Brick attack boys come face-to-face with victim (From Hereford Times) | Catalog-cars

Brick attack boys come face-to-face with victim (From Hereford Times)

1 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Brick attack boys come face-to-face with victim (From Hereford Times)
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Brick attack boys come face-to-face with victim

BRICK ATTACK: The A4440 Crookbarrow Way in Worcester.

BOYS who threw bricks at passing cars in Worcester have met face-to-face with the lorry driver they almost killed.

The “remorseful” primary school children, one aged 11, the other 12, met with the driver accompanied by their parents following the potentially deadly brick attack on the A4440 Crookbarrow Way in Worcester.

The two boys were among three culprits to be given youth cautions earlier this year after the incident between 6.35pm and 7pm on Tuesday, June 11. In an emotionally charged meeting last Monday the boys apologised to the lorry driver who showed them photographs of the shattered windscreen of his cab after one of the bricks they threw landed on the passenger seat next to him.

Police said at the time the attack could have caused “carnage” after bricks were thrown either from the verge or the footbridge onto passing motorists.

The meeting, organised by the youth offending service, was part of a controversial exercise in restorative justice which coincides with Restorative Justice week (November 17 – 24).

The driver, who agreed that your Worcester News could use his first name, Dean, said: I was pleased to be able to take part in the meetings and was happy with the process and how it was dealt with. I now feel this was the right decision for the young people not to go to court. I think the young people have learnt from their actions and have taken on board the gravity of the offence and they are very remorseful.

“Initially I blamed the parents for what had happened, but having taken part in the meetings where the parents were involved I can see that it wasn’t the parents’ fault. I believe the young people are serious about not re-offending and I wish them well for the future.”

The mother of one of the boys who was 11 at the time but has since turned 12 said: “It was quite an experience. Whatever my son did, it was a mistake and he did admit it. They did realise it was a mistake but they didn’t stop.

After all the police intervention, after all everyone has been through throughout the summer, my son really learned a lesson.” She said officers from the youth offending team had been to her home and talked to her son because one of the victims was willing to meet him.

She said: “He did realise it could have had worse consequences. I hope he has learned a lesson and is not going to do that again.

“He was a bit nervous (about meeting the victim) but I was with him and someone from the youth offending team and the lady who was representing the victim. My son did explain what happened from his point of view and how everything happened. Then the victim showed pictures of the damage which made an impression on him.

It was not until he saw the damage he realised he, together with the others, had done something wrong. Then the man explained from his point of view how he was affected. He was sad and upset and he wanted to know how my son felt about it. My son apologised and said he will use better judgment next time.” She said since it had happened her son was less willing to go out with his friends and stayed in more playing on his Xbox. “I was surprised and shocked that he did it.

We did have to speak to him again and again so he understands the gravity of the situation. He was grounded afterwards. The lorry driver was a very nice person and my son handed him a letter of apology.

They shook hands and everything went fine” she said.

The father of the other boy, aged 11, said his family had been left “devastated” by what he had done.

He said: “We had total faith in our son and we didn’t think he would get dragged into acting irresponsibly. I couldn’t believe it to start with. I was really, really disappointed in him and really let down.

We thought ‘blimey, is it our fault?’ We have only ever loved our kids. He was led astray but he has put people’s lives in danger. They thought it was a game but it wasn’t a game.

It was putting people’s lives at risk. It could have killed the driver.

“I drive up that same road with his little brother in the car. When he met the driver he realised what a nice guy he was and my son started to well up a bit. He thought ‘it could have been my dad. It could have been my mum.

It could have been my little brother in one of those cars’. We drive along there quite regularly.”

BMW 630

The father said his son was very nervous about coming face-to-face with the driver but agreed straight away to the meeting and was now glad it had taken place. “It was a big thing to do for 11-year-old kids.”

He said he wished to extend his personal thanks to the driver for agreeing to meet his son. He said: “He’s learned from his mistakes and I’m sure this will never happen again.”

Seven identified victims were contacted by victim officers and four wanted contact with the youth offending service following the incident.

Letters of apology were written to each of the four victims by two of the three youths involved.

However, not everyone was happy with the decision to give the offenders youth cautions.

David Beech, aged 51, of Malvern had a hole punched in his windscreen of his BMW 630 during the same incident, leaving him with a £675 excess on his car insurance (£600 for the body work and £75 for the damage to the windscreen).

He said: “Restorative justice? I don’t think so. If that brick had gone through the window you and I would not even be having this conversation now. I’m also heavily out of pocket. I’m not happy with the way the system works.

At the end of the day, people have to be held responsible for their actions, regardless of their age. It seems you have to kill somebody to be taken seriously by this logic.”

Under restorative justice, people who have committed less serious offences are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions by apologising, returning stolen money or goods, or carrying out unpaid community work, rather than being formally punished through the courts.

Victims, who have to agree to restorative justice, have the opportunity to talk directly to the offender if they wish. They may be able to obtain answers about why they were targeted, and to receive an apology.)

BMW 630
BMW 630
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