James’s story

James pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court to an offence of attempted robbery committed in March 2016. The victim was followed on his way home from work across town at around midnight for a significant distance by two offenders before being attacked and assaulted by James. The case was adjourned for a pre- sentence report. The circumstances fitted the criteria for a pre-sentence Restorative Justice Intervention.

The victim was contacted by TVRJS and was interested to find out more about RJ. He was interviewed and an explanation of RJ given. He decided that he did not wish to meet with the offender but requested a written response from the offender to answer some questions he raised about the attack. James showed appropriate remorse and concern for the victim and agreed that he would participate in any way the victim chose. He wanted to explain his reasons for the attack – that he was in a desperate situation and wanted money for “weed” – and that he deeply regrets his actions and is sorry for the harm caused.

James wrote a letter accepting responsibility for what he had done, and apologising profusely, ending by saying that his personal circumstances had now changed and he is doing his “utmost best” to turn his life around.

The letter was hand delivered to the victim who did not wish to respond, or have any further contact with the offender, but expressed a wish to find out what sentence was given in Court. He stated that after the initial shock, he feels able to get on with his life and now wants to put it all behind him. TVRJS presented a report to the Court about the RJ intervention that had taken place for consideration by the Judge when sentencing James.

He received a two year suspended sentence, 150 hours of community service and a fine.

The case has raised the profile of TVRJS with a local firm of Solicitors who feel that the RJ process has had a positive effect on the outcome of the case, and in particular, the understanding of the offender about the harm which he has caused.

The Victim stated that he was satisfied with the outcome of the RJ intervention and is glad that it’s all over.

The Offender has spent time reflecting on how his actions have affected another person and is trying to turn his life around.

The Victim feels that he has been “kept in the loop” and has had his thoughts and feelings heard.