My sons plea hearing was scheduled for 18th December, having never dealt with the criminal justice system in my life it just surprised me how out of my depth I felt.

Life had changed in a few short weeks beyond recognition and it wasn’t that I wasn’t sorry for what had happened as I was and to this day I believe life as I knew it as gone forever and part of my own recovery is accepting that but that’s another story.

My son needed support to accept what had happened and the consequences of it he had went from being an average kid at college to everyone knowing who he was even though he wasn’t named in the newspapers people where we lived knew it was him. He was no longer at college as he was thrown out immediately once he was charged so life for him was curfew every night and day time he slept most of the time in an effort to shut out what had happened. His best friend was also a prosecution witness and although his statement wasn’t any different from my sons they were not allowed any contact and this was hard on my son but also for us as he was like a second son to me and I missed him I also didn’t know if he was ok. I Managed to get my son counselling from an organisation called streetwise which is an organisation for young people so in addition to youth offending appointments doctors appointments psychologist appointment and solicitor appointments and work my diary was full. It helped me immensely to keep busy in those early days and although I had been prescribed  diazepam and anti depressants  different ones sometimes without a sedative and I didn’t sleep at all and sometimes with where I felt I was existing during the day but hardly functioning and being aware of my failings as a mother I felt useless. over the next few weeks and only a few solicitor appointments and possibly persuaded by me my son decided to plead not guilty, like I said earlier I have never been involved with the criminal justice system so I was surprised and horrified at how it all worked. My son had never denied from day one that he did throw the punch which caused this man to fall hi his head and die, because of this his choice was to plead not guilty or guilty I will in another chapter go in to details of exactly what happened that night in my sons words.