23rd November 2016
Season’s Greetings to the Man who Burgled My House
As part of Restorative Justice Week, victims in South Yorkshire are coming forward to speak about their experiences of Restorative Justice.
Judith Gilbert became a victim of crime when her offender selected her insecure property to steal from. During a hot evening in July 2015, her home where she lives with her husband in Sheffield was targeted and burgled.
Judith said: “My daughter and grandchildren were staying with us at the time from Scotland. It was a hot summer’s evening and I had mistakenly left the downstairs window open.
“The following morning we first noticed that a drawer had been pulled out and then the garage key fob was missing. Piecing everything together, I later noticed my purse and house keys were also missing.
“Nothing of great value was taken, but there was inconvenience caused by the loss of our keys, the need to change the locks and having to sleep knowing the house was again insecure.
“I agreed to a meeting with the man who came in to my house uninvited. I wanted to ask him why he chose our house and what had driven him to steal from us.
“I asked the practitioner to pass on a Christmas card to the offender to help put him at ease about meeting with us. I then wrote him a letter for the practitioner to pass on, to try to make him feel more comfortable and at ease about our meeting.
“We started the meeting off by speaking about the offence and the impact that the offence had on us and our grandchildren. We heard about what our offender was doing in prison with his time and he explained about all of the different courses he is completing.
“I now understand why he did what he did and got to hear him apologise to us. As he shook mine and my husband’s hand I instinctively gave him a hug.
“I am pleased that we chose to take up the offer of Restorative Justice. I hope it especially helps the man who entered out house uninvited to think about his actions and how it impacts on others. He was especially concerned that we had children in the house.
“I will definitely be sending him another Christmas Card this year.”
If any victim of crime would like more information on Restorative Justice, they can call 0800 561 100, text SYRJ to 82055 or complete the contact form on this website.