Background to the case:
This case was referred to us by the Police, involving racial abuse towards a family in a fast food restaurant. The offence was committed by John, he did not receive a sentence for this offence as the victim, Naser, did not want to proceed with charges.
John started asking the family questions, however once engaged in conversation the tone quickly changed and escalated into angry abuse from John towards the family.
The victim Naser did not feel directly hurt by the argument with John, however his wife and two youngest children were affected by it and he wanted to relay this to the offender.
Naser wanted to participate in the RJ process in order to let the offender know what harm was caused to his family and to help prevent him committing offences in the future.
During the initial phone call the offender explained that he had suffered a brain injury, which causes him to lose his temper very quickly and he did not mean to upset the family involved. After speaking with John’s key worker at Headway, I established that there was a lot of personal issues in John’s life at this time and had deeply affected his mental state.
John wanted to express his remorse for the incident between him and Naser’s family, he regretted his actions towards them and is feeling a great amount of guilt for the hurt he had caused the family.
From the initial meeting I established that Naser did not want to meet John directly but was happy for me to pass messages between the two of them. This was especially suitable once I had met John, his mental stability meant that he did not feel able to express himself adequately and was uncomfortable in social situations.
It was agreed that I would pass messages between Naser and John in order to establish why the incident happened and the impact was on both victim and offender.
At the end of the process, Naser was happy that John had apologised for his actions and that he had been made aware of the affects it had on his family. Initially he took part to make John aware of the harm the incident had caused his wife and children, however he also wanted to prevent him from reoffending in the future.
John was more aware of the harm his actions had caused and as a result of his personal situation has been asked to be referred for counselling to help him through a difficult period in his life