A PROLIFIC burglar, who was jailed for six years, met some of his victims in prison to apologise for his crimes.
Duncan Campbell, 36, from Worthing, was caught after attempting to break into a house in the town in 2010.
After being charged, he admitted to seven other burglaries in Worthing and Shoreham, and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Last October, Campbell asked if he could apologise to his victims.
Sussex Police set up its first restorative justice conference held in a prison working with the prison governor, staff and probation.
Three of the eight victims agreed to take part in the process and travelled to Guys Marsh Prison in Shaftesbury, Dorset, to meet Campbell for the conference.
Campbell said: “Meeting my victims has meant I can relate my crimes to the person.
“I never thought about the victim before or had to put a face to them.
“Hearing the impact my offending has had on them has had a powerful affect on me and I won’t offend again.”
Campbell said he wanted to take part in the process because he felt prison wasn’t a deterrent and he needed to get his life back on track.
“I would encourage other offenders who regret their past actions and who want to apologise to take part in the restorative justice process,” he said.
Victims, Mark and Julie, who took part in the conference, lived in Worthing when Campbell burgled their home, stealing electrical items and jewellery.
Julie said: “It was good to see him and hear his explanation about why he did it and what he did with the property he stole.
“We were in the process of moving when he burgled our home and it could have jeopardised the sale.
“We were able to tell him the impact his actions had on our lives.
“He was remorseful and said meeting us had a big impact on him.
We definitely thought the process was worthwhile and it brought some closure.
“We want to know how he does when he is released from prison – because we have met him face to face we feel we have put some investment in him.
“I would recommend this process to other victims if they are offered to it.”
Matt Kiely, from Shoreham, was another victim of Mr Campbell. He said: “It was a relief to be able to meet him and hear that I had not been targeted.
“He said he was just passing my home and decided to take the opportunity to burgle it.
“He stole my wife’s jewellery to feed his drug habit, he said he didn’t think about the victims, he was just intent on stealing and getting money to pay for drugs.
“He seemed remorseful and he explained how he was trying to turn his life around.
“He is now clean from drugs and I want to hear how he gets on when he leaves prison. I did find the process useful and I hope it has had an impact on Mr Campbell.”