5 Months Ago by BenS
Outsourced
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If the police made disclosure then she will have signed a document of non disclosure and can be prosecuted for both leaking police information and harassment. 
Sid
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Thanks for the replys,

Hi BenS I know when she was disclosed to it obviously would have come as a massive shock etc and the disappointment, but I cannot fathom out either how I'm responsible for messing her life up. I agree she needs to cease contact and get on with her own life but I think she is just looking for someone to blame when stuff in her life goes wrong, but I'm at the stage now of thinking it's been 8 years since I was convicted and a further 4 years since I was arrested sort yourself out. It also seems she thinks I need to be punished more, I told her I have served the sentence the courts and the police handed down it's time for me to close that chapter and that making me suffer more isn't going to make her feel any better etc but I believe she was drunk and trying to be reasonable with a drunk person is just impossible.

Hi Outsourced, yes she was disclosed to after conviction by my PPU officer (I assume), but I'm not sure if they do this over the phone or they visit and do it face to face, do you know if this is fact that she would have had to sign a non disclosure agreement? After all once it's been to court it's in the public domain for everyone to see.

I wonder if it's worth giving my old PPU officer a ring and see what she says, problem is they all live in this idealistic world that if you be honest and tell someone up front then they will welcome you with open arms and sympathy, meanwhile in the real world we know that is not the case. I would like to think there is some legal route to prevent further disclosure, for protection if anything else. Thankfully I run my own business so I don't have to worry about getting sacked.

Thanks



Square
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Sid - 11 Jun 18 6:33 PM
Thanks for the replys,

Hi BenS I know when she was disclosed to it obviously would have come as a massive shock etc and the disappointment, but I cannot fathom out either how I'm responsible for messing her life up. I agree she needs to cease contact and get on with her own life but I think she is just looking for someone to blame when stuff in her life goes wrong, but I'm at the stage now of thinking it's been 8 years since I was convicted and a further 4 years since I was arrested sort yourself out. It also seems she thinks I need to be punished more, I told her I have served the sentence the courts and the police handed down it's time for me to close that chapter and that making me suffer more isn't going to make her feel any better etc but I believe she was drunk and trying to be reasonable with a drunk person is just impossible.

Hi Outsourced, yes she was disclosed to after conviction by my PPU officer (I assume), but I'm not sure if they do this over the phone or they visit and do it face to face, do you know if this is fact that she would have had to sign a non disclosure agreement? After all once it's been to court it's in the public domain for everyone to see.

I wonder if it's worth giving my old PPU officer a ring and see what she says, problem is they all live in this idealistic world that if you be honest and tell someone up front then they will welcome you with open arms and sympathy, meanwhile in the real world we know that is not the case. I would like to think there is some legal route to prevent further disclosure, for protection if anything else. Thankfully I run my own business so I don't have to worry about getting sacked.

Thanks



I think you are minimising how your behaviour may have effected your friend. She clearly loved you dearly to ask you to be the godfather to her children - this required a great deal of trust on her part. You have broken this trust massively. You also can't account for things that may have happened in her past. You may have awoken a lot of hurt and pain.

If she still has your phone number and still contacts you - what does this show? To me, she still has some sort of bond to you and can't deal with that - but that is from a very limited amount of text you have shared... so it may be nonsense.

I think your response about having served your sentence and moving on was a very poor way to tackle this. Do you really think the kids in those images are ever able to 'move on'?. I know I have served my sentence, I am trying to move on but the experience will always remain with me (heck I think about it many times every day!).

You are going to have to deal with the situation.. You can meet her and talk through it or suggest that you break off all contact. Alternatively you can move away. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure that you don't anger or upset her.
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Square - 11 Jun 18 9:29 PM
Sid - 11 Jun 18 6:33 PM
Thanks for the replys,

Hi BenS I know when she was disclosed to it obviously would have come as a massive shock etc and the disappointment, but I cannot fathom out either how I'm responsible for messing her life up. I agree she needs to cease contact and get on with her own life but I think she is just looking for someone to blame when stuff in her life goes wrong, but I'm at the stage now of thinking it's been 8 years since I was convicted and a further 4 years since I was arrested sort yourself out. It also seems she thinks I need to be punished more, I told her I have served the sentence the courts and the police handed down it's time for me to close that chapter and that making me suffer more isn't going to make her feel any better etc but I believe she was drunk and trying to be reasonable with a drunk person is just impossible.

Hi Outsourced, yes she was disclosed to after conviction by my PPU officer (I assume), but I'm not sure if they do this over the phone or they visit and do it face to face, do you know if this is fact that she would have had to sign a non disclosure agreement? After all once it's been to court it's in the public domain for everyone to see.

I wonder if it's worth giving my old PPU officer a ring and see what she says, problem is they all live in this idealistic world that if you be honest and tell someone up front then they will welcome you with open arms and sympathy, meanwhile in the real world we know that is not the case. I would like to think there is some legal route to prevent further disclosure, for protection if anything else. Thankfully I run my own business so I don't have to worry about getting sacked.

Thanks



I think you are minimising how your behaviour may have effected your friend. She clearly loved you dearly to ask you to be the godfather to her children - this required a great deal of trust on her part. You have broken this trust massively. You also can't account for things that may have happened in her past. You may have awoken a lot of hurt and pain.

If she still has your phone number and still contacts you - what does this show? To me, she still has some sort of bond to you and can't deal with that - but that is from a very limited amount of text you have shared... so it may be nonsense.

I think your response about having served your sentence and moving on was a very poor way to tackle this. Do you really think the kids in those images are ever able to 'move on'?. I know I have served my sentence, I am trying to move on but the experience will always remain with me (heck I think about it many times every day!).

You are going to have to deal with the situation.. You can meet her and talk through it or suggest that you break off all contact. Alternatively you can move away. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure that you don't anger or upset her.

I suspect the truth of this is somewhere in the middle. While you should not minimise the impact your conviction had on her, she should not maximise it, either. I'm sure she was devastated when she heard the news, which the police should have delivered in person to make sure that they were telling the right person, because of data protection, public protection and their own rear-end protection. That doesn't mean you ruined her life, whatever she may have been through in the past. I'm no psychologist or counsellor, but it does seem that she has a conflict between liking you enough to make you a godparent and being shocked by the news of your conviction, especially as it was delivered by the police. As Square said, maybe you should try and talk this through with her so that you can both move forward. By the sound of her behaviour when she is drunk, it may be that she might have her own issues to deal with.
Sid
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Hi Square,

I understand I have massively broken her trust, we were very very close and it has been hard for both sides not seeing each other. I was not trying to minimise my effects I apologise if it came across that way. For as long as I have known her she has always had anger issues, not as in she's angry at the world 24/7 etc etc just if someone pisses her off she really knows how to throw a tantrum and this is exaggerated if she has been drinking, I also know she's not doing to well emotionally and not been for some time.

We have met up a few times, once we went for lunch the other times I have had to go pick her up at silly o'clock in the morning from a nightclub/pub because she's sat on her own in the pub garden in tears and everyone has left her, we usually end up going for a drive a couple of hours, have a chat and then I drop her off home.

When I hear the facebook messenger go ping on my phone I panic as I rarely use it and that is what she mainly contacts me on, I look at the message with fear really to see whether this is going to be a nice conversation where we talk in a civil way and she usually updates me on how the kids are doing etc and we look at setting a date to meet up, or if the opening line is "I f*****g hate you why have you done this to me..." then I know it's going to be a bad night.

I think my problem now is 8 years have passed, I cannot go on for the rest of my life wondering when my phone pings have I got to go out and pick her up or am I in for a night of verbal abuse etc, I have suggested that maybe she needs to see a doctor/talking therapist but the reply is "Don't turn this on me it's your fault", she has got it into her head that if I tell all my family and friends of my conviction then it will make things better for her as she wants me to suffer like she has, as I have "gotten away with it". She needs to help herself too if she wants to progress, and I will happily help her, but throwing around threats of violence from brothers & cousins soon puts me off.

I personally don't think that she wants to break contact, and neither do I so long as the contact is not abuse. I think she is just using me as someone to vent at when she has had a few too many to drink (she is a very depressive drunk always has been), I don't want to upset or anger her, and we live about 20 miles apart so were not on each others doorstep, which is probably a good thing.

I know reading the above doesn't exactly paint her in a good light but when sober (i.e a weekday) and in a good mood she was fun to hang out with etc but I think her biggest problem is when she does have a drink on a Saturday usually, she drinks way too much, I drink heavily on a night out but even I can't keep up with her and unfortunately she's a terrible drunk and it all kicks off, but she won't/can't drink in moderation.


Thanks
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Sid - 12 Jun 18 10:21 AM
Hi Square,

I understand I have massively broken her trust, we were very very close and it has been hard for both sides not seeing each other. I was not trying to minimise my effects I apologise if it came across that way. For as long as I have known her she has always had anger issues, not as in she's angry at the world 24/7 etc etc just if someone pisses her off she really knows how to throw a tantrum and this is exaggerated if she has been drinking, I also know she's not doing to well emotionally and not been for some time.

We have met up a few times, once we went for lunch the other times I have had to go pick her up at silly o'clock in the morning from a nightclub/pub because she's sat on her own in the pub garden in tears and everyone has left her, we usually end up going for a drive a couple of hours, have a chat and then I drop her off home.

When I hear the facebook messenger go ping on my phone I panic as I rarely use it and that is what she mainly contacts me on, I look at the message with fear really to see whether this is going to be a nice conversation where we talk in a civil way and she usually updates me on how the kids are doing etc and we look at setting a date to meet up, or if the opening line is "I f*****g hate you why have you done this to me..." then I know it's going to be a bad night.

I think my problem now is 8 years have passed, I cannot go on for the rest of my life wondering when my phone pings have I got to go out and pick her up or am I in for a night of verbal abuse etc, I have suggested that maybe she needs to see a doctor/talking therapist but the reply is "Don't turn this on me it's your fault", she has got it into her head that if I tell all my family and friends of my conviction then it will make things better for her as she wants me to suffer like she has, as I have "gotten away with it". She needs to help herself too if she wants to progress, and I will happily help her, but throwing around threats of violence from brothers & cousins soon puts me off.

I personally don't think that she wants to break contact, and neither do I so long as the contact is not abuse. I think she is just using me as someone to vent at when she has had a few too many to drink (she is a very depressive drunk always has been), I don't want to upset or anger her, and we live about 20 miles apart so were not on each others doorstep, which is probably a good thing.

I know reading the above doesn't exactly paint her in a good light but when sober (i.e a weekday) and in a good mood she was fun to hang out with etc but I think her biggest problem is when she does have a drink on a Saturday usually, she drinks way too much, I drink heavily on a night out but even I can't keep up with her and unfortunately she's a terrible drunk and it all kicks off, but she won't/can't drink in moderation.


Thanks

I think you need a full and frank with her long the lines of your last post.  Circles of influence.  You have taken responsibility for what you can control, but she needs to take responsibility for her issues and what she is responsible for.  You can show you have and will continue to support her, but she can't blame you for her issues. I think she is just crying out for help

Debbie Sadler
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Sid - 10 Jun 18 11:01 PM
Hi guys,

Back in 2010 I was sentenced to 5 years SOR & 3 years probation & community order for a count of possession of images. Thankfully I got thru court and probation etc pretty much without anyone finding out apart from someone who was my best friend but as I was god father to her children obviously the police and social services had to inform her. Naturally she went ballistic and we haven't really communicated. But she blames me for messing her life up and when she gets drunk she messages me telling me she is going to shame me and tell my family and friends what I have done. So far for the past 8 years I have managed to talk her round and calm her down and we may meet up for lunch or a quick drink but this time I think she means it.

I'm not sure what to do, I have done my time with the justice system but she seems hell bent on destroying me, after 8 years I need to get on with my life and not keep worrying when she is going to rare up again. Shes told me I'm lucky to be alive after her brothers and cousins were told etc.

Any advice anyone???

Hi Sid

I sympathise with the situation that you find yourself in; it must be awful living with this threat hanging over your head.

Although finding out about your conviction must have come as a bit of a shock, I'm not sure how your friend can blame you for "messing up her life". No doubt the involvement with the police or social services would have been quite a scary and intrusive process and I imagine that your friend would feel pretty upset at having to go through that.

You mentioned that she makes the threats when she's drunk and has so far not carried these out. Hopefully that will remain the case. At the end of the day we all say things when we're drunk that we wouldn't necessarily do. The not knowing what she's going to do is clearly causing you a great deal of stress and anxiety and having this hold over you may seem to her like some sort of 'pay-back'.

Although you've 'talked her around' in the past, I wonder whether the time has now come to sit down and have a real heart to heart (you may have done this already). If I were you, I'd try to explain what was happening at the time of your conviction and what you've done since to ensure that you don't re-offend. Be totally honest with her and most importantly, be prepared to apologise for any impact your conviction has had on her and/or her child. Acknowledge why she feels so angry but that telling your family/friends probably won't make her feel any better - is there anything she wants you to do that might help her to feel less angry about the situation. 

It's certainly not going to be an easy discussion but you were once best friends and may be there's still a part of her that can see beyond the conviction to the person she knew before. 

Good luck.

Debs

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I've been through similar problems before but maybe not with someone so close. I was unlucky and my sentence was published in my local newspaper so i didn't have the luxury of deciding who to tell and who not to tell in the end. I sat down with my closest friends the day after i was arrested though and spoke to them about what happened, out of all of them only two have stuck by me as a mate who i can still have a laugh and a bit of banter with but they were still very disappointed with me. I've recieved threats of violence and promises of 'i'll f+ing put you in hospital' etc but more often than not it's bravado, intimidation and fear. Some people aren't very articulate or tactful in telling you how they feel and it usually comes out as an angry rant to which frankly any answer you give will be the wrong answer in the heat of the moment. You can't blame people for being angry and upset.

If she still contacts you from time to time then there must be something she sees in you, some element of good or a part of you that she enjoys like your humour or whatever. What i believe people want to understand is whether or not you really accept the harm you caused to the victims in the content and what you have done to address it and take responsibility. Simply saying 'well ive done my time and it's water under the bridge' doesn't cut it with that type of crime, it's not like you stole a Playstation from Tescos, it's a highly emotive crime. It's really tough trying to explain yourself without it sounding like an excuse.

There's probably an element of shame on her part too, that she might fear being seen 'hanging around with a SO' so then there is added pressure on her to explain to others why she spends time with you etc that is a difficult thing for people to accept and make sense of.





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