Why me? began with a crime.
Will Riley, an Islington business man, was burgled by Peter Woolf, a career criminal. They fought and Peter was arrested trying to escape the house.
Months later, Will met Peter in Pentonville prison in a Restorative Justice meeting and told him how the incident made him feel. He was angry. The crime had affected Will greatly, making him afraid every time he opened his front door. Will challenged Peter about what he had done and got some answers he had been looking for. Will felt like he understood what had happened to him and why it had happened to him much better after meeting Peter. He felt that he had challenged Peter, not allowed him to duck responsibility for what he did, and directed him towards a better path.
Peter has continued living on this better path ever since. Having previously committed, by his own reckoning, over 20,000 crimes, Peter never offended again after meeting Will. Until he had the chance to hear about the damage he had done directly from the victim’s mouth, it never really struck Peter how much pain he had been causing people. Seeing the damage he had done encouraged Peter to change his life.
Will set up Why me?, with Peter’s help, to fight for more victims to have the opportunity to access Restorative Justice. It changed their lives, and they want to see it change many more people’s lives in the future.
They remain good friends, and continue to campaign for wider access to Restorative Justice.
This video tells the story of their unlikely partnership.