Parrys face plaque thieves

Warrington IRA bomb victims Johnathan Ball (left) and Tim Parry
Warrington IRA bomb victims Johnathan Ball (left) and Tim Parry

FIRST they met the people behind their son’s killers, now they have confronted the people who damaged and stole his memorial.

Colin and Wendy Parry this week received an apology from the two scavengers who snatched the plaque to Tim, a former Wigan schoolboy, and three-year-old Johnathan Ball, who died in the 1993 IRA Warrington bomb blast.

The offenders, aged 57 and 29, faced a specially-convened panel at Warrington town hall to explain their actions.

The men will perform community service after a pioneering form of restorative justice which dispensed of the usual criminal court process. At the conference they came face-to-face with the Parrys along with council officials and police.

The 29-year-old, of Newton-le-Willows, admitted pulling the plaque off its wall fixings one night in the town centre after he went out drinking with friends. He left it in Bridge Street and walked off.

The 57-year-old, of Warrington, admitted later picking up the plaque.

He handed it over when officers went round to speak to him at his home.

Mr and Mrs Parry said: “It enabled us to express in very frank terms just how disappointed and saddened we were by their thoughtless acts, especially as they both live locally.

“Both displayed remorse and regret for their actions and accepted with good grace the community-based punishment suggested by ourselves and supported by the councillors present. Today we witnessed restorative justice in action and we feel it was the most appropriate course of action available to us taking account of all those involved and affected.”