In a striking example of forgiveness and restorative justice, the mother of a murdered teenager has offered to help his killer to “turn his life around”, two years after her son’s death.
David Idowu was fourteen when he was stabbed to death in south London in 2008 in an apparently unprovoked attack by Elijah Dayoni, who is now sixteen.
Yesterday (12 March), his mother, Grace Idowu, cited her belief in Christianity and in forgiveness when she explained that she would meet her son’s killer and his parents in Bristol prison.
“I’m feeling very calm about it,” she told the South London Press, “I really want to see Elijah and his parents, to help them and to help society”.
She added, “I want to ask what kind of help society can give to a person like him. He’s not the only one. There are lots of young boys like him. I’m going to ask him about his life”.
Idowu said she would also ask Dayoni how he felt after committing the murder. She said that “No-one who knew my won would ever want to hurt him”.
She insisted that she was not “making excuses” for her son’s killer, saying “He’s shed blood. It’s a serious, serious crime”. But she added “I know there are lots of things that have happened in his life”.
Dayoni’s family life is reported to have involved a history of abuse and mental health problems.
Dayoni cancelled a previous meeting with Idowu, saying he “wasn’t ready” but she seems confident that she will be able to meet him this time.
“Only God can forgive him,” said Idowu, “And help him forgive himself”.