Nanny’s caution for assault quashed by top judge – because she didn’t realise dire consequences of criminal record

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A nanny whose career has been blighted by a police caution after a late-night pub row has today had her name cleared by a top judge.

London’s High Court quashed the caution handed to Victoria Stratton, 28, ruling that officers never properly explained its potentially grave long-term consequences.

Her lawyers argued that has she known the full implications for her career in childcare she would have refused to sign the caution for alleged common assault on a woman in Aylesbury’s Litten Tree pub (now the Kingsbury).

The incident in January 2008 was alleged to have followed an argument in which the two women threw drinks at each other.

But Ms Stratton, of Goldsmith Close, Stoke Mandeville insisted she had not committed any offence and that no one explained to her that, by signing the caution, she was admitting a crime.

It was not until Ms Stratton, who was 23 at the time and had just gained a degree in childcare, later applied for a job that she discovered the caution was on her record.

Her barrister, Stuart Biggs, said the stain on her record had a ‘devastating’ impact on her career as a teacher and nanny, derailing her hopes of working in the public sector or United States.

Upholding Ms Stratton’s challenge against Thames Valley Police, judge Sir John Thomas ruled that she had never given her informed consent to being cautioned.

The caution’s paperwork did not make clear the potential impact on any future work with children and problems with criminal records bureau checks, he said.

He could ‘find nothing in the particular facts of the case that supports the position that those consequences were spelt out to her – let alone spelt out in such a way that she gave her informed consent to the caution’.