Sunday 25 February 2024
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‘Inspirational’ former offender reunited with police officer who arrested her

A Nottinghamshire police officer has been reunited with someone he arrested a decade ago who has turned their life around.

PC Glenn Turner was covering Worksop as a response officer in 2014 when a call came in about a series of car break-ins.

After receiving information that a woman on a bike was involved, PC Turner attended the scene and spotted Sue Barton.

A stop and search then led to stolen property being found in her possession – and she was arrested and later charged with multiple thefts. She would go on to receive a 16 week prison sentence for the offences.

Nearly ten years on, PC Turner recently asked to be put in touch with Sue after finding out about how she’d changed her life since her arrest.

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Having struggled with addiction for over 25 years and been in and out of prison, the former offender has dedicated herself to recovering and helping others.

She now works as a support worker for other women going through rehab, with PC Turner recognising her mugshot on a poster promoting Christian recovery and asking to be put in touch.

Now himself a beat manager on the Retford neighbourhood policing team, PC Turner recently met up with Sue for a coffee to find out more about her amazing story.

He said:

“I was so impressed to hear how Sue has turned her life around and what she is doing to help women with similar issues to the ones she had when she was an offender in addiction.

“Over the last few years, I have dealt with countless people for theft offences that are clearly linked to drug use, but rather than just send them to court, I am always happy to help people that want to change.

“Sue’s story is inspirational to me and is one that I can tell people now who are in the same position she was in back in 2014. It was a pleasure to meet up with her and I’m really pleased to see the positive strides she’s made.”

As well as her role as a support worker in Wales, Sue has also previously run a women’s recovery home in Manchester and helped vulnerable women living in Germany to access support.

Speaking about her reunion with PC Turner, Sue said:

“When I was told that PC Turner had asked to meet me to congratulate me regarding  turning my life around, I was blown away.

“The first thing he said when we met was that I look like a different person, to which I said ‘that’s because I am a different person’. 

“I can’t take the credit though, because I’m only who I am today by the saving power of God’s grace.

“The Bible states, ‘this means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone, a new life has begun’.

“That’s what I have now, a totally new life.”

The duo’s reunion was set up by retired detective Lawson Main, who made PC Turner aware of Sue’s story and who works with him at a Christian support centre in Retford for people with substance issues.

Lawson said:

“Sue had been in addiction for 27 years, in and out of prison for 15 years, and living in derelict buildings or on the streets for 10 years.

“It’s been a hard journey towards recovery, but fuelled by faith, she has become the person she is today.

“Glenn was so happy for Sue and so impressed with the way she has turned her life around that he asked if it was possible to meet her, so that he could congratulate her.

“It was a beautiful reconciliation and was such a joy and privilege for me to be at that meeting.

“This is what I love about our local policing teams. They really are empathetic and supportive of offenders who are prepared to seek change and encourage them to do so.”

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