Mrs a and miss b brother was convicted and sentenced last week.
They were shocked and horrified to learn the details of his crimes and couldn’t reconcile the man that they had grown up with and the monster portrayed in court. There was no doubt as to his guilt and no denial on his part. They were heartbroken to be thrown into this new world of prison visits, and were scared of repercussions in the wider community and terrified to visit in case they were targeted due to their brothers crimes.
I spoke to mrs a at length on the phone, reassuring her, advising her and giving her general information. I explained that although she had a visit that was 2 ¾ hours long, she didn’t have to stay for the whole time if she didn’t want to. She only wanted to make sure her brother was coping, she didn’t want to stay with him until the finish time. I also said she could speak to me after her visit if she wanted, or ring us for a chat at any time.
Mrs a and miss b stopped for a chat after their visit. Both were tearful, scared and worried about the future. We calmed them both down, reassured them that people weren’t staring at them in the Visits Hall and gave them coping strategies to see them through this difficult time. Miss b was satisfied that the worst was behind them and was more confident about visiting in the future. Mrs a is still distraught and inconsolable. I told her she could ring us at any time, or come and see us whenever she felt she needed to. She left feeling reassured that there was someone she could talk to who wouldn’t judge her for the terrible things her brother had done, and that there was somewhere she could go if she wanted to get things off her chest.