Dartford student wins two-year battle to correct police record of school assault
PUBLISHED: 09:34 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 09:34 27 June 2013
When teenager Jonathan Fromings was attacked at Beths Grammar School on September 13, 2010, it was only the start of his problems.
Despite CCTV footage and a teacher’s report showing he was the victim of an attack, the Met believed he had started the fight with another pupil.
It has taken a two-year legal battle with the force to set the record straight.
Following the civil hearing into the family campaign at Dartford County Court Jonathan, who was 15 at the time and recently turned 18, and his accountant dad Nicolas, 50, now want to advise people about their rights.
Jonathan, who goes to North West Kent College in Oakfield Lane, Dartford, needed three operations on his left eye socket after the attack and still has limited vision in that eye.
The teenager has since been awarded £5,720 in criminal injuries compensation for the attack.
But Jonathan said he continued to face problems when the police refused to show him details of the crime report taken after the attack.
The Met first said he could not have the information. It over handed over the information in full only when the civil action was launched six months later.
The Fromings identified a number of what they believed were errors in the initial report.
But the Met refused to make any corrections. It argued that the organisation was exempt from data protection legislation that would have required the alterations to have been made.
Jonathan, who lives in Crayford, describes the last two and a half years as a “nightmare”.
“At the time I was looking for my first part-time job and having that on my record was a hindrance.
“It’s been really difficult especially as I knew I was in the right.
“Dad had to learn how the law worked, and my advice would be don’t give up. It took us two years to rightfully correct this false information. It’s been a long and arduous process.”
District Judge Nicholas Greenfield found in favour of the Fromings and ordered that the inaccuracies in the police report should be rectified.
The Fromings family said the experience has proved an eye-opener.
Jonathan said: “I felt like we were being obstructed at every turn and it’s made it difficult for me to trust people.
“You should be able to feel safe with the police. Their job is to stop crime on a daily basis but I never thought they’d be so difficult to do the right thing.
“I’d advise people to investigate thoroughly your police record if you think something is amiss.
“You can get a copy of this by making a subject access request to the Police’s Public Access Office and you can find the form you need to fill out to make this request on the internet.
“It would be much easier if the police corrected their records as a matter of common decency but it’s important to know that there is a legal route available that people can use to gain justice.”
The Met said a line had now been added to the crime report clarifying the victim’s position. A spokesman added: “The claimant in this action felt strongly he was unhappy with details recorded in a crime report where he was a victim.
“The District Judge made no comment with regard to MPS policies or systems.”
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