Do we have a case?

My wife was a registered self employed childminder, On October 3rd 2017, my adult son was falsely accused of raping one of the childminding children by a parent.  My son was arrested and following a police investigation was released without charge and the case was dropped on the 24th October with no further action required.  My son has since thankfully been able to go back to his life only suffering the trauma of the false accusation.  My wife however, was drastically penalised and continues to be so.  Her registration was suspended meaning she couldn't continue working as a registered childminder until the governing body CSSIW had completed their internal investigation.  After we had dealt with my son's ordeal we decided as a family to surrender the registration as we didn't feel we could allow other peoples children into our house leaving us all susceptible to false accusations.  So my wife secured a new job working for an agency as a teaching assistant (started around the 14th November), this week she has been advised that she is not allowed to work with children until after the appeal period has passed (3 months from the date the criminal investigation was dropped), so not only has my wife lost her very successful business, she has now lost her new job.  My question is do we have any grounds to sue for loss of business, earnings and defamation of character?  I don't think it's right that my wife continues to be penalised as a result of a false accusation made regarding our son, while everyone else appears to be getting on with their lives.

Almost certainly not is the

Almost certainly not is the answer.


An allegation of crime made to the police is a privileged communication - which means it can't be used to base an action.

And in this case the "defamation" was against your son not your wife.

So in any event damage to her is probably too remote.

And whilst I don't want to nitpick about the meaning of words - in law the allegation is "unproven or unsubstantiated" - which is not the same as "false".

So whilst I understand your feelings life is not always fair.

There is one possible exception - but not knowing the surrounding facts I couldn't venture to say if it applied.

If the allegation was repeated to a third party not connected with the police that would be different. So if the chuild's father said to someone down the local "X molested my child" - that would be potentially actionable.



Profile: retired barrister legal adviser with MOJ.

Thanks you for your reply, so

Thanks you for your reply, so even though the accusation was against my son and it's my wife being financially penalised, she has no grounds to claim any loss of earnings?  She is completely innocent in the whole thing, i just don't understand how she can be penalised so much, when she has not been accused nor in fact done anything wrong?  If it was my son being penalised as the accused i could almost (still not quite) understand.




I spoke to the safe guarding officer in the local council today, who advised me that they were only preventing my wife from working as there was an ongoing investigation by the police.  I checked with the police and the investigation was in fact closed on the 26th October, so the safe guarding department had misunderstood the situation.  The prevention of my wife working has been lifted today and should have been lifted as of the 26th October 2017.  Is there a case of loss of earnings due to incompetence?



Incompetence by who?

Hardly the new employer, that will not go down well, will it? Police, seems unlikely to be a starter.

I think maybe you (really your wife) should draw a line and hopefully get back into her role now that the safeguarding issue is resolved.

Profile: Interested in the subject

The Safe Gurding department in the council

It was their lack of understanding and incompetence that has meant my wife couldnt work, they put in place safe guarding due to an ongoing investigation that wasn't actually ongoing.  

You can complain about the

You can complain about the local authority to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Profile: retired barrister legal adviser with MOJ.

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