Why can't I tell my brutal attacker that I forgive?
Feb 24, 2012
from the article in the Nottingham Post:
....Mr Ali, who lives in the Arboretum area of Nottingham, was left unconscious on the floor of St Peter's Gate after he was knocked out with one punch on at around 4.45pm on July 24, 2008.
The 48-year-old was then stamped on and kicked in his head as shoppers and passersby looked on. When he arrived at hospital, fluid from his brain was leaking out of his nose.
Jackson, then 27 and of Eddleston Drive, Clifton, was jailed for a minimum of five years after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, part way through a retrial at Nottingham Crown Court in July 2009.
He was told he wouldn't be allowed out until he had convinced a parole board he was no longer a danger to the public.
Mr Ali, who needed four metal plates inserted into his face to support his shattered eye sockets, said it was a "life-changing" incident.
Yet the former social worker wants to tell his attacker he's forgiven.
The Probation Service, however, will not allow his request, even though he's been trying every six months for the past three years. He cannot simply fill out a prisoner visiting form, because the prison checks visitors and takes advice from the Probation Service.
In a response to one of his requests, dated November 12 last year, a senior probation officer said it was "not currently appropriate" to allow Mr Ali's request, and wouldn't say why.
It said: "There sometimes will be circumstances when information about an offender cannot be disclosed because to do so would breach the offender's right to confidentiality."
The officer added that the issue would be pursued when it was appropriate.
Mr Ali, who still finds it difficult to breathe through his nose, said: "It feels as though they are putting the rights of the offender ahead of the rights for the victim. I want to be given the opportunity to tell him he's forgiven.
"I never thought I would have the capacity to forgive, after being subjected to such a brutal attack which nearly killed me, but the incident has changed my life, in terms of my outlook on things and, amazingly, I can forgive. Notts Probation Service claim to be advocates of restorative justice, but they are not showing any evidence of this."