Mother to tell how she met her son’s killer

Thomas Poole with his mother Sandra
Thomas Poole with his mother Sandra
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A woman whose son was killed at a house party will tomorrow tell a conference how she came face to face with the men convicted after his death.

Sandra Poole will speak to delegates at a conference on restortive justice in Blackburn.

Ryan Calvert

Ryan Calvert

The meeting, chaired by Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw, will examine how restorative justice can help crime victims and their families come to terms with their ordeals.

Mrs Poole’s son, Thomas, 23, died after he was attacked at a party in Ribble Road, Blackpool, in january 2014.

He died from a head injury described as in court as “catastrophic”.

Ryan Calvert, 20, threw the fatal punch and was jailed for five years for manslaughter in July 2014.

Shaun Dolan delivered a “karate-style” kick to his face and was jailed for four years and three months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Mrs Poole, of Preston New Road, Marton, met both men following their imprisonment as part of Lancashire Police’s restorative justice programme.

The scheme gives crime victims and their families the chance to meet and speak to offenders following their convictions.

Tomorrow she will tell 100 delegates, including police officers from throughout England and Wales about her experiences of the restorative justice programme.

She said: “Tom was killed senselessly and cruelly and left for dead by those responsible. We as a family are serving a life sentence and our lives are damaged and ruined beyond repair.”

After the sentences were handed down, Mrs Poole said she had been unhappy at the length of the prison terms imposed on the two men.

However, she later decided she wanted to meet the them to try and come to terms with her loss.

A police spokesman said: “Sandra is an advocate for restorative justice since the process has helped her following the death of her son two years ago.”

Mrs Poole said: “He was just a wonderful son.

“He was a happy, fun loving person and he lived life for today. We’re really devastated and I’m completely shocked.

“Nothing was any trouble for him and we knew him as a lovely lad.”

Judge Mr Justice MacDuff told Calvert and Dolan as he imposed sentence: “You have brought immense and immeasurable grief to the whole of that family.

“You will be released from prison in due course, but Thomas will not be returned to his family.

“He was a good and loving son, his father’s best mate.”

Mr Poole attended Collegiate High School and later worked as a labourer for his father, Jim, fitting fire alarms at commercial premises.