Injury By Dangerous Driving
The offender, Sam*, had committed the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. This was a first time offence, and he was extremely remorseful when he realised the impact on his victim, Charlie*. Sam wrote a letter to Charlie, but did not get an opportunity to read the letter in court; he had hoped to express his remorse and apologise to Charlie for the injuries he had caused. Charlie was seriously injured, both physically and psychologically, and for the two years following the incident, her life had been significantly changed.
The RJ facilitators met with both Sam and Charlie a number of times over a seven month period, in order to prepare them for a RJ conference. Both parties agreed that they did not want a supporter present during the meeting. Charlie held no feelings of anger towards Sam, and understood that it had been an accident, but wanted to share the impact that the accident had had upon her, her family and friends, and wanted something good to come out of the meeting. Sam was extremely remorseful, and wanted the opportunity to apologise for his actions and see if there was anything he could do towards some form of reparation.
The face to face conference took place in a public place. Both parties had the opportunity to explain their circumstances, and their memories of the incident. Sam was able to fill some gaps for Charlie, as Charlie had been knocked unconscious during the incident. They each shared the wider impact that the incident had had upon their families and friends. Charlie offered a sincere apology, and explained that he had never gone out that day with the intention of hurting someone. He said that it was now the last thing he thought of at night and the first thing he thought of in the morning, and that he will live with it for the rest of his life.
Both Sam and Charlie had a shared interest in finding a positive outcome from the situation, and Charlie explained how she was holding talks at schools and colleges about road awareness. Towards the end of the conference, they made an outcome agreement that they might attend some of these talks together to show the perspective from both sides. Sam and Charlie swapped email addresses, and agreed to be in touch with a view to possibly working together in the future.
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