Case study – Daniel – Google links were haunting me and keeping my conviction alive

Daniel contacted our helpline for advice about applying to Google to have links to his name removed.

In 2007, he had received a two year prison sentence for possession of a firearm and threats to kill. Daniel stated that at the time of his conviction, he had been drinking heavily and was trying to deal with the death of several members of his family in a short space of time. Although he accepted that his offence was serious, he did not feel that the online story adequately reflected the mitigating factors.

We explained to Daniel that as his conviction was spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, it was worth him contacting Google to request that the links to his name be removed. He should explain to them how their continued presence was affecting his ability to get into work and start new relationships as well as demonstrate what he had done to rehabilitate himself since his conviction. We provided him with a template document which might assist him in putting his application in writing.

Daniel contacted us a couple of weeks later to confirm that he’d received an email from Google confirming that they would be removing the links to his name.

Daniel said:

“I never thought I’d be able to have these links removed and I’m so glad of the help I was given in putting such a good application together”

 

Lessons

The presence of information about you online means that anybody can find out information about you which they may not legally be entitled to know. Google are likely to refuse your application whilst your conviction is unspent but, once it’s spent it is certainly worth applying to them.

Links

Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

 

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