A burglary victim has told how she met the man who broke into her family’s home.
The homeowner met the jailed burglar through the Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership – a scheme where victims meet offend- ers to tell them how they feel.
As part of the scheme vic- tims are able to ask the offenders questions and are given opportunities to hold them to account for what they have done.
The victim of the Worthing burglary said she was “apprehensive” about meeting the man who burgled her home, but agreed it was a “positive experience”.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “I felt better in myself afterwards because I had the chance to tell the offender how the burglary had made me feel.
“Four years after the burglary, this will help me to finally put the horrible events behind me.
“I feel that the offender is remorseful for his actions. Also, I feel I’ve had a part in the offender’s rehabilitation. I hope that he thinks twice before burgling another innocent person’s home.”
The criminal is serving a four-year sentence at Lewes prison for breaking into the family home in Worthing and stealing precious items.
The offender apologised to his victim and said the meeting at Lewes Prison was “tearful”.
He said: “I volunteered to take part in the conference, but I felt anxious about meeting someone whose home I’d broken into. But I wanted to go through with it in order to start making changes to my life.
“I felt tearful during the conference as I heard for the first time how upset she’d been after the break-in.
“I hope she has accepted my apology. I feel like I can be proud for doing ‘some- thing right’.”
The meeting was set up by two trained restorative justice facilitators, a Victim Support volunteer and a probation officer.