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To not write the letter

(60 Posts)
blacksheep2014 Mon 28-Nov-16 15:23:39

My brother broke into my home last year. He caused damage to my car, stole my ipad, my partners watch, our passports and some other stuff. He also smashed our bedroom window with a golf club. About £1000 worth in total.

He has long standing drug addiction issues which have led to mental health issues and he's been treated in hospital 3 times, once for nearly 5 months as an inpatient. He doesn't have a diagnosis beyond drug induced psychosis.

My mum has kept in contact with him over the past year, supporting him financially on a small scale but mainly daily phone calls and emotional support. As he's been on bail all this time with the condition of no contact I haven't spoken to him. My mum has always said that a condition of her support is that he plead guilty at the next opportunity so we dont have to have a trial, where I would be cited as a witness.

He has a pre trial hearing on Wednesday. My mum has asked me to write a letter to the court explaining that I forgive him and that he was mentally ill at the time of his.crime. Apparently he and his lawyer need this letter...

The goalposts have moved. If I dont write the letter he's going to plead not guilty. My mum is refusing for there to be any consequences for my brother in terms of their relationship if he does this. Saying she is supporting both of us and won't chose between her children.

There's a huge backstory of my brothers antics and we've always tried to keep my relationships with my parents really seperate and not defined by the chaos he brings. I don't fall out with my parents over him and I've, up until last year, had a big role in the practicalities of keeping him safe. This isn't about resentment.

I feel like to write the letter would be to hand control back to him. He has never faced the consequences of anything in his life. He's in his late 20s now and has had issues surrounding drugs for the last 14 years. As a family I feel we enable him and to that end I dont want to write the letter. I really worry about the consequences for mine and mums relationship tho confused


Amithenormalone Mon 28-Nov-16 15:27:49

I think for his sake you don't write the letter. He's not going to finally hit that moment ( if he ever does not everyone does) that he relizes what he's doing to himself and everyone else if he keeps getting away with things.

ThatStewie Mon 28-Nov-16 15:28:13

I wouldn't write the letter for all the reasons above. There is a line between supporting family and enabling them. Unfortunately, it sounds like your parents have crossed it.

EstrangedSister Mon 28-Nov-16 15:30:28

I agree with Ami - if you write the letter you're protecting him from the consequences of his actions and he won't learn anything from this, and indeed will carry on with his behaviour towards you and your DM. It's not your responsibility to protect him and your DM asking you to do so is incredibly unfair. You can't let the fear of this affecting your relationship with your DM coerce you into doing this.

Witchend Mon 28-Nov-16 15:31:01

I would have thought you could probably write a letter saying you forgive him however it caused this amount of trauma/damage etc.

Any judge that takes a family member's letter saying he wasn't responsible because of his mental health as read when there's no diagnosis isn't really doing their job. I wouldn't have thought it would make a blind bit of difference.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 28-Nov-16 15:32:41

Don't write the letter. It's coercion and is frankly illegal for someone to try to convince you to basically change your evidence.

StefCWS Mon 28-Nov-16 15:33:07

for his sake dnt write the letter, he will then think that to get what he wants he just has to beg. He needs to learn to accept responsibility for what he did. It works well that your mum wont choose between you both, that means if you don't write the letter your no worse off :-)

LagunaBubbles Mon 28-Nov-16 15:35:26

Do you forgive him? I would find it pretty unforgivable actually so would be lying if I was told to write a letter like that.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 28-Nov-16 15:35:27

I'd let the prosecution know - isn't what he's asking you to do illegal? If you write it he'll admit he's guilty but if you don't he'll deny it? Isn't that proving that he is guilty?

VeryBitchyRestingFace Mon 28-Nov-16 15:35:38

I wouldn't write the letter.

Incidentally, did your brother replace the goods he destroyed or did you have to claim on insurance?

TheCatsBiscuits Mon 28-Nov-16 15:37:18

No. Don't write the letter. Is your mum planning to beg all future victims of your brother's criminal activity to say, 'No, honestly, it's fine, he's a bit delicate'?

Sirzy Mon 28-Nov-16 15:41:34

If he had come to you and apologised and sincerely asked for help then I would have considered it. He is getting your mum to act as a middle woman though which isn't fair.

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Mon 28-Nov-16 15:43:16

If his lawyer needs this letter surely he/ she should be getting in touch with you not your mum. IT could be construed as intimidation of a (potential) witness.
Whether you forgive him or not is irrelevant as to whether he's guilty or not - sounds more about victim impact which would only become relevant if he pleaded guilty or (in the case of him pleading not guilty and there being a trial) was found guilty and then would be used by the judge or magistrates for sentencing. .

rollonthesummer Mon 28-Nov-16 15:47:55

I wouldn't write it. Have you got the stolen /damages good back/replaced?

VeryBitchyRestingFace Mon 28-Nov-16 15:50:12

You could write the letter, only to find he pleads NG anyway. And keeps the letter to produce in the event he is convicted.

HandbagCrazy Mon 28-Nov-16 15:51:30

So your DB is manipulating your DM into trying to manipulate you? He knows you care about your DM and he knows you won't want a trial as it will upset her. How horrible!

Don't write the letter. Tell your DM the truth - what if you write that letter and there's a trial anyway? You don't forgive him, so the letter would be a lie.

It's understandable that she doesn't want to choose, but he broke into your home. If it was anyone else I'm sure she'd be furious on your behalf. Does she realise that you writing the letter is essentially telling him he can do it again and it'll be ok, you won't want him to face consequences? Is that what's happened all his life?
It sounds harsh but it's time that he realised he isn't entitled to your protection.

PatriciaHolm Mon 28-Nov-16 15:53:37

If you don't believe it, don't write it. No good can come of it unless you truly believe what you are writing.

blacksheep2014 Mon 28-Nov-16 15:54:16

We weren't insured. Our fault. The goods haven't been replaced. He hasn't been allowed direct contact so I've only had feedback from mum about how sorry he is. After the incident we had 6 months of carnage and criminal activity, some of which has so far resulted in community service and fines, others are still to come to court. I'm not sure about the legality of the request and I have left a message for victim support to find out.

I don't think any letter would make a huge difference, just his guilty plea...

My worry is that without the letter I will have to be a witness in court. That won't be an easy experience and this could.realistically result in his first custodial sentence. He's commited worse crimes but they've yet to come to trial. Sorry to drip feed.

Timeforabiscuit Mon 28-Nov-16 15:57:21

No, if you write a letter, write a letter you want to write, do not give it to your mother or to his solicitor - he caused damage to you, that should be recognised.

Has he replaced goods, apologised in a meaningful way, made good on what he's done or taken responsibility in any way?

Is he engaged in a drug treatment programme?

There are dual diagnosis programmes as the links between some mental health conditions and drug addiction are well known, but its an explanation not an excuse , it simply means he needs support for two issues in tandem.

Having this done by a family member makes everything so much harder, but I cant see why you should remain in a sway to your brothers needs given his actions.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 28-Nov-16 15:57:46

There's a very good reason his lawyer hasn't asked you for this...

Don't write the letter. It's not helping him; it's shielding him from the realities of what he's done. In your 20's is late enough to realise that actions have consequences... don't let him get any older.

HellonHeels Mon 28-Nov-16 16:00:42

I would think you could still be called as a witness, regardless of the letter.

As PPs have said, it would not be surprising if despite getting the letter he still pleaded not guilty. I wouldn't write it. His own actions will lead to a custodial sentence, not your letter or lack of or you giving evidence.

Sounds a really horrible situation flowers

January87 Mon 28-Nov-16 16:00:57

Why are you worried about being a witness in court?

EdmundCleverClogs Mon 28-Nov-16 16:01:25

I would write a letter to the judge. I would say how you love your brother but cannot put aside what he has done and the hurt he has caused by his actions. I would say it is time he accepted responsibility for his poor choices in life, and when he does you will be there as his sister with love and open arms. However, since he has shown you no remorse in the weeks leading up to the trial, no willingness in changing his behaviour or finding help, in fact tried to emotionally blackmail you, you cannot show forgiveness at this moment. It will only enable his self destructive behaviour further and it's your belief that any family help on your end has come to an end at this time.

Whatever you decide to do, do it because it's your choice, not because you have been emotionally bullied into it. If he chooses to plead not guilty and is (likely) to be found guilty, he'll be in even more trouble. If he's willing to risk that, and your future relationship, because he can't deal with the consequences of his actions, that's up to him as an adult.

Inertia Mon 28-Nov-16 16:02:49

No, don't write the letter. He needs to face the consequences of his actions.

Your mum needs to be very careful that she doesn't appear to be blackmailing you, given that you are a victim of a crime which is about to go to court- telling you to write the letter or else he changes his plea doesn't sound entirely above board.

Timeforabiscuit Mon 28-Nov-16 16:03:15

If it ends up as a custodial sentence, that is on his actions and absolutely nothing to do with yours.

I know acting as a witness sounds scary, my husband needed to do it involving a family member- but it needed to be done and in the event it was fairly low key.

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