Mother who befriended son's killer discusses his new book

NEWS
PHOTO SU ANDERSON 26-10-11
Joan Scourfield, of Ipswich, holds a photo of her son James Hodgki

Joan Scourfield befriended the man who killed her son - Credit: Archant

The mother of a trainee paramedic who forgave and then befriended her son's killer says she is supportive of his new book detailing his redemption. 

Joan Scourfield's son, James Hodgkinson, 28, was killed after being hit by a single blow outside a Nottingham pub on July 31, 2011. 

Hodgkinson, from Kirton, near Felixstowe, had been visiting the city to watch a cricket test match between England v India at Trent Bridge with his father and brother, and was drinking after the end of the day's play. 

The 19-year-old man who delivered the fatal punch, Jacob Dunne, from Nottingham, served 13 months of a 30-month jail sentence for manslaughter. 

Paramedic James Hodgkinson, who died after being hit by a single punch in an unprovoked attack.

James Hodgkinson was killed by a single punch in Nottingham - Credit: Archant

After meeting Mrs Scourfield as part of a restorative justice initiative, Dunne turned his life around, returning to education, and has now released a book entitled Right from Wrong: My Story of Guilt and Redemption. 

Mrs Scourfield, who now lives in Derbyshire, told this newspaper: "I'm not against the book and I think he's very honest in the book. In some parts, I think he's too honest on himself but that's his decision. He knows how I feel. 

NEWSPHOTO SU ANDERSON 26-10-11Joan Scourfield’s son James Hodgkinson was killed earlier this mon

Mrs Scourfield said she felt her son's killer has been 'very honest' in the book - Credit: Archant

"But from what he's written about my part or James' part and us as a family, it's absolutely fine. I wish him well with it.

"It's his story. He's from the gang culture and he's stepped away from that and it's remarkable what he's doing. 

Most Read

"He's still doing work for [reform charity] the Longford Trust, he's still working for the Forgiveness Project. From the life he had, he's come ever so far." 

Mrs Scourfield, who has kept in regular contact with Dunne, admitted she did have reservations about one part of the book, in which her son's killer revealed he had taken £2,500 from the person who gave the police his name as payback after he was released from prison. 

James Hodgkinson is pictured here receiving his certificate from the ambulance service

James was training to be a paramedic

"We did question him about that, and said if he's not going to pay the boy back from the royalties of the book then he should give some to charity. It was his time to do," she said. 

"Everyone's going to have a different opinion about it, and I don't really know all about gang culture, but it didn't sit right. 

"As I said, he's been very honest and people will read it and make their own minds up."