Making it Right

In autumn 2013, PC Nick Hughes was contacted by one of the ‘Victim Contact Team (VCT)’ from Avon & Somerset Probation, this is the team that keeps victims of serious, violent or sexual crimes informed with updates on their offenders.

The incident occurred when the victim went to help a school mate who was being robbed and was then hit over the head with a glass bottle by the offender.

The victim’s mother (we shall call her ‘S’) contacted her VCT officer to ask about meeting with the offender (‘T’). T was in custody in Portland, Dorset, but S was happy to travel there to meet him, so I didnt need to temporarily move him to HMP Bristol.

After detailed preparation of both sides, a date in October was set for the meeting and I collected S and also T’s probation officer for the drive to Portland. We were met at Portland prison by T’s prison supervisor who, once we were settled and S was ready, collected T from the wing and brought him across to the room.

S was able to tell T about her distress as a mother to be awoken in the night by a call from her son saying he was with the ambulance about to be taken to hospital. She got to the scene before the ambulance left to be confronted with her son covered in blood from his head wound.

One of the other negative effects that she was able to tell T about was about the stress caused by the drawn-out legal process. The case took 9 months to be concluded in court.

T listened and spoke candidly about the incident and about his feelings at the time and since. He spoke about his hopes for the future and about the courses and events he had participated in whilst in prison. This openness was appreciated by S who wrote in her feedback,

‘..the meeting exceeded my expectations due to the positive attitude of the offender and that he was willing to be honest and reveal something about himself.’

Both sides left feeling happier and the open communication helped them both to put the acrimony and frustration of the legal process behind them. T has definite plans and hearing those plans greatly helped S to see hope for the future and to believe that T was unlikely to put anyone else through what her and her son endured.

For further information contact
PC Nick Hughes 3896, Newfoundland Road Police Station. Tel: 07917 750902/0117 9529745 or E-mail: nick.hughes@avonandsomerset.police.uk