Updated: Thursday, 13th August 2020 @ 11:08am

Teenage Wigan victim of gang attack finds peace after meeting attackers in Restorative justice scheme

Teenage Wigan victim of gang attack finds peace after meeting attackers in Restorative justice scheme

By Katie Moore

A teenager from Wigan who was attacked and left with a catalogue of injuries in May has found closure after meeting with her attackers.

Brave 14-year-old Amy Clarke, from Aspull, went with her mother to meet the group after police referred their case to Wigan Council’s restorative solutions team.

Amy was attacked when walking along with her friend earlier this year.

“We passed a group of young people who accused us of giving them dirty looks,” she said. “Before we knew it, the group had grabbed my friend by the hair and pulled her to the floor before turning on me.”

She was left with injuries to her face, arm, legs and scalp as well as losing a lot of hair, leaving her with bald patches.

The group had already received cautions from the police after the incident, but Amy and her mother Sam, 42, were unable to forget what had happened.

Ms Clarke said: “I wanted to meet them. Not to have a go, but to make them see the impact their actions had on the whole family and to try and make them see that they could have a better future than this.

“I wanted to see if they could look me in the eye knowing what they had done to my daughter.”

Research suggests, while primarily seeking to repair the harm caused by crime, restorative justice can also help to reduce reoffending.

Coinciding with Restorative Justice Week from November 17 to 24, the government has pledged to further fund the national programme.

At least £29million recovered from offenders in fines and confiscations will be used to boost programmes over the next three years.

Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for safer communities at Wigan Council, praised their restorative solutions team.

He said: “The team’s recent success at being named first in the country to achieve the Restorative Justice Quality Mark demonstrates their hard work and commitment to producing positive outcomes.

“I’d like to thank them for helping Amy and her mum move on with their lives and find peace.”

It is a sentiment that Ms Clarke evidently shares.

She said: “As a parent, the process allowed me to show my daughter how to behave properly – to understand that violence isn’t the answer.”

Picture courtesy of Bill Harman via Flickr, with thanks.

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