A burglary case in West Yorkshire
John burgled Lucy’s home when she was outside hanging out her washing. When she came inside, she found him standing in her property. She described him as looking startled and said he was “looking for Mary”.
Lucy told him he was at the wrong address as there was no one called Mary who lived there and he left. Lucy then found her bedroom furniture drawers open and items were strewn around. Jewellery was taken and a kitchen knife was on the bed.
After taking Lucy’s victim impact statement, a CID officer referred Lucy to the Restorative Justice team. John was arrested and charged following the offence and subsequently pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 26 months imprisonment.
The Restorative Justice team established Lucy’s needs during preparatory meetings. An approach was made to John and following the completion of risk assessments and a preparatory meeting, a face to face Restorative Justice conference was held at the prison where John is serving his sentence.
Lucy had specific questions for John:
- Were you watching me?
- Did you gain access to my home because the side gate was unlocked?
- Why was a knife left on my bed?
- Are you sorry for what you have done?
- What are you going to do when you are released from prison?
During the conference, John was able to answer all of Lucy’s questions and talked about the steps he had taken to address his drug habit since he had been had been in prison. John expressed remorse and apologised for the harm he had caused Lucy.
Following the conference, Lucy said:
“I feel much more positive.”
“The most important questions were answered.”
“I can now leave the house without thinking there might be someone in it when I return.”
“It has really helped, it has given me closure, and I feel much more positive.”
Following the conference John said:
“The effect of the conference has certainly changed me as a person. I had never taken into consideration how people really felt from my crimes and this is a huge wake-up call for me.”
“I feel very positive about the whole meeting and hope this really helps Lucy in her recovery. I never wanted to scare her or affect her like this. I am truly sorry for all the harm I caused her."
“The restorative justice process has made me really think about the consequences of my actions.”