Eastbourne man speaks to Princess Royal about experience with restorative justice

Zac Mehmeti (right) speaking about his experience SUS-170223-174426001
Zac Mehmeti (right) speaking about his experience SUS-170223-174426001

An Eastbourne man met Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner as part of restorative justice event today (Thursday).

Princess Anne, who is Patron of the Restorative Justice Council, visited Sackville House, Lewes, to learn more about the work of the award-winning Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership.

Sussex PCC Katy Bourne and Princess Anne SUS-170223-174412001

Sussex PCC Katy Bourne and Princess Anne SUS-170223-174412001

Zac Mehmeti, a father-of-two from Eastbourne, spoke of his experience of restorative justice after being held up at knifepoint while driving his taxi.

A refugee from Kosovo who came to the UK as a teenager 18 years ago, he described how the robbery had shaken his faith in his adopted home.

“I felt worse the night that happened than I felt during the war,” he said. “In the war, you expected to be killed every minute but that night, I was just working, I wasn’t doing anything wrong and then someone came and put a knife to my neck.

“I wondered if I was targeted because I’m foreign. I don’t have the words to describe how bad I was feeling – I was thinking about leaving the country, I told my wife that we weren’t safe here any more.”

But after receiving a letter from his attacker, Zac says he was able to find peace.

“He told me he was high on drink and drugs, that I could have been anyone.

“The support we received throughout the process from the police made me feel more confident and like someone cared for us again.”