TRULY INSPIRATIONAL! Mother Becomes Very Good Friends With The Man That Murdered Her Son
Aug. 04, 2020
Nine years ago Joan Scourfield looked for first time at the mugshot of a gang member who had killed her son and felt anger at the 'thug' staring back at her.
Joan's 28-year-old son, James Hodgkinson, had been out in Nottingham city centre with his father after watching the cricket when a gang of yobs launched an unprovoked attack.
James, a trainee paramedic, was punched once in the head by 19-year-old Jacob Dunne and collapsed to the ground.
He died nine days later in hospital from the catastrophic brain injuries he suffered as his head hit the floor.
James Hodgkinson, 28
But today Joan, 57, talks of the remarkable friendship she has formed with her son's killer, which started after he was released from prison in 2012 having served just 14 months of his 30-month manslaughter sentence.
The gran-of-two agreed to meet Jacob to try and understand why he had taken her son's life, but was surprised by the fragile young man she encountered.
She told the Daily Mail: "It took me a long time. To begin with I was bitter and angry, mostly at the justice system. Jacob had been inside for just 14 months of his 30-month sentence. I thought James's life was worth more than that. What kind of a deterrent was it for other gangs?
"When I first saw Jacob in a police mugshot he looked like a thug. But then, two-and-a-half years later, I met him and he just seemed a very vulnerable young man who really needed my support.
"I wanted him to do something constructive with his life, to stop him going back to his old ways — but for a while I thought that by helping him I was betraying James. But that isn't so. I still love and miss James just as much. I just couldn't carry the resentment with me any longer. And when I forgave Jacob it felt like a release.
"Jacob's crime is not a big focus any more. What matters is that he has turned his life around and we're working together to prevent conflict. I'm proud of what he has achieved."
Jacob, 27, had already disowned his former gang members after leaving prison and has gone on to take his GCSEs and A-Levels before gaining a first-class degree in criminology.
He now mentors young offenders and also works with Joan's charity, The Forgiveness Project, in giving talks about the dangers of violence around the country.
Jacob has also married wife Jessica, 34, and the couple have two children, aged nine months and two years.
He has also made a series of podcasts, The Punch, about the incident which changed his and Joan's lives.
Joan added: "It means such a lot to me that something constructive has come from the awfulness of James's death. I think he would admire what Jacob has done — and I'm proud of how he's turned out, too."
WATCH THIS VERY EMOTIONAL VIDEO ABOUT FORGIVENESS
Most world religions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness, and many of these teachings provide an underlying basis for many varying modern day traditions and practices of forgiveness.
Some religious doctrines or philosophies place greater emphasis on the need for humans to find some sort of divine forgiveness for their own shortcomings, others place greater emphasis on the need for humans to practice forgiveness of one another, yet others make little or no distinction between human and divine forgiveness.
The term forgiveness can be used interchangeably and is interpreted many different ways by people and cultures.
This is specifically important in relational communication because forgiveness is a key component in communication and the overall progression as an individual and couple or group.
WATCH AS THIS GUILTY DOG DESPERATELY ASKS FOR FORGIVENESS
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