Posts Tagged ‘Victims’

Facing the Killers

Posted: 19 March 2017 in Prisons
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Chris Donovan cake.jpg

Chris Donovan

Chris Donovan was murdered on a suburban street one evening by people he did not know.  Not an attack by a hysterical lover.  Not a robbery gone wrong.  Not hit be crossfire in gang warfare.  Not a spiteful but unintentionally forceful punch.  This death is in the premier league of pointless killings.

Keep him alive
The parents keep him alive in the eyes of others who needed to meet the memory of him.  They told the tragic story to prisoners in HMP Millbank*.  I was there, helping lead a victim awareness course there (Sycamore Tree).

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The Crime Makes The Man?

Posted: 12 March 2017 in Prisons
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Chris Donovan

The late Chris Donovan

Like an Ian McEwan novel, one single event changes lives, utterly, forever.  But this is not fiction.  Two young men, brothers Chris and Phil go out to see their sister after a hard day at work.  They don’t come home that night.  One never comes back.

Chris and Phil were walking along a main road on their way, when they came face to face with a group of around fourteen youngsters, male and female. With no prior warning, no conversation, the boys started to punch, pushing the brothers to the ground.  Kicking, stamping on their heads. Phil was unconscious with a broken nose.  Chris unconscious was left deliberately in the main road. Cars swerved to avoid, but not all could.  Chris was hit by car and his mangled body dragged 40 feet down the road.  Chris died in hospital. Phil’s injuries still impact his life, even after all this time.  Chris’s body was so badly damaged that the mortician had to strap the body like an Egyptian mummy. (more…)

daniel-sm

Daniel is dead.  Jerry is now quaking for his son.  Daniel was 16.  Jerry is a drug dealer and in prison.

Dan Spargo-Mabbs lived in Croydon. The family are regular members of their church, Emmanuel South Croydon. Dan used to run free errands for the elderly people to whom he delivered papers. He also helped out church members with gardening and odd jobs.  You’d be happy to have the family round for dinner.  Fathers – you’d be happy for your 16 year old daughters to date him.

On Friday 17th January 2014, Dan persuaded his mum to let him go to a local party with friends. As Dan was usually responsible, mum agreed. But they went to an illegal rave instead. It was the first time he’d been to a rave. At the rave Dan (more…)

desadeSo The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse struggles with resignations and credibility, while Penguin Books announces it is publishing “The 120 Days of Sodom” by the Maquis deSade.  The first – seeks to uncover sexual crimes against children.  The second – a fictional account of what sexual crimes an aristocrat, a politician, a bishop, and a banker comit against eight boys and eight girls aged between 12 and 15.  One seeks justice for the many who have suffered.  The other, many gratifications including murder.  There is no direct link of course.  But while the Inquiry seeks to uncover crimes of the powerful, deSade seeks to describe the crimes of the powerful.

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I did it – But

Posted: 22 December 2014 in Prisons
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???????????

I did it, but…

  • But life is hard man. You’ve gotta survive
  • But do you know what the Government get up to!
  • But others benefitted from it
  • But I had no victims
  • But it hurt me more, than them. By hurting my mum and dad/wife and kids.
  • But I never did it. I was set up

I’m in prison talking to men as part of the Sycamore Tree course. And this is what I often hear.

There is a strong mechanism of ‘explanation’ puts the crime at a distance. A defacto denial. It is an act of self preservation, in an environment that is telling them, implicitly or explicitly – you are shit, you are worthless, hey toe-rag, you deserve to be in this dump.

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(c) www.pact.org.uk

Why will 20 to 25 guys sign up to come to a victim awareness course? It will last 2 hours for six weeks, have homework that will be assessed as pass or fail. And let’s face it – you are a prisoner and this is a course about victims. It’s not a gym session, a baking training class where you taste the good you lean to make, or even chapel where you can tell God how fed up you are.

So why turn up and get made to feel guilty, to feel like something the dog has just left under a bush? Well, firstly and foremostly, I’m not here to make people feel guilty, not to feel like something I don’t want to step into (squish).

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