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Has anyone actually changed their name?


Has anyone actually changed their name?

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Supreme Being
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Sepia, sorry to be the doom mongerer but...

If you change your name they will just refer to you as Mr X, formerly Mr Y etc. What gets reported in the press depends on what information the police release and what gets mentioned in court, solicitors can have a quiet word with the prosecutor to avoid some things being discussed but don't hold your breath that they will, it's very informal and once the cat's out the bag there is nothing you can do about it...

As for your solicitor talking to the press that sounds absurd, they are either pulling your leg or setting you up for a fall, basically your only hope is that there are no court reporters on the day, and that's just down to luck, if there's a particularly juicy trial going on that day you might be lucky... But again don't hold your breath!

They should only discuss things in court relevant to the case, but your defiantly going to tell them your name, date of birth, and address.

My advice having been slapped across the local rag:

1.) Clean up your online profile; deactivate facebook, twitter and delete and personal photos or private information etc.

2.) Get your affairs in order; rent, bills, insurance, etc.

3.) If your going to change name/address do it now and do it quick!

4.) Prepare for the worst, if there are people in your life you need to tell do it before the papers do it for you, no article is ever 100% true and it will no doubt be made out to be worse than it is to sell more papers!

5.) On every court appearance be prepared for sneaky reporters and photographer's... The clever ones keep a distance and snap you with a big fat zoom lens, the a***holes will stick a camera in your face and chase you all over, some kind of disguise is never a bad option; burka, hat, glasses, scarf, an umbrella... A getaway car or taxi waiting outside to jump straight into etc.

I know this probably sounds a bit extreme for a financial crime but it's good advice for anyone facing a higher profile conviction, I know it's a horrible position to be in and I wish I could say today's news is tomorrow's fish and chip paper but the Internet has a habit of dragging up the past.
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Supreme Being
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My partner did agency work a year ago following redundancy. They required Passport, bank statement and driving licence.
Kes
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Tell me about slow news days!! My case was dropped, Im not even convicted but the local newspapers printed a 4 page spread with pictures so the Google affect has destroyed my life and any hope of maintaining or discovering new friendships or even a permanent new partner. The unfairness is excruciating. My empathy goes out to anyone trying to get on with their life. sad
Yankee
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I was once told to simply change the spelling of your surname by one letter as the best way to avoid the Google effect but still have nothing odd when people call you by your name.

The problem for some people is that their career has been built on their original name which then makes it difficult going for new jobs, getting professional references etc.

In the UK you don't even need to use a deed poll unless you want to change your passport and bank account. For anything else, you are free to call yourself whatever you want as long as its not fraudulent.
expatofff
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Is your surname snagglepuss?
Square
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BenS - to be fair I don't have an issue with reporting court proceedings, what I have an issue with is the tabloid reporting of our news. Sensationalism and lies are the norm and until my experience I didn't realise just how bad it was. When I was in court there was 1 reporter - I seen four completely different reports on my trial at which point I had to stop paying attention as I almost had a breakdown (I was prescribed Valium at that point!). How can one man sit and write multiple versions of stories on a single trial? Money would, of course, be the answer.
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I done it as my name is just unusual enough that I pop up on Google. It is so easy it is ridiculous.

I used https://freedeedpoll.org.uk/ and had a solicitor witness it. He was a good guy and actually offered to do it for free (another I contacted wanted £70 a signature). You can ask anyone to witness it really - it doesn't have to be someone from the legal profession.

It was a bit of a hastle sending the deed polls to everyone who has my name on file, but other than postage it cost nothing (with the exception of the passport authority).

In terms of 'how it feels' - family and friends call me by my original name. It was a bit unusual when I got letters sent to my new name or got phone calls, but you quickly get use to it. I suppose you realise that you aren't your name, it is just something people use to get your attention.

The reason I changed my name is that I was convicted on a very slow news day, and the story was elaborated massively (believe it or not - journalists lie!). It just made things a little easier.
BenS
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Thanks for that Square.

Amazing how it is so easy in the UK, for once!

I guess there are plenty of people who go by a name other than their given name - either lifelong nicknames or just preferring their middle name over their first name. So yeah I guess it is not going to mean those who know you will somehow refer to you differently.
BenS
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It is so primitive and mob-like, the system we have in our country of naming and photographing people who are simply appearing in court, let alone convicted. Or even simply arrested and then to find it's all a mistake, but it's too late then, as the innocent landlord in Bristol found out.

In many European countries you have complete anonymity at all stages, even if convicted of something like murder.

The argument that it is in the public interest to name/photograph people accused of crimes, or even convicted, doesn't wash. It's enough to know that a particular crime has been solved and that someone has been convicted of it. And if they are not convicted then there is zero reason to know who they are.
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We see mentioned on here from time to time the suggestion to change your name to get rid of the Google effect and move on with your life.

Has anyone actually gone through with this?

I have a very rare surname (less than 50 people in the UK have it) so am extremely easy to Google. I'm not considering it as I'm doing OK at the moment but just curious as to whether anyone has actually done this and how it felt afterwards.
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