Victim ambassadors’ stories

It takes great courage to share about the impact of crime and we are incredibly grateful to those below willing to share their experience about the Restorative Justice process. If you have been affected by crime and/or would like to have your story published on our website, please call us on 020 3096 7708

The stories below are not to be reproduced without the express permission of Why me?

Pat and Dave Rogers

Dave and Pat

The Rogers’ son was killed in July 2009. Following the court, Dave felt a need to talk to the young man directly about the harm and hurt he’d caused

Read Dave and Pat’s story


Laura

Laura’s Story

Meeting the perpetrator allowed her to get her feelings out and tell him the impact of his actions

Read Laura’s story


Rachel’s Story

 

Just a few months after Rachel’s house was burgled, she was invited into prison to share how much hurt and harm he’d caused her and her family.

Read Rachel’s story


Ray and Vi DonovanRay & Vi’s Story

 

Their son was murdered in 2001. Ten years later, they sat down and talked to one of the young men who had killed him.

Read Ray and Vi’s story


VivViv’s Story

 

Viv and her husband were awoken during the night where they talked to the young man until the police arrived.

Read Viv’s story


WendyWendy’s Story

 

Wendy’s brother was murdered on Blackpool sea front in 2007. A young man, was sentenced to eighteen years in prison for the crime later that year.

Read Wendy’s story


John’s Story

John Mcgowan is the caretaker at Durham Cathedral.  He lives on site.  One night in November 2013 he became aware of noise on the roof of the Chapter House. He went to investigate and saw that four people had climbed up some scaffolding and were putting themselves in much danger as the roof is very high and there is a steep drop into the river at one side.

John climbed up to encourage them to get down and in the process slipped and hurt his back and arm.  He’d already called 999, and by this time the fire brigade and a police helicopter had arrived.

It turned out that the four people were students at the University who had climbed up as a drunken prank.  They were eventually fined by the University and narrowly avoided being asked to terminate their studies.

One of the Students wrote John a letter to apologise and he eventually met all four of them in a Restorative Justice conference.

“They took every criticism on the chin.  I think they’d learned a huge lesson.  It was a case of stupidity mixed with alcohol.

“The meeting diffused everything.  They are more than sorry and a couple of them now go round to talk to sixth formers about excessive drinking.  One also volunteers at the cathedral.”

Without Restorative Justice,  John says the matter would never have been resolved as effectively.

This story is not to be reproduced without the express permission of Why me?


Kate’s Story

Kate  Morgan’s daughter. Lona, died after her friend Ian Edwards lost control of the car they were travelling in.  He was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

“I was pleased that he’d got some sort of punishment but the length of the prison term didn’t matter to me. Twelve days or twelve years, it wouldn’t bring Lona back. Over the next few weeks I realised I still had questions I wanted answers to.”

Kate was offered Restorative Justice by her police victim liason officer who explained how the system worked.

“I felt completely prepared to meet Ian – I knew exactly what to expect and what would happen,” she added.

“What I didn’t know on the day of the meeting was how I was going to react when I saw him – it wasn’t something I could predict.

“I’d had to process what happened as a terrible accident and I accepted that he had not set out that night to kill my daughter.

“Although I’d come to terms with that it was still hard to go to see him.”

Kate saw how remorseful Ian was as soon as she saw him.  His first words were an apology.

He looked her in the eye as he said he would do anything to turn the clock back and he was able to clarify the events of that night from a perspective only he knew.

Kate told him exactly what his actions had done and how many people he had affected.

“The ripples from the death of my daughter went far beyond just the immediate family.

“Losing her so suddenly had wrecked all our lives and I wanted him to know how we all felt. Lona’s sister Ella was only nine when Lona died and she’d been very close to her.”

Although Kate admitted nothing Ian said was a surprise, the meeting put a stop to the “uncertainty and endless questions”.

This story is not to be reproduced without the express permission of Why me?

© Why me? 2017