A mother befriends her son’s murderer. The story of forgiveness and rehabilitation is now performed as a play.

Jacob D., a 19-year-old from Nottingham, killed a man with a single blow to the face in the summer of 2011, Daily Mail reports. The deceased, James H., was a 28-year-old trainee paramedic who died as a result of his head hitting the sidewalk. The young man was sentenced to 30 months in prison after the crime.

An extraordinary consequence of the tragic death, however, is the relationship that has developed over time between the perpetrator, Jacob D., and the mother of his victim. As the Daily Mail reports, after Jacob D.’s conviction, the victim’s parents took part in a “restorative justice” program that offers victims the opportunity to communicate with their perpetrators.

Initially, the exchange between Jacob D. and James H.’s parents was written, but over time developed into personal meetings in which they told D. about their son and shared their grief.

The parents of the slain James showed unexpected generosity to their son’s murderer and encouraged him to get his life together. “I was surprised that they wanted me to make something of myself. “That gave me a lot of strength,” Jacob D. told the Daily Mail.

The victim’s mother in particular has developed a special relationship with Jacob D. over the years. Despite the fact that he killed her son, she supported D. in getting his life back together. The victim’s mother told the Daily Mail that they are probably even friends now.

Jacob D. is now 32 years old and has radically changed his life. After his time in prison, the ex-inmate earned a degree in criminology and had two children with his wife. He has also since made many public appearances at elite universities and on television as a community ambassador and activist. He now has, among other things, a TEDx talk, a BBC podcast and a play to his name.

The extraordinary story of crime, remorse and forgiveness has now been turned into a stage play. The author, Nottingham-born writer James Graham, staged the life story of Jacob D., including his time in prison and subsequent participation in the Restorative Justice program. Punch, which is being shown at the prestigious Nottingham Playhouse, has already received rave reviews, according to the Daily Mail.

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