Paul’s life was still being seriously impacted by information about him online, some sixteen years after he’d received his conviction. With the help of solicitors, links to his name have now been removed which has had a huge impact on his life.
Having found myself on the wrong side of the law and losing everything, a link to a newspaper article on an internet search engine was still holding me back some sixteen years after I’d received my conviction, even though it was now considered spent.
It seems surreal that in a previous life I’d been a builder of companies, and yet a few years later I was limited to zero hour contract roles in sales, only to be sacked when my employers or colleagues did internet searches on me.
After a serious accident that added to my on-going problems, necessity became the mother of invention and I started to look for work on a self-employed or consultancy basis. The agencies I worked with ‘used and abused me’ but I developed some good contacts with clients I was working with. My rates had to be low and the dreaded internet search engine link would always prove to be an issue when it came to getting decent work but I was just about surviving. However, I knew that building a really successful business was never going to happen.
Then about a year ago I came across Unlock. After hearing my story, they put me in touch with a legal firm who agreed to contact the internet search engine and make representations on my behalf. I was amazed when I found out that the search engine had agreed to remove the links to my name. There was a slight hiccup when the newspaper re-indexed its archives, which resulted in my name appearing on the internet’s search engine again, but thankfully the solicitors were on the ball and acted immediately to get the links removed once more.
The difference to my life has been amazing. Existing clients are now sticking with me and new ones have come on-board – together we’ve grown. Having the links to my name removed means so much to me. My confidence has grown enormously, going from zero hours contracts to being in the position where I’ll soon be marrying my long term partner and living in my own home.
At my lowest point just two years ago, I arrived at a place with 5 black bags and slept on a cold asbestos tiled floor. I was just pleased to have a roof over my head. Now through sheer hard work (and a bit of help from solicitors) I really feel my life is moving forwards.
By Paul (name changed to protect identity)
A comment from Unlock
Paul’s story shows how through Unlock and the work we’ve been doing with Carter-Ruck it’s been possible for him to get the links to his name removed from an internet search engine.
If your spent conviction is causing you problems or distress by appearing on internet search results, then it’s worth applying to the search engine to have the links removed. If your request is unsuccessful it may be possible for Carter-Ruck to consider your case.
- Comment – Let us know your thoughts on this post by commenting below
- Information – We have practical self-help information on our information hub page – The ‘google-effect’, internet search results and the right to be forgotten
- Discuss this issue – There are some interesting discussions related to the ‘google-effect’ on our online forum
- Policy work – Read about the work Unlock is doing on stopping the ‘google-effect’.