Bungling bobbies blamed for ID charade

BUNGLING bobbies are today being blamed for an identity charade after pinning a long record on a squeaky clean Suffolk man.Shotley Gate-born David Hart, 62, has never set foot in a courtroom, yet when National Identification Service report arrived from New Scotland Yard he discovered a criminal record against his name – including two suspended jail terms for burglary and a fine for impeding the prosecution of an offender.

BUNGLING bobbies are today being blamed for an identity charade after pinning a long record on a squeaky clean Suffolk man.

Shotley Gate-born David Hart, 62, has never set foot in a courtroom, yet when National Identification Service report arrived from New Scotland Yard he discovered a criminal record against his name – including two suspended jail terms for burglary and a fine for impeding the prosecution of an offender.

The former British Sugar worker had to undergo the check to carry on working as a sub-contracted roofer at RAF Mildenhall.

But the confused coppers sent him a record for a different man with the same name. The other David John Hart is six days older and was born in Earl Soham.


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And, just to round things off, all the offences were committed in Kent – a county his Ipswich namesake has visited only once.

Mr Hart, of Hogarth Square, Ipswich, said: "I regularly used to work 12 to 15 hour days at British Sugar and my boys used to complain they never saw me.

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"So when the wife saw this letter she rang them up and told them it was because I'd been in jail!"

Although Mr Hart has seen the funny side of the bungle, he is worried about what could have happened if the mistake had not been spotted.

He said: "It does concern me. What would've happened if this was my criminal record and I'd been pulled up for speeding or something?

"You do sort of laugh about it all, but I've been down the police station and they said they'd never heard of it happening before.

"Deep down I know I've got nothing to worry about, but the wife was shocked when she saw it."

Captain Shane Balken said it was standard procedure for any needing regular access to the air base to undergo a security check.

The Home Office is responsible for the NIS checking system which holds records from police forces across the country

Spokesmen for the government and the Metropolitan Police – which operates the NIS – both said they could not comment on individual cases and urged Mr Hart to get in touch for the mistake to be put right.

And he said there was an established procedure for correcting the error free of charge.

n Have you been the victim of a mistake like the one that happened to Mr Hart? Tell us your story by writing in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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