Relates to 'the Story of Tom Brennan' Essay

697 Words Jun 12th, 2013 3 Pages
John Carter got involved in crime at the age of 12. After eight years in prison he finally got to meet one of his victims. John is now married with two children. He works as a gardener and is taking a degree in English Literature.

I started getting into trouble when I was at school – shoplifting, burglary, that kind of thing. At 14 I was sent to a detention centre for three months, after which I went straight back into petty crime. When I left school I had no qualifications and joined a Hell’s Angels motorcycle club. By now I was committing more serious offences, making the lives of my mother and four sisters an absolute misery. But for me it was all just a game of cops and robbers. I was in and out of jail and even committed a serious
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When I walked into the visiting room, I noticed that the girl had a prominent six-inch scar on the side of her face. I had no idea who she was and yet I felt this deep bond between us because we’d shared something – something that for her was of course entirely negative. We both sat there and looked at each other. I could see that she was full of rage. It was highly traumatic; her father was clenching his fists, her mother looked distraught. I was the first to speak, and for the first time I found I could express how I’d felt at the moment of the offence. It was also the first time I was able to take on board the hurt I’d caused. Then she took me through what had happened to her that night and how it had affected her ever since. We both broke down and cried.

Finally, I told her how remorseful I felt and it was then, after a brief pause, that she said, “I forgive you”. I hadn’t asked for this and I certainly didn’t expect it, but by God those words had a profound effect. They stopped me in my tracks and concentrated my resolve never to repeat anything like this. As for my victim, I think meeting me allowed her to put a face to her fear and reassured her that she would never again be attacked.

That was in 1989, and every year that goes by is another year that I haven’t re-offended. The only person I have to thank for that is my victim. She gave me this incredible gift.

Recently, I felt it was time to

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