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Pendle mum's film aims to spread message of restorative justice system
THE emotional moment a heartbroken mum came face to face with the burglar who broke into her home has been documented in a police film.
Pendle councillor Margaret Foxley met the thief who stole a laptop as part of a restorative justice process.
The laptop contained treasured photographs of her daughter Jessica, who died in a car crash with two friends in Colne.
Since their first meeting at Preston Prison in 2009, Margaret has met the burglar every few months and has been keeping a keen eye on his progress.
During the past three years the meetings with Margaret, director of complementary studies at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, have been filmed and are due to be turned into a DVD to illustrate the effects of restorative justice.
The initial meeting was the first time in Lancashire that a victim had gone into prison to meet the person who committed a crime against them.
At the time, Mrs Foxley told the Lancashire Telegraph that the prospect of coming face-to-face with the offender had made her “very anxious”.
But she said the words of her 21-year-old daughter, a former Westholme pupil who ‘saw the good in everybody’, inspired her to go ahead.
According to Mrs Foxley, from Laneshaw Bridge, her story struck a chord with the burglar who said a family bereavement played a part in him embarking on a life of crime.
The burglar has since stayed away from crime and Mrs Foxley has been working with police to set up the county’s first Victim and Community Advisory Panel in Colne, to help police improve how crime is dealt with.
Lesley Miller, justice manager for Lancashire Constabulary, said: “The meetings between Margaret and the offender have been filmed since the first time that they met.
“The footage is now being edited and when it is completed we hope to use it to promote restorative justice with other agencies and in prisons.
“The story of Margaret and the offender is an excellent example of how effective restorative justice can be.
“Although we can write about their meetings, to watch them and see the emotion captured on film really shows how well restorative justice works.”