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Man has to prove innocence

PUBLISHED: 21:00 05 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

INNOCENT until proved guilty? Not if you are Suffolk man David Hart – he has today been told to prove he isn't a burglar.

Mr Hart contacted the Evening Star last month after a routine security check revealed a criminal record against his name.

INNOCENT until proved guilty? Not if you are Suffolk man David Hart - he has today been told to prove he isn't a burglar.

Mr Hart contacted the Evening Star last month after a routine security check revealed a criminal record against his name.

It seemed to be a case of mistaken identity with Shotley Gate born David Hart confused with his criminal namesake who was born down the road in Earl Soham.

But even when Mr Hart contacted the National Identification Service to inform them of the faux pas they were adamant there had been no mistake.

In a letter to Mr Hart the NIS said: "From the personal details supplied in your request and examination of the police record it appeared the reply you received from this office was correct."

Today the 62-year-old has been asked to provide police with his fingerprints to clear his name, a request which Mr Hart finds unacceptable.

He said: "I've been made to feel like a crook. When I got the original letter about my record I went down the police station with my driving licence and passport and they said they had never known another case like this.

"I haven't been able to go to work for the past three days."

Mr Hart was working as a roofer on the RAF base in Mildenhall when routine NIS checks exposed the blunder.

He has been unable to work since as officials will not permit him to enter the base.

According to police records Mr Hart has served two suspended jail sentences for burglary and a fine for impeding the prosecution of an offender.

He added: "I can't get on the base with a record like that which is understandable.

"I'm not doing this for compensation but I'm not earning any money at the moment.

"Now I've got to go and give fingerprints through no fault of my own."

And Mr Hart, who lives in Hogarth Square, Ipswich has been left even more bewildered by the request because the latest letter from the NIS has his correct date of birth on it. His alias is six days older.

He added: "This other person was born on November 6 and they have put my birth date on then, I don't understand how they can still think it's me."

No one from the Home Office was available to comment on Mr Hart's case today.


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