Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) ‘Minded to Bar’ recent case studies

Written 3rd November 2023 by Nathalie Potter

Olliers’ DBS team share some of their recent successful Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) ‘Minded to Bar’ cases.

Client A – Paragraph 18A Review

Client A had been previously added to both the Children’s and Vulnerable Adult’s Barred Lists following submission of their own unsuccessful representations. Client A worked within the care sector and the allegations were linked to child neglect, harassment and financial exploitation.

After consideration of their file we were able to argue that the case had been incorrectly referred to the DBS; evidence had been grossly exaggerated and the DBS had made their decision on false information provided by the original employer.

We applied to the Disclosure and Barring Service for a Paragraph 18A Review including strong character references from the families of the individuals that had been looked after by Client A and, as a consequence, the Disclosure and Barring Service removed our client from both Barred Lists.

Client B – Minded to Bar

The Disclosure and Barring Service were considering Client B’s inclusion on the Children’s Barred List following an historic conviction. After speaking with our client it became apparent that the events leading up to the conviction stemmed from then undiagnosed serious mental health issues and Client B had made significant progress with improving their mental health over the past few years.

As a result, we were able to successfully argue that our client did not pose a risk to children and it would be disproportionate to now include them on the Children’s Barred List following medical intervention, diagnosis, and years of positive recovery. We were able to demonstrate using medical evidence and strong character references that, despite having a conviction, Client B had never previously posed a risk to children and was not likely to in the future.

Client C – Minded to Bar

Client C was accused of uploading a sexually explicit video onto social media. Following a thorough police investigation, the police took no further action, however, the Disclosure and Barring Service were of the opinion that the allegation was serious enough to warrant consideration being given as to placing Client C on the Barred List.

We spoke to the client at length to determine all the facts surrounding the case. We submitted representations to the Disclosure and Barring Service to explain that it was, in fact, our client who was the victim of online grooming and, as a result of learning difficulties, the uploading of the video was accidental. We were able to demonstrate our case using medical evidence which supported our representations and argued that due to his young age it would be disproportionate to include.

The absence of similar electronic materials on our client’s several devices was proof that this type of behaviour was not in his nature, which further supported our claim that the uploading of the video was an accident. As a result, Client C was not added to the Children’s Barred List.

Client D – Minded to Bar

Client D was accused of serious allegations involving a child which resulted in crown court proceedings. Although Client C was acquitted at Court, they were involved in both the care and education sector and, as a result, the DBS proceeded to investigate whether there were safeguarding concerns in relation to Client D and whether they should be barred on the ‘balance of probabilities’.

The bundle of documents provided to the DBS by the police service was extremely biased and omitted any evidence used in court in the defence of Client D, namely; a) that the child in question suffered from a number of diagnosed medical conditions which proved that our client had been caring for the child correctly; b) that the family of the child knew about the medical conditions and had lied in their police statement; c) the family had made previous malicious allegations about other family members which were investigated and found to be false, and d) that the police and Crown Prosecution Service had indicated the allegations were sexually motived despite there being no electronic evidence of sexual interest in children and the officer in the case stating that there was nothing of concern.

The DBS further ignored the fact that our client had a long and distinguished career in the care sector with no prior allegations. Client D provided us with the official court transcripts which the DBS had not been party to. The transcripts clearly showed all the inconsistencies at trial and, together with character references, we were able to put together a very strong case against inclusion.

Client D – Minded to Bar

Client D was accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour with a minor whilst in a position of trust. We were able to prove that the alleged complainant not only made a false allegation to police in the first instance, but, shortly after changing their version of events it became apparent the reason for the malicious allegation; that being to make an ex-partner jealous.

Whilst there was sexual contact, we were able to demonstrate the relationship between the alleged complainant and Client B began when the pair were both teenagers, long before Client D was considered an adult and, therefore, we were able to provide the DBS with some important context. Furthermore, Client D provided us with numerous positive references as to their character; some of whom were also able to attest to the character of the alleged complainant.

Client E – Paragraph 18A Review

Client E had been previously added to both the Children’s and Vulnerable Adult’s Barred List following submission of their own unsuccessful representations. Client E previously suffered from significant mental health concerns which originally stemmed from an historic abusive and controlling relationship. Client E had made significant progress in managing their mental health struggles up until a very recent period, during Covid, in which numerous close friends and family members sadly passed away leaving Client E with significant unresolved issues, in conjunction with suffering from serious physical health issues.

Unfortunately, the help that Client E so desperately needed was not forthcoming as a result of the national lockdown, and Client E regrettably took to alcohol misuse. An allegation arose whilst being under the influence of alcohol and, consequently, Client E was convicted of sexual assault. Client E was engaged in regulated activity at the time and automatically received an intention to bar letter from the DBS. Client E responded but was added to both Barred Lists. Upon reviewing their case we were able to request a Paragraph 18A review and provided the DBS with further information in support of removal from both lists.

Olliers Solicitors – Specialist Disclosure& Barring Service (DBS) Lawyers

At Olliers, we have a Specialist DBS team dealing with Minded to Bar cases. Our lawyers have extensive experience of drafting and submitting representations to the Disclosure and Barring Service. The team at Olliers are here to listen, empathise, understand and assist with your DBS case.

The team will present your case in the best possible way using our expertise and experience to advise on the best evidence to support our representations.

Please contact Nathalie Potter, Head of Olliers’ DBS department  on 0161 834 1515 or by email to nathaliepotter@olliers.com to discuss how Olliers can assist you if you have received a ‘minded to bar’ letter from the DBS.

Nathalie Potter

Head of Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Department


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