CASE STUDY: Criminal Damage
Background to Case:
This was a case referred to me by the local youth offending team regarding driving offences. The victim was a gentleman whose car was badly damaged by the young person on a motor bike. The offence had been committed by a young person who had received a conditional caution.
The young person had written off the gentleman’s car, which was parked up outside the pub he was in.
The victim was not concerned over his car as the young person had been badly injured. His primary concern was that the young person was ok. He was interested in the RJ process so he could meet the young person and see how he was plus offer words of wisdom.
The young person acknowledged his mistake. He was badly injured and the victim had treated him at the scene. The young person had already been to the local pub trying to find this man and wrote a letter to the ambulance service thanking them. (The victim’s son who also helped treat the young person at the scene is a paramedic). The young person was desperate to say thank you and apologize for his actions.
Risk assessments were carried out prior to the meeting. The YP was very keen to meet his victim as he wanted the chance to apologise in person and express his gratitude to the victim who treated his injuries at the time of the offence. The victim was also keen to meet the YP as he wanted to know if he was ok and share some of his wisdom.
Both the victim and YP required very little input from us facilitating the meeting. The YP told the victim how sorry he was and how the event had occurred. The victim explained to the YP what had happened (as the YP has little memory due to his injuries). The victim in effect had saved the YP’s life, he explained to him how ‘life is for living, but you only get one so please be careful with it’. The yp expressed his gratitude and talked about his injuries. He also discussed his future plans with the victim and showed great interest as the victim talked about his youth and time in the army. They ended their conversation with a hug. Mum was there to support the yp and had an opportunity to ask questions regarding what had happened and was very emotional and grateful to the victim and his son for their assistance in treating the yp.
I spoke with both parties directly after the meeting. The yp and his mum were so grateful to have been given the opportunity to meet the victim and felt like they had now gained some closure on the incident. The yp now feels like he can move on after been able to say both sorry and thank you.
The victim took it all in his stride and said he was glad he had met the yp. He hopes he will never get on a bike again and be so reckless with his life but was really pleased to have seen him and to see that he was ok.