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"I felt healed": Mum met burglar who stole precious memories of her dead daughter

Feb 14, 2013

from the article by Sally Beck in the Mirror:

When Margaret Foxley found out her house had been burgled and a laptop, camera and jewellery had been taken by a drug addict, she wanted him locked up and the key thrown away for good.

She had thought of her home as a sanctuary where she could live safely with her husband Paul, her son Oliver and daughter Jessica.

Now she was too scared to be alone, her nerves on edge at the thought of the burglar, Ian Ashworth, coming back, although he was caught a month later.

....The laptop and camera held priceless photos, and a necklace that was taken had been given to Jess for her 18th birthday.

But Jessica, a budding singer-songwriter, felt ­differently about Ashworth.

“She felt sorry for him. She said we didn’t know his background so we couldn’t judge him,” says Margaret, 54.

....Then, eight months after the burglary, something even more terrible happened.

Jessica, then 21, was killed in a car crash on the way home from a wedding along with her firefighter ­boyfriend Tom Petty, and friend Phillip Wright, both 25.

Then, a few days later, her husband, 55, had a call from PC Dave Pasco, from Burnley police station.

He asked if they would meet Ashworth, who was now in prison, in a restorative justice session.

....The perpetrator gets a chance to say sorry and to realise what effect their crimes have on others.

Criminals don’t get a sentence reduction for taking part and critics say it slows victims’ recovery, but ­Margaret thought it would be positive.

“I thought if Jessica was alive she would have done it. I thought I had to do it for her,” says Margaret.

Read the whole story.

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