Childhood offender wins right to conceal his record

A MAN forced to reveal a childhood police caution for cycle theft to a prospective employer has won a human rights fight in the Supreme Court.

Five Supreme Court justices ruled that the requirement to reveal had been a breach of the man’s right to private life, following a hearing in London.

Home Secretary Theresa May – and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling – asked Supreme Court justices to consider whether disclosure requirements were compatible with human rights legislation following rulings in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

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Three appeal judges had said legislation requiring job applicants to disclose all convictions was a breach of human rights law.

And the Supreme Court upheld that decision yesterday. The judges had said that provisions of two pieces of legislation were incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – which enshrines the right to private and family life.

Mrs May and Mr Grayling introduced amendments in the wake of the Court of Appeal ruling. But they maintained that the appeal court decision was wrong.

Their lawyers had asked for a Supreme Court ruling so that the ‘’correct position’’ could be established.

A High Court judge had initially ruled in favour of the Home Office but that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Judges had been asked for rulings after campaigners called for reform of blanket provisions requiring applicants to disclose all convictions and cautions.

Lawyers representing a man who had applied for a part-time job with a football club and then for a university sports studies course had launched the case in the High Court. They complained that police warnings he received following the theft of two bikes when he was 11 had been unreasonably disclosed when he made the applications years later.

The issue hit the headlines a decade ago following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Cambridgeshire. School caretaker Ian Huntley was convicted of murdering the girls. Education officials said they had not been aware of the Huntley’s past involvement with police.