Listen to victims talking about the harm caused by the crime – replayed to offenders to increase victim impact awareness. These recordings were made by Leeds Youth Offending Service Victim Liaison Team to whom we are very grateful. Their outstanding work with victims is exemplary and opens up access to restorative justice to many young people. Please don’t reproduce these without permission of Why me? and the Leeds YOS.
The young person involved got a 6 Month sentence for this offence.
Listen to the victim’s own words:
I can’t describe what he’s done….” I can’t describe what he’s done
The victim had her car damaged by a young person who lived in the local area. As a consequence of the offence the victim had the driver’s door of her car bent back which caused a lot of damage which she couldn’t afford to repair.
The victim had found it very difficult to gain the courage to learn to drive and it took her a long time to pass her test. When she managed to pass it was a huge personal achievement for her. The damage to the door meant that she could not drive the car as she could hear the sound of the roads which brought back her fears.
Dianne Gibson Victim Liason Officer for Leeds Young Offenders Service:
“ When I first met the victim she was scared in her own home and felt that she had been targeted. She knew the perpetrator by reputation and felt that there was a good chance that he would hold a grudge towards her that would lead to repercussions.
The young person knew of the victim and said that everyone in the area thought she was “weird”. I played the tape to the young person and was surprised that he sat and listened throughout. After listening he said that he never meant to make her feel that way and all he wanted to do was take her wheel because the car he was driving had a puncture. The young person was surprised that she thought she had been targeted by him when it was just the make of her car which was targeted. The young person wanted me to express to her his apologies and said that he was unaware of her personal circumstances. He told me that there were no grudges towards her and once I passed this information on the victim was relieved and told me that she could now ‘get back to normal’ ”
The young person has been sentenced to a six month sentence for Burglary. He was going home from a party and noticed an open window and climbed in the downstairs window and stole a television. Listen to the victim’s own words:
“Before you do it to somebody else, listen to this…” before you do it to somebody else …
“I want him to know…..” what she wants him to know
The victims were asleep upstairs at the time. A year before the offence the father had a terrible traffic accident that involved him being dragged across a dual carriageway on his back. This lead to him losing his job as a driver as he was scared to drive on the dual carriageway. The family then had to move into a one bedroom flat until he received compensation for his injuries. They then moved into their new apartment and not long afterwards the burglary took place. After the burglary the family dynamic had severely altered, the father felt he had to sleep downstairs to protect the family whilst the mother had to sleep in the younger daughter’s bedroom because she was frightened by the break in.
Victim Liason Officer Dennis Farrar:
“When I first visited the Young Person in custody he was very negative, aggressive and angry. He also had very little empathy for the victims. I later visited him again bringing this tape of the mother and father of the family addressing the offender about their views and their hopes for his future. When he heard them talking about the offence’s effect on their daughter he was visibly moved and almost broke down. He asked lots of questions about the family, about how they are now and how the offence affected them. At the end of the meeting he said that he even wanted to meet the family in person to apologise. Unfortunately this did not happen but both the Victims and the Young Person found the process helpful and healing”