CASE STUDY: TWOC
Background to Case:
This case was referred to Manchester Youth Justice after the young person, Billy was sentenced to a 12 Month YRO for TWOC. He admitted to breaking the driver’s side window and managed to start the engine.
Jane, the victim did get her car back after a few days from the police compound but the car had been damaged.
Jane says she was in work and a man who lived opposite the shop had witnessed the car being taken so he called the police. She says he came into the shop shouting her name as they know each other. She says ‘My first thought was how I would explain this to the police and my insurance company? My car is really old but I love it. I don’t have much money and I certainly can’t afford another car. I even had to leave the keys the in the ignition to start it! I was really embarrassed but more worried in case my insurance wouldn’t pay out’.
The offender Billy tells me he knew he was doing wrong but when he noticed the keys in the ignition he couldn’t resist taking it. He told me ‘I was just hanging around the shops and I was just looking in the cars. I came across this really old car and noticed the keys in the ignition. I didn’t think anything about it only that I was going to drive it away’.
After visiting Jane and her giving me a victim impact statement, she could express the impact of the crime on her and the insurance company did not pay for the damage to her car because she had left the key in the ignition. Jane then had to try to save up for the damage to the window to be repaired. I met with Billy to read this to him. He was quite distressed on hearing the VIS. He didn’t realise the car meant so much to her. He told me he was too embarrassed to meet so I met him a few times to talk through his feelings. He agreed that he would write her a letter.
I took the letter to Jane and she became very upset reading it. She was crying and saying how much she understands how Billy was tempted to take her car especially seeing her keys in the ignition. She asked me to pass on to him her thanks for the letter and his honesty.
Jane says she never knew victim workers existed and that although having her car stolen and all the hassle with the insurance, she says she has compassion for Billy and hopes he means what he says and stays out of trouble.
Although Billy says he doesn’t go to the shop he still sees the car parked outside. He tells me it is a constant reminder of his horrible behavior and that he would never do anything to make anyone feel the way Jane did.