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David is Innocent - OK

PUBLISHED: 21:30 14 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

DAVID Hart is today a relieved man as he has received confirmation of what he always knew – that he is not a criminal.

As revealed in the Evening Star on March 23, Mr Hart was sent a report from the National Identification Service (NIS) saying he had a criminal record – including two suspended jail terms for burglary.

DAVID Hart is today a relieved man as he has received confirmation of what he always knew – that he is not a criminal.

As revealed in the Evening Star on March 23, Mr Hart was sent a report from the National Identification Service (NIS) saying he had a criminal record – including two suspended jail terms for burglary.

Despite never being in trouble with the law, Mr Hart, 62, of Hogarth Square, had to submit his fingerprints before he got another letter from the NIS who admitted they had made a mistake.

The letter, signed by Sheeba Ramakrishnan from the Subject Access Office of the NIS, said: "It is clear the record in question does not refer to you. I therefore enclose an amended reply, which states there is no record relating to you on the Police National Computer up until this date.

"As there is a computer record belonging to another person who has supplied the same personal details as yourself, it may be advisable for you to retain this letter in the event of confusion on a future occasion.

"I trust this explanation satisfies your enquiry and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused."

Despite the letter, Mr Hart is still worried the administrative error could still cause him problems in the future.

He said: "I am relieved and at least I can prove I am innocent.

"But in a way it is still a bit concerning. I am thinking of going to Hawaii and will be travelling to two or three airports. I do not want to take something like this (the confirmation letter) with me all the time."

The problem started when Mr Hart was working as a roofer on the RAF base in Mildenhall when a routine check exposed the blunder.

He was given the criminal record of another person called David Hart, a man who lives in Earl Soham and is six days older.

The Mr Hart from Ipswich has not been able to work because of the mix-up and estimates that he has lost £1,000 in earnings. He plans to speak to Ipswich MP Chris Mole to make sure his does not face a similar problem in the future.

Mr Hart is also relieved that he will no be longer be the butt of his friends' jokes. He said: "I took a lot of stick from people that know me. They have seen the funny side of it and said 'here comes the burglar' and 'watch him'.

"At the time I thought it was quite funny because I knew it was not me but when I had to go to the police station I did feel like a crook. I have never even been in a courtroom and have never been in trouble.

"At least I can get back to work but there is not much of an apology.

"Surely there must be other people with the same name as you and it makes you wonder that the same thing could happen to someone else."

n What do you think? Have you been the victim of an administrative blunder?

Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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