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my brother may go to prison [sad]

(54 Posts)
rubymoon Wed 23-Sep-09 13:18:55


My brother is in court on Friday and may well be sent to prison. I have no idea what to expect or how to help him or his family. Although he did commit a crime he has pleaded guilty and he hurt no - one.

He will loose his job and struggle to get another when he is released. His wife and two smallish children will be left to pay a big mortgage and all bills (she works part time). Will they get any benefits?

I can not help financially and live quite far away. To be honest i have been avoiding dealing with this and have been of little support so far and feel useless.

BadgersBait Wed 23-Sep-09 13:36:17

I suppose it would depend on what crime he actually commited to whether he would be sent down or not, and also if hes committed any other crimes or been in trouble with the law before. Sorry im of no help, dont know what to suggest really, just hope things turn out ok for him x

rubymoon Wed 23-Sep-09 13:43:51

Thakyou badger, he has been told to expect a custodial sentence. Hopefully they wont take him away immediatly. This has been very hard for my family as it is totally out of character i think he just got a bit desperate and things got on top of him, he is not the type who would cope well in a prison.

MorrisZapp Wed 23-Sep-09 13:47:32

Oh gawd what a nightmare. I don't know anything specific about benefits etc, but I do know that when the court hands down a sentence then it is normal to actually serve a lot less than that, sometimes by half, especially for non violent crimes.

So don't be scared by the length of the sentence, it may well not be that bad in reality. Also they take away any time spent in custody, remand etc.

rubymoon Wed 23-Sep-09 13:59:18

Thankyou for not judging.He is sure to be a model inmate so hopefully he will have time deducted for that?

I want to phone him with some reassurance before he goes as i cannot get to court but i cannot offer any practical help other than to have his children to stay should his wife need a break.

He is my big brother and i am so sad for him as he may have ruined everything for himself!

TracksuitLover Wed 23-Sep-09 14:07:03

Oh no rubymoon! sad

My brother is in prison. Like Morris said, he can apply for parole half way through his sentence so yes, the sentence he gets might sound like a shock at first, but if he behaves in prison he will probably only do half of it.

I don't know anything about benefits.

It is really horrible to think about them not coping inside I know, especially as there is very little you can do about it and it makes you feel helpless.

Our relatives were shocked too by what my bro did and thought it was out of character. He also went through a period of intense stress which 'pushed him over the edge'. He had been building pressure inside him for years by failing to deal with his issues from the past. There is some help available in prison if your bro is similar. It's limited help but more than he was getting before when his brain was too scrambled to even ask for help.

rubymoon Wed 23-Sep-09 14:17:26

Hello tracksuit,

Thankyou for your reply. You sound in a very similar position, hope your brother is doing ok!

Although i am worried about him in prison (the thought of it makes me feel sick) it is equally hard to think of him coming home and just how we are going to help him get his life back together, i think he may just crumble. Cant talk to anyone much about this as i am embarrased.

MorrisZapp Wed 23-Sep-09 14:20:44

Also prison can offer educational chances that may be hard to come by on the 'outside'. Some people manage to gain qualifications in prison, or use the time to get fit etc, or take up arts or hobbies.

Not much of a comfort I know but in these small ways there are some positive sides to look at too.

Your brother won't be alone. There will be other inmates who also aren't hardened crims, and who will want to keep their time as civilised and trouble-free as they can. All sorts of poeple can end up doing time in prison.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Sep-09 14:21:24

If he stole or committed any type of fraud he might be obliged to pay it back when he gets out or from any assets he has now.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Sep-09 14:22:36

Has he served any time in jail already? If so, that may well count towards any further time he might spend in custody.

Perhaps between now and Friday, too, his lawyer could manage to get him a house arrest instead.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Sep-09 14:24:05

Please don't be embarrassed, it's not your fault.

TracksuitLover Wed 23-Sep-09 14:31:32

I wish I could help you rubymoon, as I remember how awful I felt at the beginning.

And yes, it is a lot to deal with when you feel you can't talk to people about it much and have to work it out in your head on your own. I felt I shouldn't talk because of the family's shame and because it isn't in his best interests for lots of people to know, but I couldn't handle it on my own and I did choose some trusted people to talk to about it. This really helped me. Are there some people you can trust?

It is so hard to know how it will be for them when they come out because it is so unknown to us what this type of thing is like.

Are people standing by your bro and will they support him when he comes out? Remember that most of it is down to him so don't put a huge burden on yourself for a crime you did not do x

Mine lost his home, his wife, very little contact with his kids now, his friends, his job, his whole old life really and won't go back to live where he came from. He has to totally start again. Only a handful of people have contact with him now. The nature of his crimes means that society in general will never forgive him so he will always be looking over his shoulder. At least it sounds like what your bro did was less serious? He could be 'free' of it in time?

I felt like I grieved as though he had died for a while, even though he is still alive, he has lost his (old) life. I feel ok about it now.

rubymoon Wed 23-Sep-09 14:46:22

Hi expat,

He has never been in trouble before and didnt realise what he did would be taken so seriously (what he did was wrong and he knows now how stupid he was)(virtually kicking him up backside!!). He may have to pay back when he gets out, which may mean him loosing his house.

Thankyou morris for being positive, could do with a more positive attitude myself as i have a tendency to think the worst! It would help to know what will happen on the day and if he will have to take some stuff with him and if we can talk to him when he reaches the prison to see if he has settled in. I suppose lots of people make mistakes, hopefully he will get through this.

rubymoon Wed 23-Sep-09 15:00:23

Oh tracksuit, how hard for you, i am feeling just like you describe - shame, embarrasment, guilt at not being there.

At the moment his wife is standing by him but this is hard for her and she needs to think what is best for her and the children. Maybe they will move away and make a fresh start once this is over because it is a small town and everyone will know all about it soon.

My family are also being supportive but he has distanced himself. His best friend died a few years ago.

higgle Wed 23-Sep-09 18:57:09

Could you share with us what he has pleaded guilty or been found guilty of? I might be able to help you with this ( ex criminal defence solicitor) What do his legal team say? Quite often the judge or magistrates will tell someone they may go into custody but when the pre sentence reports are prepared the court is able to take another course. Your sister in law should contact NACRO for some help about benefits etc. Many ex prisoners go on to re establish themselves very sucessfully in new careers - there is a book very widely available in prison libraries called " I can do that?" with all sorts of useful ideas, depending on waht the offence is all sorts of careers from teaching to town planning could be on the cards. Prison is awful and does no o;ne any good, but it need not be as dreadful as you fear. If y;ou can give a bit more information I will try to give you a better idea about what is likely to happen - and of course tagging and parole ( not at all dependant on "good behaviour" in most cases, these days) do make a differenc.

browntrout Wed 23-Sep-09 19:22:41

he will receive a discounted sentence for his guilty plea which may (depending on the nature of the offence and the timing of his plea) make the difference between a custodial and non-custodial sentence. If he is sentenced to imprisonment he will serve half in custody and the rest on licence assuming he behaves himself. As he nears the end of his sentence he may also be given a lower category which can mean day release etc. There are some offences which, although no one has been physically hurt, tend to attract custodial sentences (eg theft from an employer etc) it still may not happen at the lower end of the scale though. As higgle says often defendants are warned to prepare themselves for the worst but can ultimately receive a non-custodial sentence when the probation service reports have been taken into account. If he has a good solicitor/ barrister then they will be trying to mitigiate on his behalf for the lowest possible sentence at the forthcoming hearing. Good luck.

rubymoon Thu 24-Sep-09 09:15:09

Hi higgle and trout (love the names on here!),

Trying not to identify for obvious reasons but the charge is theft and there was a huge breach of public trust (he may not get much sympathy) although the ammount is being argued over as is the financial gain ( could be between 20,000 - 60,000)

He has pleaded guilty but sentencing has now been put off til October so that his defence team can go through some new evidence against him.

I am telling my sil to contact NACRO thankyou for the tip! My worry is that the type of crime may restrict the jobs he could apply for in the future, maybe a change of career would be good but his age may work against him. I have no idea what length of sentence he will get or if he will serve close to home. Am going to remain positive though - its not the end of the world he will come through this.

expatinscotland Thu 24-Sep-09 09:23:08

if it's theft he may well be compelled to pay it back upon his release.

he may also be fined.

of course, any means-tested benefit entitlement depends not only on income but also on assets.

jettisoning or getting rid of assets in order to qualify for benefit or avoid paying recompense could be ruled as willful deprivation of capital and void the claimant's entitlement.

i'm sorry this is happening to your family, ruby.

i'm also very sorry your brother put his family at so much risk financially by his actions.

hope things work out.


tinkerbellesmuse Thu 24-Sep-09 09:30:52

Breach of trust cases (particularly for that sort of amount) will almost always result in a custodial sentence. You need to prepare yourself for that.

When he is sentenced he will be taken into custody immediately and it is very unlikely that once he is taken to the cells via the dock you will be permitted to see him until visiting can be arranged at the prison to which he is sent. Again you need to prepare yourself for this and say your goodbyes before he goes into Court.

You say you have done little yourself to help so far - you have written tis and so obviously care so please speak to both your brother and sil. They are probably depserate for your support and may well ave read your silence as judgement.

Try not to think too much about the future - you need to concentrate on getting your brother and sil through the next few weeks.

ParisFrog Thu 24-Sep-09 09:41:54

Am so sorry. Can deeply empathise as I went through a similar experience. Can't offer a lot of practical advice but do try to keep the family together. My family was pratically torn apart cos some relatives just wanted to bury their heads in the sand and ignore it all. Support your sil as much as possible, she will really be hit hard by this, plus it will make you feel more useful - one of the problems in this situation is feeling completely useless because you have no control over the outcome.

Take one day at a time. It really does get easier (though I wouldn't have believed that if someone had told me all those years ago).

rubymoon Thu 24-Sep-09 09:48:47

Tinkerbell you are right about my silence i hope they dont think I judge I just want to be constructive and not my usual pessimistic self. Also when I have spoken to him he is reluctant to discuss anything to do with this (I am his little sister and he is usually the one giving out the advice). I actually found out about it through my sister.

Maybe this is his way of coping and he feels uncomfortable discussing it but at least now I have some idea of what will go on, thankyou expat i think they may need lots of support.

higgle Thu 24-Sep-09 11:19:49

Sadly, given the amount and the breach of trust aspects you have mentioned I agree that custody is the most likely option. Your Brother really needs to spend some time with his legal team to be absoloutely sure that every last shred of mitigation is before the court - and paying back some of the monies, or having steps in place to do so - such as putting the house on the market etc. would be perhaps the most powerful mitigation. I've met a lot of prisoners in my time and first of all you need to be prepared to be able to cope - if there is one prison where he would almost certainly be taken from court then call them and find out what you can take, how many clothes etc. - "reception" will be pleased to help. It is hard enough to cope without arriving in your best clothes with no idea what clothes you need, books you can have etc. etc. Sorry if this sounds morbid but he will settle in better if prepared. You can also find out what visits etc. are allowed in advance and what education and other facitlities the prison has. The main things that seem to help are education courses, the gym and art - plus religion if you have one - or are open to support from tht quarter. It is awful and dreadful for everyone when these things happen but it really is even worse if the person concerned cannnot summons the strength and courage to tackle it head on. Life will never be the same again, but it can be as good. If there is anything i can do to help please let me know

rubymoon Thu 24-Sep-09 11:51:37

higgle , thankyou for your measured and kind response. His legal team initially really underestimated this telling him he would get a non custodial sentence (not sure if he witheld any information from them so not judging) now they seem to be panicking asking for more time twice since it was moved to crown court.

His job was very stressful and he was mentally in a not good place at the time, hopefully he will get some counseling and make full use of the facilities.

puddytats Thu 24-Sep-09 11:55:45

Hi, my dh went to prison a few years ago for something that sounds similar to your brothers. I do not want to post too much detail on here but please feel free to email me at sebity @ hotmail . co . uk if you want any information at all.
It is horrid but you will get through it i promise

May I suggest that if your brother is remorseful, that he expresses this to the court. Also, he may wish to get character witness statements in his favor before sentencing. It may also help if he contacts the people in charge of restorative justice so he may set up a meeting with those he has harmed. Or if he can't face it, then perhaps a letter to the victims.

While prison is not a great place, it isn't as awful as a lot of people think. My colleague said that he mainly watched TV in his cell, had a bit of exercise and ate a lot of chips.

Think it will be more difficult for your sil, so would suggest that your BIL, should be get a custodial sentence, he familiarizes himself with visiting orders.

Oh, and be sure and ask his legal team to request a prison close to home.

Best of luck. smile

namechangingcriminal Thu 24-Sep-09 12:28:03

Clearly I have namechanged!!

I committed a "breach of trust" theft 5 years ago, was caught and admitted my guilt at arrest. The amount was much, much less than your brother, but the "type" of theft (medication) was very serious.

I was lucky to be given a probation order, for one year. This was because I was prepared to subject myself to character reports, psychiatric reports etc which took quite a long time (over a year) to be fully completed. The initial sentence should have been imprisonment under the misuse of drugs act, but because of my swift guilty plea and remorse, as well as the reporting, I was eventually charged with theft rather than MoD and so got a much lighter sentence.

It is hard - everyone in our community knew about it, it was hard for my dh and luckily my kids were then too little to know - we will tell them sometime, but haven't as yet. But the small community we live in was fab - we would come home from a day in court to discover people had cooked us dinner and left it in our porch! Our freezer was overflowing for weeks with home-cooked food and more cakes than we could eat! I have a huge pile of cards from people locally who sent me stuff to say that they were behind me and supporting me.

My dh has totally stuck by me (though his reputation was affected, including his job). I know I am lucky. My Dad also stood by me and was very supportive - my Mum (parents have been divorced since I was very small) chose not to support me and cut off contact as she couldn't cope with the fact that her daughter was a "criminal".

I don't know how to deal with prison, though I did spend a night in the cells blush after I was arrested - imagine explaining to a police officer that your dh will have to bring your baby daughter in for nightime breastfeeds!!!

I hope you can be supportive of your brother and his family - the support of my family that was given was so important to me and has really cemented the relationships it didn't sour. You sound like a lovely sister!

TracksuitLover Thu 24-Sep-09 12:36:03

It sounds like your brother didn't hurt anyone with his crime (or if people were hurt, he didn't intend this or probably didn't realise they would be), but had a moment of temptation and misjudgement while under stress and didn't think enough about the consequences for him and his family. I feel this is something that general society could understand and eventually forgive after people who know what he did, know that he has done the time to make up for the crime.

I don't know if this is a useful thing to say but felt the need to say it.

scottishmummy Thu 24-Sep-09 13:03:57

NACRO support organisations for family.suggest a benefits check to assess what wife entitled too

for her try maintain as much stability as possible for chidren. maintain routine best as possible

try think what to say to children about dad absence

AngryFromManchester Thu 24-Sep-09 15:09:14

Theft hurts people. A theft of £20,000-£60,000 is not, not hurting someone/anyone. I am quite shocked people think that is fine. I understand the original poster is supporting her brother and wants to support him and his family but a crime is a crime and theft, fraud and money laundering does hurt people on all sorts of levels.

expatinscotland Thu 24-Sep-09 15:15:43

I couldn't agree more, Angry.

Whilst I have every sympathy for the OP and her brother's family, this type of theft is a crime with a custodial sentence for a reason.

It does hurt people. That is why there is so much legislation against embezzling and money laundering.

It is not a victimless crime and should not be treated as such.

I mean, who wouldn't have a use for £20K-£60K?

That doesn't mean it's okay to steal it from your employer.

who said it was victimless?

We don't know the circumstances of the crime, and if his legal team initially felt that he wouldn't have a custodial sentence, then it's fairly safe to assume that it's a bit complicated.

ParisFrog Thu 24-Sep-09 16:55:51

Its not victimless but I don't think that's the point here. The OP is looking for support and advice for herself and her family. Arguing about how many people have been hurt by her brother's crime is irrelevant. SHE has been hurt, his wife has been hurt and all their family.

Blu Thu 24-Sep-09 17:20:42

I agree that the purpose of the thread is to help the OP support her SIL etc. And one bit of advice might be to not get people's backs up by claiming 'he hurt no - one'. Best not to try and get people's sympathies over that, it will look better all round if it is admitted that it was a crime, full stop.I think people feel more inclined to help out and be sympathetic if they do not feel they are expected to condone the crime by doing so iyswim.

rubymoon Thu 24-Sep-09 17:33:05


Theft is certainly not a victimless crime it does hurt people. My first reaction was to be very angry and shocked. I have no interest in condoning what he has done - theft is wrong and lives are ruined by this sort of behaviour - I would never steal and have drummed it into my children that it is wrong as did my parents to us.

What i have to deal with is that someone I love did something really bad and now will have to pay for it (along with my sil and her perfectly innocent children). I do not accept that he is bad through and through - he did something stupid.

I wont turn my back on my brother and firmly beleive people in glass houses should not throw stones.

rubymoon Thu 24-Sep-09 17:43:38


When I said he hurt no-one I meant physically hurt - I can see now that i worded that wrongly!! Sorry if that did upset anyone and sorry to anyone who has been a victim of crime I did not mean to cause offense.

nickschick Thu 24-Sep-09 17:48:47

I read this thread with a growing sense of what a 'family' mumsnet is,there is no disputing the OPs brother is wrong and she is not trying to excuse him but lets be fair hes not raped or assaulted anyone,hes not beaten anyone in a drug filled stupor,hes not stolen a grandmas purse- hes done wrong and its not for us to judge him.

How many of us might be tempted if an opportunity arose?

How many of us would steal to feed our children if neccesary?

People get hurt every day by MPs and other civil servants abusing their positions.

The world is not perfect.

Let us support the OP and her family who are about to face a horrid time.

FiveGoMadonTheDanceFloor Thu 24-Sep-09 17:53:56

Hi Ruby

Sorry you are in this position. My BIL was imprisoned last year and was taken away straight away from the sentencing hearing. This also happened to someone else I knew, who was let out on licence after 1/3 of sentence, BIl was let out after half his sentnce.

Would suggest your SIL talk to CAB about what she would be entitled to benefits wise.

higgle Thu 24-Sep-09 18:02:52

The awful thin about this situation is that although the op's brother has committed the offence the brunt of the penalty will fall on his wife and family - that is why imprisonment is such a blunt and brutal (and totally unconstructive) punishment.

AngryFromManchester Thu 24-Sep-09 18:46:05

An opportunity for me to steal money arises every single time I go to work because I work in a cash office, often alone. Am I ever tempted even when I cannot pay half my bills and I am scratting for change down the side of the sofa? The answer is 'no' and the reason i do that is because I know it is wrong.

You do not get to positions of trust within work if you are not trustworthy. I am afraid that is life.

I am really sorry I misunderstood your post OP, in that he did not commit a violent crime, but I was just pointing out that 'hurt' amounts to more than just violence. For a start, with his actions he has hurt you and his wife and his children. But I know you already understand this

I actually think honesty is most probably the best way out of this. People are more forgiving, on the whole, if you are honest. If you are honest, most people can accept that you have made a mistake and can forgive you.

charis Thu 24-Sep-09 18:56:51

I would recommend that your SIL goes to the CAB as soon as possible, try an make an appointment now as they usually have a horrendous waiting list. They will be able to tell your sil what benefits if any she can recieve. A lot of them can't be backdated so she needs to get started ASAP.

I am sorry you are all in this position. Your brother is lucky to have a supportive and loving family. With any luck he will be back with you all soon and be able to make up for the mess he has made.

From a practical stance:


Some prisons operate a system where you send a money order and they get credit in the prison shop to buy what they want -- i.e. stationary, stamps, soap, phone cards.

Seems to me that he won't go to a high security prison, but hopefully an open prison?

Like others have said, if he is given a custodial sentence, he will be taken to prison after sentencing.

He needs to ask his legal team how he will be able to communicate what prison he will be sent to, as I don't know how this is worked out.

Children can visit, and the last prison visit, the guards actually had spare nappies on the desk! Apparently people did run out and they were trying to be family friendly.

Best of luck for tomorrow. Please let us know how he got on...

expatinscotland Thu 24-Sep-09 20:17:40

I agree, Blu, who is ever wise and reasonable.

There has and should be and will be lots of support for the OP and for the family in question.

ruby, I know you are so upset! Of course you support your brother and his family and hope you've gotten some good advice and support here.

No, no one was physically hurt, that is true. There are very big crimes in the world.

Recently, my family was threatened homeless. Actually, we are now, by council's own definition.

In fact, if it weren't for DH's people taking us in next week, we'd be in temporary accommodation waiting for our council flat to be finished.

No question of a big mortgage, our landlord is coming home from turning his back on a very comfortable retirement in the UK to work helping train teachers in Africa. No question of benefits. We work and will as long as we are able because we believe benefits are for the truly desperate who have no other option. We are happy that we live in a society that protects the most vulnerable and have no truck with people on benefits at all, that has always been obvious from my past posts, and I have been slated for them.

I understand you in no way condone his actions.

That's not what this post is about.

It's about others who've expressed a sentiment that there shouldn't be custodial sentences for people who commit theft of this level.

I understand the fallout for the family, my god, how horrible for them!

But it's not excusable to do this.

Who couldn't use that sort of money?

We were looking at camping out with a 10-month-old baby in Scottish winter, fgs, not how to pay a big mortgage because our thieving husband and father was in prison!

You want to know stress?! My god, I cried filling boxes with my kids' little toys, wondering if I shouldn't just give them away.

I thought of killing myself almost daily, I felt I'd failed the children I'd been blessed with so badly they'd be better off without my sorry ass.

But to thieve not a loaf of bread or a shitty cash-in-hand cleaning job or till job in Wilko's to buy Christmas presents but fecking £20,000-£60,000?!

I hope everything works out for his family, for the sake of the children especially.

But man, that's a shedload of money.

Again, I wish them the best and I hope you've gotten lots of help here.

I know tomorrow he will likely be put in prison and hope he can rebuild life from there.

But I also hope he has to pay this back and learns from this BIG mistake.

Wigeon Thu 24-Sep-09 20:23:13

You might find Action for Prisoners' Families can answer some of your questions on behalf of your SIL.

Wigeon Thu 24-Sep-09 20:23:48

They've got a freephone helpline.

mathanxiety Fri 25-Sep-09 06:40:22

Your brother doesn't sound as if he's dealing with any of this very well -- for you to find out about his crime through another sister makes me wonder how the extended family operates and communicates. Justice will be served in the case of the brother -- seems to me it's his wife and children who really, really need contact and practical help, and it seems to me also that this family doesn't do contact very well. Time to pick up the phone, OP, and rack your brains about really helping the wife and children your brother will leave behind. I agree with Higgle's last post -- they will bear the brunt of the consequences for your brother's actions. Don't just throw up your hands and assume all you can do is have the children to your house for a break sometime.

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 25-Sep-09 07:01:12

Agree you need to speak to him, maybe be the person he cn say all his fears to as I'm sure he is trying to be brave for his wife. Re benefits, there are online assessemtns that can be done as well as applying online and then someone calls you back. In fact I am sure that prisoners can claim some too!

Could you get to your brothers this weekend, just be there for them and let them know they only have to ask/call.

He's lucky to have you as a sister!

TracksuitLover Fri 25-Sep-09 09:14:07

I am so sorry that what I said about him not directly hurting anyone has caused offence and upset sad blush, and that I have made things worse by my comments.

I was trying to make OP feel less worried about when her brother comes out, because people are less likely to demonise him forever for what he has done than they are to demonise someone who has directly (physically and emotionally) hurt someone (eg my brother sad).

Perhaps I shouldn't get involved in threads which are so close to home.

rubymoon Fri 25-Sep-09 09:48:14

Thankyou to every one who has passed on their advice and support ( especially those with personal experience as I am beginning to see that even being related to someone who has committed a crime can lead to people judging you - although here on mumsnet I am glad to say you have been very fair and thoughtful )

Mumsnet - May-be a new topic for families of prisoners would help. The stigma makes this a difficult subject in real life and I am sure lots suffer in silence.

My brothers sentencing has been put back to October, so I will have a chance to visit him before this and have a really good chat let him know that I will still be there when he gets out as will everyone else who matters.

The ammount of money involved was an estimate by the prosecution so I dont know how in proportion that was ( I only mentioned it as I wanted to get some idea of what sentence he would get ). All that I can say about that is, there was no sign of a change in lifestyle - modest 3 bed semi, old car, no holidays, no designer wardrobe! I am as baffled by the ammount as you are but there were no clues - maybe this is something we will have to discuss.

Just a bit of a curve ball - what would someone you love have to do ( crime wise ) for you to walk away and never look back as I believe most people would behave exactly as my family have in our circumstances - I think we are quite normal in that it didnt cross our minds not to support him but I guess we would have our limits.

LordPanofthePeaks Fri 25-Sep-09 10:14:59

IT is magnificent as human beings just how we DO express our loyalties to loved ones - I've worked with people in prison and on release licences for a long time, and it is excellent ot witness just what people do for family, even whe nthey have done pretty vile stuff.
ruby - I'm not sure there are limits! IT is impossible for me to see any day when I would turn my back on dd. I see that people have to protect themselves for being damaged, but not refusing any assistance at all is not contemplatable?

also I susppect his defence barrister is looking at the possibility of a suspended sentence. I think the probation officer writing the pre-sentence report will have to be brave and disagree with the judge re necessary protection of the public stuff.

FiveGoMadonTheDanceFloor Fri 25-Sep-09 11:25:08

We have no contact with DH's sister and her husband (the one that went to prison) as they have no concept of morals at all. He forged DH's signiture on a loan agreement for £25K and then reneged on paying it back, needless to say the bank started proceedings on us and with the help of a great solicitor managed to get to the truth.

Sadly this has led to the break down of any relationship with DH and his father and step mother.

TracksuitLover Fri 25-Sep-09 13:10:43

Before it happens to someone in your family it is easy to say you would 'lock them up and throw away the key'. I used to think I would say this about anyone who did what my brother did.

I did 'forgive' him too quickly at first because I was in denial about all the bad things he had done. The denial was because I found it too hard to face up to fully.

I now don't forgive and don't forget everything but can't bring myself to cut off all support. I still feel something that I haven't been able to 'switch off'.

Whether you stand by the person must depend on whether you feel they are sorry for what they did mustn't it? If they are making big efforts to change, like my brother, I feel that I should support him in this.

I think that if anyone does anything bad involving children I could never forgive that and would turn my back on the person. But it does worry me because I thought I wouldn't forgive someone who did what my brother did but I did at first!

rubymoon Fri 25-Sep-09 14:43:43

Five go mad, how horrid for you - did his sister know anything about what he was doing? I hope he one day realises what hes lost and says sorry. I think if there is no genuine remorse then it makes forgiveness hard if not impossible.

tracksuit - I have had to read comments - elsewhere - that my brother is a disgusting thieving scumbag. It makes me feel angry and sad, hopefully his children NEVER read it. You are a good person to stand by your brother, with a bit of support they are far less likely to re-offend - but it is hard!!!! could never discuss this at the school gate!

It is a bit unreal now as he is not in jail yet so it feels like it could all easily go back to normal and we could pretend it never happened. With the jails full at the moment there must be so many people like us out there!

randomtask Fri 25-Sep-09 15:23:39


I've been reading this and thought of a charity that my church sometimes gets involved with. They're called Angel Tree and look after the families of I don't know entirely what they do (we send presents for the prisoners children) but I know the Mothers Union are big fans of them which makes me think they must be good.

I hope that you can just be there for your brother and his family. It's not easy and it doesn't mean you have to agree with what he did, just remember you're his sister.

AsbestIcan Sat 26-Sep-09 18:07:59

There is a very good website for people with a loved one in prison. It's called Prison Chat UK

You have to become a member in order to post or read posts.

All the members have someone in prison or going through the court system. Many unfortunately have been dealing with this for several years and they have a huge amount of hard won knowledge of all you are going through both practical and emotional.

Even if you feel it's not for you it might be a lifeline for your sister in law.

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