Mr Woolf thinks the restorative justice scheme, run in Middlesbrough, which is used as an alternative to the court system in a bid to stop re-offending, was the jolt he needed.

“When you hear the harm you have caused, you have to be a bitter and twisted person not to be affected,” said Mr Woolf, who had spent 18 years in prison. “I thought they would say ‘lock him up and throw away the key” but they wanted me to get help for drug and alcohol abuse, an education and a job.”

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