Legal connumdrum - can anybody advise?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by womblefruit, Nov 2, 2012.

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  1. Guys, I appreciate that asking legal questions on the interent leaves one open to all sorts of Lionel Hutz buffoonery and as such I'm just asking for a general pointer.

    My partner works as a mortgage broker and left a company at the start of August, a company she had been with for just under a year. In April the company launched a marketing campaign with ambitious sales targets which 3 of the 4 reps achieved, my partner being one of them. For this they were 'gifted' an iPad as a well-done.

    Fast forward to last Tuesday, partner gets a phone call from the Police saying the ex-boss wants his iPad back and has got the Police involved re. theft. He is arguing that the i~Pads are company property and were issued for work purposes. Partner adamant gifted.

    This is backed up in a number of ways. first of all the conversation with reps and company owner. 'Hit these figures and I'll get you a shiny new iPad to incentivise you. 2) the rep who didn't make the target got no iPad. 3) If it was company issue, surely there would be some paperwork to show this, after all you don't just dish these things out like smaerties and 4) if it was company issue, why was it not issued when she joined the company?

    Plod are popping round at 4pm today for a home visit and chat. any opinions or advcie on what to expect. I would imagine from my limited knowledge of the law that this is a civil dispute and not one within the Police remit. would they want to get involved in essentially what is a spat between salespeople?

    Any comments appreciated. And no, i won't be posting pics of her norks either.
  2. Unless it is a matter of principle and your missus wants to go to all the hassle of court cases etc etc then why not just give the thing back to the boss?

    Is it worth all the heart ache for a couple of hundred quid?

    Admit no liability, do the he said she said and then just offer to give it back.

    Not being a lawyer or a cop I am only assuming this would end the whole thing?
  3. If the company claims theft, it is a police matter. However, the goods would have to be clearly identified - 'this ipad' not 'an ipad' - and the company would have to deny that it was an incentive. Perhaps one of the other incentivees could be persuaded to be present and support your version of the facts. The company risks a charge of wasting police time, I suppose.

    The standard advice would be to say nowt without a solicitor present. Though paying for that would probably buy you another ipad
  4. Just a VERY obvious question is your partner certain it was a call from the police? I have heard of tricks like this as a try-on - as in Partner: "Oh Christ the fuzz are on the job I better give it back ASAP" then funnily enough no officer ever arrives and civpol deny all knowledge of the call. It's very hard then to prove what happened when and to who, but the objective has been achieved. - Or do I know some real crappy lowlifes?
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  5. hand it back then there is no theft as the intention must be to permanently deprive as stipulated under the Theft Act. The burden of proof is beyond reasonable doubt which i doubt that her employers will prove.
  6. Good point 31a. I doubt that the police would regard it as anything but a civil matter as parties are known to each other and had a work relationship. Theft would never stand up to 'beyond reasonable doubt' or more than a 50% chance of conviction.
  7. Theft requires : Dishonesty No suggestion of that in your report
    Appropriation She has taken it
    Property I Pad is property
    Belonging to another Yes - belonging to the co.
    Intention to permanently deprive Apparently so.

    All five are required to establish theft. No dishonesty seems to have been involved. As such I expect that the police will consider it a civil dispute.
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  8. Cut it in half and mail back with a tube of super glue.
    • Like Like x 5
  9. Seriously.

    I think that if she HASN'T signed any sort of user agreement stating that the 'information is the property of the company' she can take the HDD out, and legally retain it.

    You could do that. Rip the HDD out, and send back the useless shell. thus ensuring security to yourselves and delivering a fcuk off pill to hte company. Send a letter asking for a reference in the same parcel.

    If anything comes of the HDD, just tell the court it contained pictures of your Mrs showing off her Batwing impression.
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  10. Thanks Rockpile -yes as it's apparently a civil matter and even doubtfull as to who the property belongs to (gift?) I doubt Police would be all that bothered unless something like company data etc involved and even then...civil . Wait until a Warrant Card wanders up to the door ,with a copper attached to it before deciding I think. I am just a suspicous old git mind you.
  11. stick it in a non padded envelope, no postage correct address and take a photo of it been put into the post box. Failing that take the info she wants off it and tell em to come collect at a time convenient to you maybe 4 am.

    Bit mercenary though aint it taking an Ipad as a gift then leaving the co
  12. Well, as I see it, it is all very simple. If the ishite was the companies, there would be a tamper proof sticker on it as part of asset tracking and it would be in the company database. Obviously the sticker can be removed without much trace if someone wanted to, but the serial number would be in the asset database.

    Get her to tell her side of the story and also try to get evidence and witnesses of the said incentive scheme and also tell the cops to look in the companies asset database for the serial number of the IPAD. If it isn't there, there is certainly no case.

    Don't just give it back as some have suggested, as that would be admitting theft.
  13. A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to
    another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and ‘theft’ and ‘steal’
    shall be construed accordingly.

    First is "dishonestly appropriates" so the fact that she was given the ipod means that she did not "dishonestly appropriate" the ipod, establish with your Mrs whether these ipods were handed out in a group or individually handed to her.

    Also, company property will have company software installed, check whether this the case? if company property is installed just hand it back, also the company should have a file and a handover proceedure, this should have all the stuff issued to your Mrs, if the Ipod is on it, then it goes back.

    Does she have any emails or notices of the "reward" for hitting targets? also what about the other receivers of ipads, I would ask the police to produce evidence that the ipad is company property as most computers have an asset tag barcoded on them. even though this seems like a ***** trick, i would get a solictor involved as this may be a harassment case and if so **** them over...good luck matey!
  14. Can the company prove that it was issued as company property? Was a signature given? The company would have to show that the employee was informed that the item was company property. Has the ipad got any company asset tracking numbers/devices on it or PAT testing labels on the charger?

    Are the ipad's still held as an asset by the company? No? They how can they prove theft in something they don't account for/own?

    Did the company, either verbally or electronically, ask for the ipad to be returned as she left? Did she hand in a mobile or laptop but nothing was mentioned about the ipad? Was there a clearance chit signed by the IT dept allowing her to leave?

    The other receivers of the ipads are unlikely to collaborate the partners story if they still work there. For the sake of keeping my job, mortgage, etc. I would do anything I needed to keep the status quo.

  15. To Add there is no "Mens rea" or "Guilty Mind" here in law as far as I can see

    It seems just a bit of sour grapes your partner having shortly afterwards left the company.... also it seems it might have been badly represented as a gift rather than an extra tool for work so there are clear arguments in your defence

    The only complication might be about the telephone service contract attached to the Ipad and who pays for it

    And all in all a civil, not a criminal/Police matter ?

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