Feel like I don't have a future anymore

By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

Hi, I'm new to the forum and find myself here after getting a criminal conviction in December of last year. I'll try to be brief, but I do tend to waffle on lol.

Basically at the end of November 2014 I received a summons to court for Dishonestly failing to declare a change in circumstances, to the city council, resulting in me getting housing and council tax benefit when I was self employed. I'd been interviewed under caution about this 18mths prior and provided them with evidence asked for, but heard nothing from them in 12mths. I had less than 2 weeks to plan for my day in court, whereas they'd had much longer.

The charged stemmed from when I was working as a self employed childminder. I'd signed off JSA and registered as self employed, informed tax credits etc and thought I had told the housing department. I hadn't paid much attention to letters from them, as because my earnings from self employment were so low (£50 a week) I was still entitled to full housing and council tax benefit anyway, so nothing would have changed there anyway.

Originally I was charged with two counts of dishonestly failing to notify, but that meant I had deliberatly set out to deceive and gain money, which I hadn't, and so I wanted to plead not guilty. I was told that there was a chance, although small, that I could be given a prison sentence. I am a single parent of 3, one whom has mental health problems, and so I just couldn't take the risk. I explained my position to my barrister and he suggested that he ask the prosecution if they would accept a guilty plea to just failing to notify, so taking away the dishonestly part, and they agreed, so I plead guilty.
The magistrates at the hearing accepted that I had informed everyone else that I needed to, and that it seemed to be an oversight on my part, but that it was my own fault for not taking more care. I was fined £500 and ordered to pay £120 costs, plus repay all of the benefits i'd received (despite being entitled to them anyway).

Since then life has just stopped, I can't get a job doing anything at all, and my future hopes of going to college and then onto university to study nursing are pretty much over. I am 'lucky' in that at the moment I am not being made to look for work, as I am carer for my daughter, but I want to work.

I feel so angry that what was basically a mistake has ended up with my probably having to spend my life on benefits mad
By Deb S - 16 Sep 11 1:36 PM


Welcome to the Forum.

Getting into nursing with a conviction will clearly be more difficult than without a conviction but certainly not impossible. Universities will be able to see that you were only given a fine which should reassure them of how seriously the magistrates felt the issue to be.

Come November 2015, you will no longer have to disclose your conviction for the majority of jobs and if a basic criminal record check were to be done, nothing would be shown. As you will see from this Forum, many people work quite successfully in a range of industries who have convictions.

I'm sure you'll be given lots of good information and support here that will be able to help you get into work.

Good luck

Need Unlock's advice? Visit our self-help information site or contact our helpline

By Victor H - 15 Dec 13 7:37 PM

Yes agree with the above sentiments, life is certainly not over its important to not give up.

I have known several people with 8+ criminal convictions and to them they just ignore it and apply for job positions locally in shops, retail or offices and these are the type of job positions no checks are done.Some of them went onto management even.

You may have to adjust your careers or job roles or your chosen profession but this is normal in life it will have its downs and ups.
By doug - 10 Jul 14 4:57 PM

Remember the person you are. Whilst we may of made mistakes in the past, we have learnt from them and are now moving forward with our lives. We are Better, Stronger people now. When going for jobs, concentrate on the skills you can offer your future employers to help them become a better company. Yes, be honest and open regarding your convictions, but tell them how you have rehabilitated and recognized your mistakes, which you will not repeat again. Explain to them that the experience's you have been through, has made you a better stronger person, who has a lot to offer them. You are a good person.
By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

Thank you for the replies. I know things could be worse and I am sure someone will give me a chance eventually, it's just hard going isn't it. I applied for a job at Greggs yesterday and got a NO from them this morning. I'd heard that they give people with convictions a chance, so that was even more disappointing.

We have a new B&M store opening nearby soon so I will try there. At the moment i'd be willing to work anywhere that would have me tbh, just to get my foot back in the door.

I just feel like I have really let my kids down confused
By The Pineapple Thief - 3 Feb 15 2:54 PM

Hi MaybeOneDay,

You are absolutely right, things could be worse and someone will give you a chance eventually. Yes it is hard going but the good thing is that you haven't given up.

I can empathise with your non-successful application from Greggs. A couple of weeks ago I had a brilliant interview for a job and I came away thinking that they would be hard-pushed not to employ me unless they had a really good internal candidate. Disclosure wasn't a problem at all (I may have posted elsewhere about that). I wasn't successful but an hour after requesting feedback which has to be requested via their HR department, they phoned me back with an interview offer for the same job in a different location. Admittedly I'd forgotten I'd applied for it. So what I'm trying to say is although I wasn't successful in that interview, I'm obviously good enough to be considered for the post but there was someone that must have just edged it. It brings to mind Alan Sugar deciding who's going to win the Apprentice*

Getting your foot in the door is a good analogy. I feel as though I've got my toes just about in but not quite ready for the shoulder barge yet.

Don't feel that you've let your kids down, you haven't. You've done your best for them and are still trying to do your best for them.

Good luck with your future applications and don't be put off by applying for anything.

*No I'm not Katie Hopkins!

I haven't stolen any Pineapples, but they are a great prog rock band!

By Victor H - 15 Dec 13 7:37 PM

Agree you can't let yourself feel you have let your kids down after all everything you get or own is going to them right ?

When they grow up they will understand and appreciate it way more.

Can I ask did you get a criminal conviction outcome during your case?

Otherwise till its spent you may just have to do the best you can and keep trying, its no shame when you hear people on here simply saying no to criminal convictions and chancing it
after all what does a minor mishap with benefits have to do with with putting together fresh bakery or stacking food on shelves?

My point if you have shown an employer your good work and skill, worst case is 6 months or 6 years later they discover the truth then at least you got your foot well in the door and more importantly proved to the employer you were the right candidate, I am willing to bet any out of the almost 10 million people with criminal records if they worked and showed they are no different or perhaps better then most workers while working, they themselves would have proved that the check box called "do you have a criminal record" is wrong and illegal in the first place.
By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

I do have a conviction yes. It will be spent after a year as far as I know.

So many people have said to just tick the no box and I feel so conflicted about doing it as I am such a honest person LOL, although my record says otherwise to employers I suppose.

Good luck with your other interview pineapplethief Smile
By Victor H - 15 Dec 13 7:37 PM

Ok well its not so bad tbh spent after 1 year I understand the morality stance of answering no also but hey if they don't do a basic check or dbs check and your working a year will go pretty fast..... if they did do some check afterwards then you could say it was spent.

Just throwing it out there, its not like the criminal justice system is legit or fair exactly.
By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

That is very true Smile
By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

Could really have done with being able to get a job, as I've just had to start looking for car insurance prices and it's going to cost me an extra £500 this year. I know it's only one year, as they I won't have to disclose it but fgs.
By The Pineapple Thief - 3 Feb 15 2:54 PM

The first place I would look is here for insurance. The link is the Unlock motor insurance list and this is the link for other insurance information that Unlock has.

I haven't stolen any Pineapples, but they are a great prog rock band!

By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

Thank you Smile have now got a much cheaper quote with one of those BigGrin
By Kate66 - 19 Feb 15 7:18 PM

Hey hun,
Don't give up. I was convicted of a charge I didn't even commit back in 1997. It was filtered out last year under the new regulations and I had a clear DBS.
By the way I am a Senior Social Worker and although I feel ashamed all the time about it I have to sit with my manager and explain and when you explain it they understand.
Remember there are laws to help and support offenders. Also, you didn't harm anyone, or your not an axe murderer. It will pass be honest with it, own it and just explain it.
I understand its difficult amid the minority that are purely judgemental and stigmatise but us offenders petty or otherwise need a chance and society needs to acknowledge
that some of us are goodhearted and very decent people behind that conviction. I wish you all the best hunny. Believe me it will be ok. Kate x
By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

Ah thank you Kate, it was very nice of you to post your experiences and I am so glad things have worked out well for you.

Can I just check though, I thought that even once spent, a conviction would still show up on a DBS check ? Have I got that wrong ??
By Victor H - 15 Dec 13 7:37 PM

You could try here:

I believe most cautions and convictions will show up on the dbs checks sadly, only the very low offenses tend to get wiped.

Usually theft, assault even drugs tend to stay around on dbs checks course those wordings can mean anything from benefit fraud to armed robberies in a bank !
By The Pineapple Thief - 3 Feb 15 2:54 PM

There are three different types of DBS checks and guidance about them is here.

As Damag3d says, some offences are 'filtered' and the guidance for that is on this page. Surprisingly possession of an offensive weapon will be filtered but destroying a Channel Tunnel train or pointing an offensive weapon against the Sovereign will never be filtered. There's a spreadsheet on one of the filtering guides that lists all of the offences that are never filtered. I'm not an expert but I think yours should be filtered - albeit in 11 years time.

I haven't stolen any Pineapples, but they are a great prog rock band!

By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

Still not having any luck finding a job eyes It is so frustrating.

Tried to apply at KFC and yet again didn't even get to complete the whole form, because as soon as it asked about criminal records and I replied yes, I was suddenly unsuitable for serving up fried chicken.
By Victor H - 15 Dec 13 7:37 PM

So its just like before, tick no to criminal records.

This is KFC not a bank of england Smile

You have to weigh up your offence and ask yourself was it very minor and just a silly mistake ?

Remember we can't all be like the politicians and police and be 100% perfect.

You can always say after a year its spent and only then if its asked which is doubtful.
By MaybeOneDay - 2 Feb 15 11:38 AM

I know, I am just worried if I get caught out lying, I will look even worse. Like you say though, I need to weigh it up. I need a part time job so that I can go back to college in Sept. No job = no college = no chance of uni at all.
By doug - 10 Jul 14 4:57 PM

I feel we have to live in the Real World. Society, which, (including employers), discriminate against people with Convictions. This is because they are allowed to. There is no offence under Law for employers not to employ someone for having a conviction. Until this is challenged and changed this will not change and the majority of employers will not take people with convictions on.

There are a small minority of employers who will, but these are few and far between.

Until people with convictions come under the Equality Act 2010, we will be continually be discriminated against, even though we have rehabilitated and moved on from our offending. Employers when they see the box ticked yes, will I believe disregard the application, even though that person has rehabilitated and will be a good employee.

Also if people with convictions came under the Equality Act 2010, the unspent box would have to disappear from all job applications, as that would be classed as discrimination.

What we have to do as people with convictions is get together and campaign, together we are not a small voice.
By Victor H - 15 Dec 13 7:37 PM

I think at worst from what I have heard around here if an employee is caught lieing on the application form at most they loose their job and usually are asked to resign or leave.

I know from a legal point and after what's happen its left a bitter taste in your mouth so won't advise something that you may after regret, perhaps
its better then to find job positions where no such questions are asked and keep trying.