Ex-thief to speak at victim’s group in Pendle

GROUP Margaret and Jessica

GROUP Margaret and Jessica

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A MUM is set to launch a new police initiative after mentoring the burglar who stole a laptop containing precious memories of her daughter who was killed in a car crash.

Margaret Foxley formed a bond with Ian Ashworth when she became the first victim of crime in Lancashire to go into a prison to meet the person who committed an offence against them.

And he is also helping launch the county’s first Victim and Community Advisory Panel in Colne after having regular meetings with Pendle counillor Mrs Foxley, from whom he stole a laptop, a camera and jewellery.

The laptop contained the most recent photographs of her daughter Jessica – who was killed in a car crash with two friends in Colne in July 2009, six months after the burglary.

Mrs Foxley said she visited Ian in prison in October 2009 as part of the ‘restorative justice’ programme.

Mrs Foxley said: “The panel has been meeting for a number of months now and Ian was keen to be involved with it.

“He will be attending the launch and speaking about how the restorative justice programme has helped him – he has been out of trouble with the police for two years now and clean of drugs.

“Ian is also going into schools in Burnley to talk to students about his experiences in the hope of warning them off crime.

“It has been fantastic to see what a massive impact it has had on his life.”

The community justice panel has been set up by the police to improve the service they deliver to the local community.

Mrs Foxley added: “The members of the panel had the chance to talk about their experience of crime and about how the police could help victims.

“The group involves both young and elderly people with a range of skills and ages in order to truly represent local communities.

“The idea is that people in the community can eventually help to solve local issues with the help of police.”

Mrs Foxley will chair the panel which has its official launch on March 14 at Colne Town Hall.

Other community partnership groups will also be attending the event which aims to promote restorative justice in the community.

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