Matthew (16) was walking back from a party in the early hours of the morning with a few friends. It was the first time he had drunk alcohol and he also took regular medication. This combination appeared to have made him highly impulsive and affected his judgement. During their journey home they came across a milkman on his rounds. The group surrounded the float and started shouting at the milkman. Eventually, a crate of milk was smashed. Police arrived and arrested Matthew, who had led events. As this was his first ever offence, a Final Warning was considered appropriate. The Police Officer at the YOT arranged a conference to take place with the agreement of the victim and the offender. At the conference Matthew indicated that he was ashamed and sorry for what he had done, and listened as the milkman explained the economics of milk delivery and that he had had to pay for the lost milk. Matthew had already offered to pay for the lost milk, and had brought Ł20 compensation along with him. As discussions continued, all animosity was completely dispelled and the conference ended with the milkman offering Matthew a part-time job.
Source: Marian Liebmann’s book, ‘Restorative Justice: How it works’ (2007, Jessica Kingsley Publishers)