Caught in the Crossfire Crimewatch


Caught in the Crossfire

Ahead of the sentencing of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, Kirsty Young goes behind the headlines to meet survivors of some of the most shocking crimes in living memory.


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Transcript


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Behind every crime lies a hidden story -

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one that goes beyond the news headlines.

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Tomorrow, Anders Breivik will be sentenced for his attack in Norway.

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77 died, but what happened to the hundreds of survivors?

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Last month, 12 were killed at a Batman film screening in Colorado,

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but it's the ones who escaped with their lives

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who have to live with the memory.

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Once the cameras have moved on and the lights are down,

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it's those who are left who have to pick up the pieces.

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Here on Crimewatch we see hundreds of people who've been caught in the crossfire,

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but what happens in the months and years after?

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In this programme, I'm going to meet with survivors

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as they share the moments when their lives were changed in an instant.

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From the Cumbrian shootings by taxi driver Derrick Bird...

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The sight of the explosion coming from the end of the barrels.

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I remember the heat.

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White. White hot, too.

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..to the real IRA shooting of unarmed soldiers...

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RAPID GUNFIRE

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..ambushed as they collected pizza outside their barracks.

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As I put my hand up, like this,

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they shot through my hand and skimmed my head.

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I'm dead. That's what I thought.

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They'll share their journeys of recovery,

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from the New Year drive-by shooting in Birmingham almost a decade ago...

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It changed my life.

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And it changed my life forever.

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I just don't talk to anyone about it, I just keep it all inside.

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..to the murder of toddler James Bulger.

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I'll be meeting his mother to see how nearly 20 years

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of fighting for justice has shaped her life.

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I am a mum. I've got three boys there who need me.

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I will not let Thompson and Venables

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ruin what I've got in my life now because I HAVE moved on.

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This is a story about human resilience,

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our ability to fight back

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and find new opportunity in the face of loss.

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Can survivors of violent crime ever truly recover?

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Sh...

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What are you doing?

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This programme contains some strong language

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This programme contains some scenes which some viewers may find upsetting

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'Good evening. The two soldiers killed in Northern Ireland

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'over the weekend have been named as Sapper Patrick Azimkar

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'and Sapper Mark Quinsey. Police investigating the murders

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'have revealed that dozens of shots were fired in the attack...'

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March 2009. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

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These soldiers were about to fly to Afghanistan.

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They'd stepped outside their barracks

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to collect a pizza delivery, a final home comfort.

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But moments after this CCTV image was recorded,

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they were attacked by the Real IRA.

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Two of them died at the scene.

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Mark is one of the survivors. He was seriously injured

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and discharged from the army on medical grounds,

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but when he returned to his hometown in South Wales

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it was the mental trauma that hit him the hardest.

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There it is.

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That blue door.

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I lived up in that top left-hand flat...

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..for about four months.

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Where I spent my darkest days.

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Mark witnessed the execution of his best friend, Pat,

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and since that day he's been battling with survivor guilt.

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After I got shot, I've put on four stone.

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You know, I've had kidney problems, stomach problems.

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I've had beards down to here, I've had...you know.

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I just lost all control of myself

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and, you know, I was just...

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Just quite scruffy, really.

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Whoever I thought weren't a nice person, I'd...you know.

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I'd take the law into my own hands, which I shouldn't have.

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-Do you think you may be felt that you shouldn't be alive?

-Yeah.

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I was walking around thinking I was like a ghost

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for the first year or two.

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I just didn't think I was...alive.

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It was such a mad experience.

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It brings so much... The physical stuff...

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The mental side of it - why did I survive? Why me?

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Why not one of the others, you know?

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After the attack, Mark started getting into fights.

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I was very afraid that night and, you know, I'm a man,

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I've never been that afraid before and it took a dent out of my manhood.

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I quite possibly wanted to prove to myself, you know,

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that I was, you know...a man, like.

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Five years I'd been in the army and I hadn't done anything,

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you know, as a soldier I just wanted to get out there

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and do what I was supposed to do.

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Just in case, for instance, you don't come home,

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you've got to pack all your boxes

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into a military box and a civilian box,

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so, like, you prepare for that.

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We were doing, sort of, letters to your loved ones,

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which wasn't to be opened unless you died.

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Obviously it was dangerous, but you'd been training so long for it

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you just wanted to get out there and get going,

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but it ended before it began, really, for me,

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but I was looking forward to it. I was.

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Mark was about to embark on his first tour of Afghanistan.

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His regiment, the 38th Royal Engineers,

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was packed down and their flight only a few hours away.

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We just thought we may as well get a final supper,

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so to speak, before we went to Afghan.

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But as Mark and his friends went to pick up the pizzas,

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they walked straight into an ambush.

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Well, I didn't actually see it - I just heard everything.

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The minute you heard that sound, what did you think it was?

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A falling tree or something like that. Because of the echo.

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RAPID GUNFIRE

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The Real IRA unleashed a hail of automatic weapon fire.

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The soldiers were cornered and unarmed.

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As Mark fell to the ground, his best friend, Pat,

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landed on top of him, taking the initial gunfire.

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I thought, "What the hell am I in?" You know? I didn't know what to do.

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I seen they were executing people on the floor.

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RAPID GUNFIRE

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I knew if I'd run I'd get killed,

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so I jumped in the car for cover

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and the guy looked inside the car - he was literally by the bonnet.

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-This is the killer?

-Yeah.

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He was by the bonnet and he just looked at me

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and when I seen his eyes... Oof.

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He just slowly, as if not a care in the world,

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walked around to the driver's side of the window,

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finished my best mate off.

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I was trying to get out the other side of the door.

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I managed to grip the other guy by his belt, pull him over

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so just his, sort of, bum was showing

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and he just shot through all the car,

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shot me four times, shot him a couple of times.

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I've been shot in the lung, I've been shot in the shoulder.

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It was as if I got hit on the head with a shovel.

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It was just constantly ringing.

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As I put my hand up like this,

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he shot through my hand and skimmed my head.

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"I'm dead." That's what I thought.

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I accepted it. It was as if... sort of, a weight had been lifted.

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I just decided, you know, to relax and then I thought -

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something came over me -

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I just thought, "Not today," type of thing and I just got up.

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At least, I was thinking, I'll die trying, innit?

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As you ran away, was there time to think about your friend?

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I glanced towards Pat just to... Just to... I don't know.

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See if he was all right, but obviously I knew I weren't all right.

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I knew the circumstances.

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It's not as if I could have just stopped, you know?

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I kind of expected - I knew - I'd seen bullet holes in him.

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If I was stood in a different way to where the first gunshots happened,

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I would have died, and say Pat or Mark was standing where I was,

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it would have given them that chance to survive, do you know what I mean?

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You know, like, Pat was my shield, type of thing.

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I know he wouldn't have wanted me to die.

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SIRENS WAIL

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PANICKED SHOUTING

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More than 60 bullets were fired that night in just over 30 seconds.

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Despite having a punctured lung and four serious gunshot wounds,

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Mark had escaped with his life.

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But it's the loss he experienced that would have the greatest effect.

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Obviously I was expecting maybe to get shot in wars,

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something like that, but, you know, it was such a mad experience.

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It still hasn't sunk in, to be honest.

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It's made me not want to die alone.

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-Yeah, it has made me... Sorry.

-It's all right.

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BABY CRIES

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All right.

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Do you want me to have him?

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One year after the shooting, Mark met Sophie

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and this year he became a dad.

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Sh...

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What are you doing?

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CRYING STOPS

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I knew you'd hit Daddy. He likes hitting me in the face.

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BABY STARTS CRYING

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Since we've had the baby we haven't had no bad dreams

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or we haven't woken up crying,

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cos, you know, he's not thinking about it, I suppose.

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He's more thinking about the baby.

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When I cry, I don't bawl my eyes out, like.

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-I just... You know, I'm upset.

-Yeah, OK.

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-OK.

-A bit teary.

-Bit teary, yeah.

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At first it was hard, because,

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-you know, because...

-I was a bit unpredictable.

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I'd just go down the shop

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-and all of a sudden I would end up drinking all night and day.

-Yeah.

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It was obviously frustrating for her.

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-You're engaged. You've got a new baby boy.

-Yeah.

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Just a few weeks old now, how's he doing?

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He's pukka.

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He's crying a bit, but that's what you expect.

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-You doing the feeds?

-Yeah.

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-I just do the day feeds.

-OK. The easy shift.

-Yeah.

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-He's lush.

-Perfect.

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When she was pregnant, I never...

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you can't get your head round having a kid, until he's actually there.

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And then you think, "Whoa!" It's a baby, I've got to look after.

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I think, when we going to give him back? But he's here for life!

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It's bad, like. This is it now.

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Which I'm happy with.

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I was thinking about going to college in September, so,

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I'm not sure yet, I'd best get a move on.

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You know, get picking a course and that.

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Pretty soon, I'll be, y'know...

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I think, it's only work that's separating me from being,

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not fully recovered, but back on...

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the right path.

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If you and I were to meet in ten years' time

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and we were to sit down, what would you like to tell me

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about your life, what would you like the next ten years to be?

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I think, in the next ten years, y'know,

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Blake would be a good kid,

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I'd be married,

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job, just like, a normal person.

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He's called Pat, middle name, after my best friend that died that night.

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It's like you lose one best friend and now I've got another.

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Circle of life.

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Family can be an inspiration.

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They can give us purpose.

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For Mark, they have helped him see a life beyond the tragedy.

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And although people respond to trauma in unique ways,

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the thing they have in common is their desire

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to get back to normal.

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'Tonight at 10.

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'12 people murdered in Cumbria'

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and 11 injured as a gunman goes...

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I remember being in the crash room

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and I remember being in some sort of neck brace, because I couldn't move

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and I remember them talking about my arm and I came round and I said,

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"I don't want to lose my hand and I don't want to lose my arm", and then I went back under again.

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They said I could keep my hand.

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It would be a living hand.

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I wouldn't be able to use it for anything.

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But it would just be there, y'know?

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And I said no,

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I'd rather it be taken off altogether.

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Two years ago, Derrick Bird,

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a taxi driver from Whitehaven,

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went on a shooting rampage.

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Without warning, he shot at random along a 52-mile corridor of West Cumbria,

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killing 12 and wounding 11.

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Among the survivors were a pub landlord and a taxi driver,

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both of them left with serious injuries

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and psychological scars.

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But what separates them is how they've responded

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and their individual struggles

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to find a new kind of normal.

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These are Terry and Harry's stories of survival.

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My life has already, to a certain degree, been shortened.

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I want time. Can you do me a favour, darling?

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Can you get that sticker of that apple? I can't get it off.

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Thank you.

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And, it's just ridding the body

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of all the nastiness.

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When Harry was shot, the blast destroyed his right hand

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and much of his arm.

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He's had microsurgery to get it working again,

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but, it's proving a slow and painful process.

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There we go. Apple peeled, cored, sliced.

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Ready to go. I decided to keep the arm.

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I had probably about 700 stitches, in me, all over.

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That was a complete rebuild there.

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That all came from here,

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the back of my legs, you know, all over,

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I've got the scars all over the place.

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It's very strange cos I got used to not having pain,

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or I had the pain, then I got used to not having the pain for,

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oh, over a year. Then, as the senses would come back,

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total pain. But perseverance is the key.

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Come on, dog.

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Harry runs a pub with his wife, Paddington.

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It's a young business which they've built up from scratch

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but since the attack, she's had to take on most of the work.

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There's been some interesting drunk moments

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where he's become another person. Slightly lively at points.

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It's just sheer hard work bearing in mind the business we're in.

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It's a hotel, it's a pub and you've got to...

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Well, we do enjoy it but if you don't enjoy it,

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the whole thing's just going to disappear.

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With two small children as well, you can't hide in a corner and cry

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cos they're not really going to appreciate that.

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That's not going to be good for them.

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You just have to make it a really...

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You just have to look forward, that's it.

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With the knowledge that it's not going to be OK today.

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I get very angry. Very angry. I have an incredibly short fuse.

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I did before, but I don't think it was this short.

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What sort of things make you angry? Is it physical frustrations?

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I still suffer a very large amount of pain.

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I have to keep active to stop that.

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If I stop being active, I get pain, and if I get pain, I get angry.

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Kids are always asking what happened to me, they're more interested.

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I told some of them that it was because I was naughty as a child.

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I didn't do what my mammy said so my arm fell off.

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I think they're behaving themselves, them kids, now.

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Despite losing his arm,

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Terry went back to work just nine months after the attack.

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I think he's brilliant.

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I actually think he's amazing because he's at work every day with one arm.

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Just rolling around in his car.

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All my mates get in his taxi and they're like,

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"Oh, my God. Just seen your dad."

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"Have you?"

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It's still sore.

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You still get phantom pain in it,

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where you think you can feel your fingers and what have you.

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Taking tablets for all that. I'm taking tablets...

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I don't know what they're for but they're certainly to stop me

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from thinking about it, some of them.

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Terry worked with Derrick Bird on the taxi rank

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and since the shooting,

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he's struggled to make sense of what happened.

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I knew Derrick very well.

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We used to go on holiday together and go out for a drink together.

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Always have a craic, you know what I mean.

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The not knowing, the not understanding

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why somebody who you thought you knew so well

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did something as awful as this, how do you cope with not knowing?

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I wasn't going to come today because I hadn't slept at all last night

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simply because of not knowing.

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It just keeps coming back to you.

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Sometimes you just don't sleep at all.

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Other times, you'll go to sleep and you won't wake up.

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It can work both ways. It's as if your brain's saying,

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"Don't wake up, you don't have to think about it,"

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you know what I mean? It's crazy.

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Tell me about the morning of that day.

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How did that day begin for you?

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It was a day that I needed to go to the bank,

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I needed to go to the Post Office.

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Two minutes before, and actually with the engine started,

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the children closed the doors of the car and said,

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"We're not coming, Dad. "We're going to stay behind."

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With his children safely at home, Harry set off for Whitehaven.

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Meanwhile, Terry had just picked up a passenger.

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It was my second call when I picked Emma up.

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She was going to the doctor's.

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The first thing I heard coming over the taxi radio was,

0:21:430:21:46

"They've shot him."

0:21:460:21:48

To which I thought something had happened on EastEnders

0:21:480:21:50

the night before or something.

0:21:500:21:52

I didn't realise it was happening in our town.

0:21:520:21:55

People in Whitehaven and Egremont are being urged to stay indoors

0:21:550:21:59

following reports of a shooting...

0:21:590:22:01

By 10:30, Bird had already shot five people.

0:22:080:22:13

Now Harry and Terry were in his path.

0:22:130:22:17

There's a tunnel bridge in Seascale.

0:22:170:22:20

Could see a car coming down and I could see its taxi stripes

0:22:200:22:23

and thought, can't be bothered to argue with a taxi.

0:22:230:22:26

I could see a police car coming down with the lights on.

0:22:370:22:39

I was going, "What the Hell's that?" I noticed Derrick's car in front.

0:22:390:22:44

I said to Emma, "What's he been up to now?"

0:22:440:22:48

Them buggers are after him for speeding or something, you know.

0:22:480:22:51

He waved at me to stop.

0:22:510:22:55

I do shoot, and I saw just a pair of barrels.

0:23:000:23:05

As I turned round,

0:23:160:23:18

there was a double-barrelled shotgun right up against my window.

0:23:180:23:22

It was like a massive blowing sensation.

0:23:340:23:40

It was somebody throwing a cup of salt or pellets

0:23:400:23:43

or little pebbles in your face.

0:23:430:23:46

-Right.

-It was the smell. Instantly, it was the smell.

0:23:460:23:49

It was the smell of cordite. I remember the heat, white.

0:23:490:23:54

White hot too.

0:23:540:23:56

I was so badly covered in blood, of course,

0:23:580:24:00

the police went under the car,

0:24:000:24:02

went to the passenger side to get Emma out.

0:24:020:24:05

She was shot in the arm,

0:24:050:24:07

she got some in the side of her face as well.

0:24:070:24:10

She was covered in me mostly, you know what I mean?

0:24:100:24:14

I can't stop thinking about your children who were not sitting...

0:24:160:24:19

Trust me.

0:24:190:24:20

If anything had happened to them, that would have...

0:24:220:24:26

I would never have forgiven myself, ever.

0:24:260:24:29

In fact, I'm not sure if anything had happened to them,

0:24:290:24:32

I'm not sure that necessarily I would have wanted to continue.

0:24:320:24:35

I just looked down, I seen bits of my hand were missing,

0:24:370:24:43

blood absolutely pissing out everywhere.

0:24:430:24:45

Mick, he put his belt around my arm.

0:24:450:24:50

-This was a policeman?

-A tourniquet, yeah.

0:24:500:24:53

He sat me down and he held my arm up above me.

0:24:530:24:56

Slows the blood flow.

0:24:560:24:57

I was taken into a nearby shop, put on the floor in there.

0:25:010:25:05

I waited 90 minutes for the air ambulance to arrive.

0:25:050:25:08

-Which seemed like how long?

-Oh, weeks.

0:25:080:25:11

Absolutely weeks, but also seconds, at the same time.

0:25:110:25:16

There was a lot of blanking.

0:25:180:25:21

There was a lot of thinking...

0:25:210:25:24

of things.

0:25:240:25:26

I never went unconscious. I did... I did want to.

0:25:260:25:31

Sometimes I could feel myself going.

0:25:310:25:35

There was people passing.

0:25:350:25:37

I was trying... I had some duck eggs in the car.

0:25:370:25:41

About four dozen duck eggs in the car I had brought down

0:25:410:25:44

for someone who wanted to buy them off me.

0:25:440:25:47

I knew I wasn't going to get to them so I was telling people

0:25:470:25:50

who were passing to take the eggs out of the car.

0:25:500:25:53

Don't let them go to waste, you know what I mean?

0:25:530:25:56

I do remember at one very drunken point turning around and saying,

0:25:580:26:02

"Listen, guys, I can't thank anybody here enough for what they've done

0:26:020:26:05

"but please will somebody just get me a fucking ambulance."

0:26:050:26:09

It was...

0:26:090:26:11

-That's hard, that bit. Just hold on a sec.

-Sure thing.

0:26:140:26:19

-Sorry.

-No, just let me know.

0:26:210:26:24

It's hard purely and simply because you don't realise

0:26:240:26:27

at the time what people are prepared to do to keep you alive.

0:26:270:26:33

You know, I was lucky I'd got my hand up in front of my head to start with.

0:26:480:26:52

End of. If I hadn't have got my hand up, I was gone. Simple as.

0:26:520:26:56

Good reflexes. Should have been a goalkeeper.

0:26:560:27:00

HE LAUGHS

0:27:000:27:01

We're only here for as long as we're allowed to stay. Then you go.

0:27:040:27:10

Everybody's number comes up.

0:27:100:27:12

Running a pub can be a physical job,

0:27:220:27:24

so the injuries to Harry's arm are a constant reminder of the attack.

0:27:240:27:29

Can't fry an egg, can't chop a log, can't pull a pint.

0:27:290:27:34

It's as simple as that. I cannot do anything and it's...

0:27:340:27:38

But I'm here. I'm alive and I'm not complaining about that,

0:27:430:27:46

but it is terribly, terribly frustrating.

0:27:460:27:49

Derrick Bird committed suicide in the woods

0:27:540:27:57

just a stone's throw from Harry's family home.

0:27:570:28:00

His name is the Devil incarnate, as far as I'm concerned,

0:28:000:28:04

and rather than swearing at the Devil, I swear at him.

0:28:040:28:07

I mean, he's my Devil.

0:28:070:28:10

But, you know what,

0:28:140:28:18

he's not here, so it's not an issue.

0:28:180:28:22

Terry and his friends used to go out on fishing trips with Derrick Bird,

0:28:280:28:32

or Birdy as he was known amongst the taxi drivers.

0:28:320:28:36

Despite having only one arm, Terry continues

0:28:360:28:39

to do the things he enjoyed, but it's not as straightforward.

0:28:390:28:44

Everything is back to front, than used by this arm,

0:28:440:28:48

whereas I'm now going to use it by my left hand.

0:28:480:28:52

Everything is upside down and back to front.

0:28:520:28:55

His friend Brian helps on the boat and since the attack,

0:28:570:29:00

insists that Terry goes out to unwind.

0:29:000:29:05

-You've got to. If you don't, you end up like Birdy.

-That's right.

0:29:050:29:10

Your head would fill up with rubbish. You've got to let it out.

0:29:100:29:15

I don't blame him for what he done.

0:29:170:29:19

On a normal day, he wouldn't have done it.

0:29:190:29:22

Just something triggered in his head and he just wasn't him again.

0:29:220:29:27

But as I say, we've all got that demon somewhere.

0:29:270:29:31

Just need something to fire it off, isn't it?

0:29:310:29:34

What do you feel about the fact he took his own life at the end?

0:29:340:29:38

Well, why didn't he do that at the start? You know?

0:29:380:29:42

That's one thing that comes to mind.

0:29:420:29:45

It's a pity he did do it at the end because now we'll never find out.

0:29:470:29:52

Maybe if he'd left a letter or something before he had done it,

0:29:530:29:57

it would have helped everybody, I think.

0:29:570:30:00

But he didn't. He just took it with him.

0:30:000:30:02

For Harry, the fact that Bird is dead has made all the difference.

0:30:070:30:13

He ended his life 400 yards in that direction.

0:30:130:30:16

I've walked down there, take the dog for a walk,

0:30:160:30:19

go and walk the children, the children know where it was.

0:30:190:30:23

But they don't have to think about him

0:30:230:30:26

because I'm still here, that's number one to them.

0:30:260:30:29

Secondly, he's dead. Therefore, it's cut out.

0:30:290:30:32

Yeah, it's inside out.

0:30:320:30:34

'I'll never have to face in a court of law. I never have to see him'

0:30:340:30:38

being given a sentence that is reduced by half for good behaviour.

0:30:380:30:43

I'll never see that he's let out.

0:30:440:30:47

And my children will never have to know that person is still around.

0:30:480:30:53

And they are my inspiration.

0:30:540:30:57

And I don't want them to grow up with this sense of hatred,

0:30:570:31:02

of destructiveness, in their life.

0:31:020:31:05

And it's because of them that I will go to the length

0:31:050:31:12

that I am going to become as normal a dad as possible.

0:31:120:31:17

For them. Definitely.

0:31:170:31:19

Terry and Harry have shown incredible resilience

0:31:200:31:24

living through something most of us will never experience.

0:31:240:31:28

But actually surviving a violent crime is only the beginning

0:31:280:31:33

of the long road to recovery.

0:31:330:31:35

'Good evening.'

0:31:350:31:36

The police in Birmingham have got used to gun crime, but nothing like this.

0:31:360:31:40

In the early hours of this morning, they were called to a shooting

0:31:400:31:44

outside a party at a hairdressers' salon. They found two teenage...

0:31:440:31:49

The morning after New Year's Day 2003,

0:31:490:31:53

four girls were gunned down outside a party.

0:31:530:31:56

Two of them, Charlene Ellis

0:31:560:31:58

and Letisha Shakespeare, died at the scene.

0:31:580:32:01

But Charlene had a twin sister, Sophie, who was also shot.

0:32:010:32:05

And this is her story of survival.

0:32:070:32:10

"I remember having a brief conversation with one of the paramedics from the ambulance team

0:32:100:32:16

"who had brought me into hospital.

0:32:160:32:18

"She quietly told me that my sister had been shot too.

0:32:180:32:22

"And that she didn't make it. My whole body went numb.

0:32:220:32:27

"I heard her loud and clearly, but she said it to me

0:32:270:32:32

"and it did not register."

0:32:320:32:34

-Where you close?

-Very. We used to argue a lot but we were very close.

0:32:360:32:41

We would argue one minute and then talk the next.

0:32:410:32:44

I'm lucky. She's a part of me. I think about her every day.

0:32:440:32:48

I still say I'm her twin.

0:32:490:32:51

Because I am.

0:32:510:32:53

It's hard to forget about someone that you was in the womb with.

0:32:530:32:58

I can't just forget about it.

0:32:580:33:01

Nearly ten years ago,

0:33:120:33:14

a Birmingham gang plotted a drive-by shooting of their rivals.

0:33:140:33:19

The Burger Bar Boys were seeking revenge

0:33:190:33:21

for the murder of one of their members.

0:33:210:33:25

The attack would have tragic consequences.

0:33:250:33:28

I'd like to ask you just to take me through the evening.

0:33:280:33:33

-What did you get up to?

-We just were ready, excited to go,

0:33:330:33:36

had everything planned out, our clothes planned out,

0:33:360:33:40

we all had similar jackets and similar outfits.

0:33:400:33:45

We got to this party. I saw a particular person in there. He was...

0:33:450:33:49

To me, he was acting a bit weird,

0:33:500:33:53

which made me think something is not right.

0:33:530:33:58

Sophie had joined a private party at the back of a hairdressers'.

0:33:580:34:01

She had no idea

0:34:010:34:03

this was also the target location for the drive-by shooting.

0:34:030:34:06

The Burger Bar Boys were waiting for their chance to strike.

0:34:090:34:13

Rumours had spread that their rivals, the Johnson Crew,

0:34:200:34:24

would be at the party.

0:34:240:34:25

With a spotter in place, they waited for their cue.

0:34:270:34:31

Unknowingly, Sophie, Charlene and the others were about to walk into the line of fire.

0:34:330:34:38

TEXT ALERT

0:34:420:34:44

I didn't hear anything coming towards me.

0:34:500:34:55

I didn't hear like a gradual noise to say, this is happening,

0:34:550:34:59

get down on the floor. To me, it was in a blink of an eye,

0:34:590:35:02

and by the time I blinked, I was on the floor.

0:35:020:35:05

GUNFIRE

0:35:200:35:23

GUNFIRE

0:35:300:35:32

DISTANT SIRENS

0:35:390:35:41

I thought maybe everyone had a lucky escape.

0:35:410:35:45

Just thought that it was just me.

0:35:450:35:48

Bev - Sophie and Charlene's mother -

0:35:480:35:51

was fast asleep at home when the news came through.

0:35:510:35:54

I got a phone call at four o'clock in the morning.

0:35:540:35:59

When I heard "shot",

0:35:590:36:01

I thought - why would somebody want to shoot two girls?

0:36:010:36:05

When I got to the hospital, people was coming in the room

0:36:070:36:11

one by one to see me, like I was probably going to die.

0:36:110:36:15

Did any of the doctors, any of the surgeons, talk to you at the time?

0:36:150:36:19

-Did they explain to you what was happening?

-A paramedic spoke to me.

0:36:190:36:23

I must have asked her the question about Charlene.

0:36:230:36:27

I must have asked where she was. She said...

0:36:270:36:30

Something along the lines of, "It's not good news."

0:36:320:36:35

She said she was injured too and she didn't make it.

0:36:350:36:39

She told me that

0:36:390:36:41

but it was like when she told me, I didn't believe what she was saying.

0:36:410:36:44

I felt like... I didn't accept it.

0:36:440:36:47

All I could see was blood. Just blood everywhere.

0:36:470:36:50

And then I was told to go into the other room

0:36:520:36:56

to identify Charlene's body.

0:36:560:36:58

I didn't want to do that

0:36:580:37:00

because that's something I didn't ever think I would have to do.

0:37:000:37:04

Charlene and Letisha were dead, three others seriously injured.

0:37:060:37:11

During the gunfight, over 30 rounds were fired.

0:37:110:37:14

The gang had used a Mac 10 submachine gun,

0:37:140:37:17

also known as a "Spray and Pray".

0:37:170:37:20

Yet no-one from either gang was hurt.

0:37:200:37:23

You were shot four times. You had very severe injuries.

0:37:250:37:29

The surgery was successful. How was your recovery?

0:37:290:37:32

-How long were you in hospital for?

-Er...

0:37:320:37:35

I think I was in there for about four weeks in total. About four weeks.

0:37:380:37:43

And was there a point when you were in hospital that you did come to accept that your sister had died?

0:37:450:37:51

No.

0:37:510:37:53

Two years later, the case went to trial and four members

0:37:570:38:00

of the Burger Bar Boys were given life sentences, totalling 132 years.

0:38:000:38:06

But that wasn't the end for Sophie and her mother.

0:38:070:38:11

I think it was the day after the court case, a group of boys

0:38:140:38:17

came down and trashed Sophie's car and tried to put my windows in.

0:38:170:38:23

I felt fearful and scared because I'm thinking,

0:38:250:38:28

"What have I done wrong?"

0:38:280:38:31

I didn't do anything, so why are people trying to put my windows in?

0:38:310:38:35

There's been situations where I have been in church, for instance,

0:38:360:38:41

and some of the guys in there, relatives of the perpetrators,

0:38:410:38:45

saying things like, "There's the girl that got my cousin sent down."

0:38:450:38:50

And I'm thinking, "Well, I didn't do nothing."

0:38:500:38:55

For you, particularly, and what happened to your family, there were

0:38:550:38:59

very unusual circumstances, in that a half-brother of yours

0:38:590:39:02

was in the car belonging to the gang the shots were fired from.

0:39:020:39:06

That must have added an extra layer of complication to everything,

0:39:070:39:11

-I think. Would that be fair?

-Yeah, I would agree with that. Yeah.

0:39:110:39:16

Just the whole story and people saying, "The brother killed the sister."

0:39:160:39:20

Things like that. It's quite disturbing, to be honest.

0:39:200:39:23

To actually think about, OK, that happened.

0:39:230:39:26

I don't like to think about it, to be honest.

0:39:260:39:30

Have you spoken to her over these past ten years

0:39:300:39:33

about her feelings about losing her twin sister?

0:39:330:39:36

Is it something you're able to discuss with her?

0:39:360:39:39

I haven't spoken to Sophie about it.

0:39:390:39:42

How she's feeling, or... No, I just haven't.

0:39:430:39:47

No. I think it's because...

0:39:470:39:50

I think it's because...

0:39:510:39:54

I haven't...

0:39:570:39:59

I don't want to...

0:39:590:40:01

I don't want Sophie to offload on me.

0:40:030:40:07

I don't think I'd be able to take her offloading on me.

0:40:070:40:10

I think it would be better if she offloaded on someone else,

0:40:100:40:14

but offloading on me, I think it's going to have...

0:40:140:40:16

..an impact on me.

0:40:190:40:22

I just don't talk to anyone about it.

0:40:220:40:25

I just...keep it all inside.

0:40:250:40:28

Maybe one day I will.

0:40:300:40:32

But I think it's a thing where I need to be ready to talk about it.

0:40:320:40:36

I don't think I am ready.

0:40:360:40:39

Losing her twin was devastating for Sophie.

0:40:420:40:45

And to this day, she hardly ever talks about what happened.

0:40:450:40:49

But over the past decade, she's continued to witness

0:40:490:40:52

the destructive impact of gang culture on others.

0:40:520:40:57

A lot of things have happened since the incident

0:40:570:41:00

where young youths have lost their lives to gun crime as well.

0:41:000:41:05

And you're thinking, look at that.

0:41:050:41:08

That person... Was that Charlene? Do you know what I mean?

0:41:080:41:13

And then... They've lost their lives.

0:41:130:41:16

You just don't know when you're going to lose your life.

0:41:160:41:20

I am wary and mindful.

0:41:200:41:22

Seeing some of the social needs in her community,

0:41:240:41:27

Sophie recently decided to start mentoring young women.

0:41:270:41:32

Her experiences give her a unique perspective.

0:41:320:41:36

I've started shadowing other mentors to try

0:41:360:41:40

and support vulnerable young girls.

0:41:400:41:43

-Right.

-You know, a lot of them are young offenders.

0:41:430:41:51

Out of school, out of education.

0:41:510:41:54

And just, like, on the streets, really.

0:41:540:41:57

-Hi, Kirk.

-How are you?

0:41:590:42:01

Retired police officer Kirk Dawes has also seen

0:42:030:42:06

the effects of gun crime in the area.

0:42:060:42:08

He is now training Sophie, giving her the skills to support others.

0:42:080:42:12

I've watched Sophie since those awful days years ago.

0:42:120:42:18

You can't buy that sort of experience

0:42:180:42:20

and to want to give it back is unusual. It is rare.

0:42:200:42:25

Sophie, I know, doesn't think in terms of retaliation and revenge,

0:42:250:42:29

but how she moves her life forward and indeed the lives of others.

0:42:290:42:32

For me, it makes me feel good to know that I'm actually getting

0:42:320:42:38

this person to look at something on a different perspective and change

0:42:380:42:42

their attitude and change their life, change the way they think.

0:42:420:42:46

So, yeah.

0:42:460:42:48

Hopefully, I will make a difference.

0:42:480:42:51

Unlike the gang which killed her sister, Sophie didn't seek revenge.

0:42:550:42:59

She decided to go after something positive

0:42:590:43:02

and become part of the support network in her area.

0:43:020:43:06

But for other people, it is the pursuit of justice

0:43:060:43:10

which gives them a sense of purpose.

0:43:100:43:12

'The One O'Clock News from the BBC.

0:43:230:43:26

'Police say the Liverpool toddler James Bulger

0:43:260:43:29

'was horrifically murdered before being hit by a train.'

0:43:290:43:33

Almost 20 years ago, James Bulger, a two-year-old,

0:43:350:43:38

was abducted from the Strand shopping centre near Liverpool.

0:43:380:43:42

The toddler was tortured in ways unimaginable by 10-year-old boys,

0:43:420:43:47

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.

0:43:470:43:49

Two days later, his disfigured body was discovered on a railway track.

0:43:500:43:55

It was a crime that stunned the nation

0:43:570:44:00

and thrust James's mother into the spotlight.

0:44:000:44:03

I came here today because I felt my son James should be represented.

0:44:050:44:10

The loss she experienced drove her to spend almost two decades campaigning for justice.

0:44:100:44:15

It's about time I started getting answers. I am sick of them closing doors in me face.

0:44:150:44:20

So how has she coped with the years of continued hope and disappointment?

0:44:200:44:25

I would like to see them tried again in a court.

0:44:250:44:28

I would like to be in the courtroom while this is being done.

0:44:280:44:32

This is Denise and her story of survival.

0:44:320:44:34

I've done the best I could to be a mum to him.

0:44:450:44:48

Nothing was going to hurt him or happen to him.

0:44:480:44:52

You don't think for one minute that,

0:44:520:44:54

within a few hours, your whole life was going to be turned upside down.

0:44:540:44:59

In the days that surrounded James's killing,

0:45:000:45:03

you not only had to deal with an unimaginable

0:45:030:45:06

amount of personal trauma, you also had to deal with

0:45:060:45:10

an almost unprecedented amount of media interest.

0:45:100:45:12

Can you try to describe to me what a typical day was like?

0:45:120:45:16

In the beginning,

0:45:160:45:17

I refused to go outside the door, I locked myself in a bedroom.

0:45:170:45:20

The only time I came out was to use the bathroom.

0:45:200:45:23

When I did venture out, I had cameras shoved in my face.

0:45:240:45:27

You're wondering why people are not leaving you alone

0:45:270:45:30

and you're wondering why you haven't got that little boy around your feet.

0:45:300:45:35

It just feels like you're living in a total nightmare.

0:45:350:45:38

You just want to grieve, you just want to be by yourself,

0:45:380:45:42

you don't want the world seeing how you're looking.

0:45:420:45:45

I felt like I was living under a black veil,

0:45:450:45:48

underneath a massive black cloud that I couldn't shift.

0:45:480:45:52

I thought, this is my life now. This is what I've got to live with,

0:45:520:45:55

if I continue to live with it.

0:45:550:45:57

Denise was by then heavily pregnant with her second son Michael

0:45:570:46:02

and only attended court at the end of the Thompson and Venables trial.

0:46:020:46:06

My memories of the last day

0:46:060:46:08

was seeing Thompson and Venables stand in front of me.

0:46:080:46:11

They weren't too far.

0:46:110:46:13

I think if I stood up and reached out,

0:46:130:46:16

I would have been able to touch them.

0:46:160:46:18

I just remember their shoulders moving, they were sniggering.

0:46:180:46:21

I just thought, you find it funny,

0:46:210:46:23

you took a look young person's life and you think it's hilarious.

0:46:230:46:27

Thompson and Venables were sentenced to eight years in custody

0:46:380:46:42

until they reached adulthood, making them

0:46:420:46:44

the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history.

0:46:440:46:49

I thought it was an absolute joke.

0:46:490:46:51

I thought, my son's life was only worth eight years?

0:46:510:46:54

I thought, they've done an adult crime,

0:46:540:46:57

they should have done a lot longer sentence.

0:46:570:46:59

That's why I petitioned.

0:46:590:47:01

After the trial, Denise started lobbying for a longer sentence

0:47:010:47:05

and launched Justice For James.

0:47:050:47:09

It's time everyone started thinking about what they done.

0:47:090:47:12

They took a two-year-old's life.

0:47:120:47:15

They're just evil, in my eyes.

0:47:150:47:18

Determined, Denise launched a petition

0:47:180:47:22

and took thousands of signatures to the Home Office.

0:47:220:47:25

Their minimum jail term was raised to 15 years.

0:47:250:47:29

She had succeeded. For now.

0:47:300:47:32

On release, I would have said, they've done the time,

0:47:320:47:35

they have done time in an adult prison, there's nothing else I can do

0:47:350:47:38

and I would have been living a normal life now.

0:47:380:47:41

But the sentencing battle continued

0:47:410:47:43

until it was put back to the original eight-year term.

0:47:430:47:46

Throughout this period, Denise kept fighting.

0:47:460:47:50

Was there a point where you thought, "I've just got to leave this alone"?

0:47:500:47:54

-This is the justice system and I've got to get on with my life?

-No.

0:47:540:47:58

No, because it was my son I was fighting for.

0:47:580:48:01

No-one else was going to do it. He's not here to speak out.

0:48:010:48:04

I'll do it for him. I've always said that and I'll always do it for him.

0:48:040:48:07

The pressure of campaigning had affected her marriage

0:48:070:48:11

and Denise split up with James's father, Ralph.

0:48:110:48:15

Three years later, she married Stuart.

0:48:150:48:18

Sometimes, things do get on top of me still.

0:48:180:48:22

And I do take it out on Stuart. He is a good runner!

0:48:220:48:25

And I run just as quick as him!

0:48:250:48:27

He does have to put up with a lot and I always say to him,

0:48:270:48:31

when I first met Stuart, once he realised I was James's mum,

0:48:310:48:34

I said to him, "You don't have to stay.

0:48:340:48:37

"I have got to go through a lot in life. It's up to you."

0:48:370:48:42

But Stuart chose to stay and we've been happy ever since.

0:48:420:48:46

It's a really big thing, to say to somebody,

0:48:460:48:49

if you were falling for him and he was falling for you, to have that conversation, to say I understand

0:48:490:48:53

if this is too much. It must have been a big moment.

0:48:530:48:56

I thought, I don't want you to go through what I've been through, just thrown in the deep end.

0:48:560:49:01

I did explain to him what type of a life he would be living

0:49:010:49:05

if he married me. And he was fine by it.

0:49:050:49:08

With her new husband, Denise continued to fight for justice.

0:49:080:49:12

But in 2001, Thompson and Venables were released on licence,

0:49:120:49:17

under a witness protection-style programme. They were also given new identities.

0:49:170:49:22

The case was a hot potato. They didn't know how to handle it.

0:49:220:49:25

But they've protected them the best way they can, whereas they basically told me to get on with it.

0:49:250:49:30

I do remember just before they were released, one of the judges

0:49:300:49:33

turned round and said, "She's moved on and gone on to have more kids now.

0:49:330:49:38

"We need to protect these two," which really wound me up big-time.

0:49:380:49:41

I felt like standing up and screaming out in the court that day.

0:49:410:49:46

I just think, it's all wrong. That's why I really hate them so much.

0:49:460:49:51

They took James's life - they took him away from me -

0:49:510:49:55

-but they're still getting the best of everything.

-In light of the terrible thing that happened to you,

0:49:550:50:01

I wondered how easy it was to give your kids freedoms, to allow them

0:50:010:50:05

-to have that independence every kid needs.

-Michael has just turned 18.

0:50:050:50:09

He is only just being allowed out now.

0:50:090:50:12

Thomas and Leon aren't allowed out unless me, Stuart or both of us are with them.

0:50:120:50:17

Michael's just left school now and he's going to be looking for a job soon.

0:50:170:50:21

I'm thinking, there's no way you're slipping through my fingers just yet. I'm keeping hold of you.

0:50:210:50:28

In 2010, Venables broke the terms of this licence

0:50:280:50:31

and was jailed for possessing and distributing child pornography.

0:50:310:50:35

He is due for parole later this year.

0:50:350:50:38

After almost 20 years of battling with the legal system,

0:50:380:50:42

Denise has finally reached a turning point.

0:50:420:50:45

All the fighting and campaigning, I've never got anywhere with it.

0:50:450:50:50

Once I realised I wasn't going to get that justice, I had to do something nice in his name.

0:50:500:50:54

Last year, having moved on from Justice For James, she launched

0:50:540:50:59

a charity, offering disadvantaged children a free holiday.

0:50:590:51:04

-The badge has now changed and I've got a charity badge.

-What does the badge say?

-It just says "For James".

0:51:040:51:10

Everything that I do in the future is just going to be for James.

0:51:100:51:13

Just to see James's name, I know inside, it gives me a huge plus.

0:51:130:51:20

I thought, at last, I've done something in his name.

0:51:200:51:23

He's not just a memory any more. I can also see his name in gold.

0:51:230:51:26

-I wonder when you had time to grieve because...

-I never have.

0:51:280:51:33

I've never had...

0:51:330:51:35

I couldn't go out because the press were there

0:51:370:51:41

and when I was inside, I had Michael to consider.

0:51:410:51:45

I think what really got me through it was after the dark days,

0:51:450:51:49

I found out I was pregnant with Michael.

0:51:490:51:51

The dark days were still there but I had something inside me that I had to live for.

0:51:510:51:56

I needed this baby and this baby needed me. I had to be there for him.

0:51:560:52:01

I didn't want anything rubbed off onto him.

0:52:010:52:05

So really, I don't think I have ever grieved.

0:52:050:52:08

I've just had to push my way through it.

0:52:080:52:11

A violent crime can be committed in seconds,

0:52:130:52:16

but its impact can be felt for generations.

0:52:160:52:20

Denise lost James in a single moment,

0:52:200:52:23

but her sense of injustice may never go away.

0:52:230:52:26

Last month in America, 12 people were killed at a Batman screening

0:52:310:52:35

when a man dressed in riot gear opened fire on the audience.

0:52:350:52:40

And in the state of Colorado, the survivors are being consulted

0:52:400:52:44

about whether or not to seek the death penalty for the accused.

0:52:440:52:48

In Norway, despite calls for a similar sentence,

0:52:480:52:52

some of those who escaped last year's attacks have already faced Anders Breivik in court.

0:52:520:52:59

And there, the death penalty is not an option.

0:52:590:53:02

I have pain in my stomach. I was really...

0:53:020:53:07

I was worrying because I hadn't seen the man

0:53:080:53:11

who did this in live-action since Utoya.

0:53:110:53:16

Stine was one of around 600 that gathered on Utoya island.

0:53:160:53:21

When Breivik opened fire, she managed to swim away,

0:53:210:53:25

but many did not.

0:53:250:53:27

Like others, she's had concerns about attending the trial

0:53:270:53:31

and sharing a courtroom with the man who executed her friends.

0:53:310:53:35

So the first hour was really terrible,

0:53:350:53:39

but then it just... All the anxiety and everything just left.

0:53:390:53:45

And I found some kind of peace in seeing the man who did this

0:53:460:53:52

with handcuffs.

0:53:520:53:53

He was in the control of the court. He can't hurt me any more.

0:53:530:53:58

Bjorn was also on the island when Breivik started firing.

0:54:000:54:04

He managed to rescue two children as he fled to the mainland.

0:54:040:54:07

A natural reaction to what happened will be

0:54:090:54:12

to put the death penalty back in or torture the terrorist,

0:54:120:54:16

but I don't really think that's the way we should deal with this

0:54:160:54:22

in a democratic society.

0:54:220:54:24

The best way to get back at him is to stay true to the values we had.

0:54:240:54:27

Astrid hid behind some rocks when Breivik turned on her

0:54:270:54:31

and was there for two hours before being rescued.

0:54:310:54:34

I think it would be really good to be finished with it,

0:54:340:54:38

because then we can stop focusing on him

0:54:380:54:40

and start focusing even more on our future.

0:54:400:54:44

But, one year on, she still can't talk

0:54:440:54:47

about the things she saw that day.

0:54:470:54:49

These survivors all escaped physical injury,

0:54:500:54:53

but they continue to struggle with the horrors they witnessed

0:54:530:54:57

and the loss of so many friends.

0:54:570:54:59

My injuries are hidden, I mean, you can't see them on me.

0:55:010:55:03

And in some ways I think it's possibly easier

0:55:030:55:06

to deal with this emotionally if you have a physical scar,

0:55:060:55:10

if you have some sort of concrete mark that you were actually there and were injured.

0:55:100:55:15

A lot of people have gotten tattoos to get the physical mark

0:55:150:55:20

on themselves, that they have some relation to the terror.

0:55:200:55:24

Astrid was separated from her best friend during the shooting

0:55:260:55:29

and wasn't told she'd died for over a week.

0:55:290:55:32

You know, when you are 17 and you are speaking with your friends,

0:55:320:55:36

one of your best friends, you always have these future plans,

0:55:360:55:40

and I think it's really sad that she isn't able to be with us

0:55:400:55:44

when we are going to do those plans.

0:55:440:55:46

I really get a feeling that life isn't so sure,

0:55:460:55:51

it's not so sure that we will live till we are 80.

0:55:510:55:55

Despite the devastation, the people of Norway have shown

0:55:560:56:00

incredible strength and, like many caught in the crossfire,

0:56:000:56:04

it's friends and family that are helping them through the recovery process.

0:56:040:56:09

For me, it has been crucial to allow myself to welcome

0:56:100:56:15

the help that was offered, to realise that being strong

0:56:150:56:19

in this kind of situation is also realising that

0:56:190:56:23

you can't do it all by yourself.

0:56:230:56:25

I guess it's true that when you share your grief,

0:56:260:56:29

it doesn't become smaller, but it's easier to carry.

0:56:290:56:33

Violent crime can kill, devastate and destroy,

0:56:360:56:41

but the way survivors respond to trauma and grief varies.

0:56:410:56:46

I've met with people at different stages of recovery

0:56:460:56:50

and, although time has not always been a healer,

0:56:500:56:53

it has allowed for a change of focus.

0:56:530:56:56

What's clear is there's no defined path back to normality.

0:56:560:57:00

We live in a world where nothing is certain.

0:57:000:57:05

Everybody says, it can't happen to us, but it does happen to us, doesn't it, you know?

0:57:050:57:09

It does, no doubt about it, it does.

0:57:090:57:11

But, when faced with tragedy,

0:57:120:57:14

it's how we respond that makes all the difference.

0:57:140:57:17

This will always be with me,

0:57:170:57:20

but it will not put any boundaries on what I'm capable of doing.

0:57:200:57:25

I want to be able to use that hand, I want to be able to grip

0:57:250:57:29

a motorbike and I want to be able to twist grip the throttle.

0:57:290:57:31

That is my aim.

0:57:310:57:33

It's the people we allow into our lives that shape our future...

0:57:330:57:37

Sophie, my fiancee, she was the main reason, like,

0:57:370:57:42

cos she's a nice girl and I didn't want to be a nasty person.

0:57:420:57:46

I knew her niceness would rub off on me eventually.

0:57:460:57:51

..and the opportunities we embrace that give us hope.

0:57:510:57:54

To be able to help them want to be more positive about life

0:57:540:57:58

and not stray down the wrong road, for me, it's a good feeling.

0:57:580:58:02

Just to see James's name, you know, inside the caravan,

0:58:020:58:05

it did give me a huge buzz, because I thought, you know, at last

0:58:050:58:09

I've done something in his name, he's not just a memory any more.

0:58:090:58:12

Crime changes lives,

0:58:120:58:14

but over time we can learn to adapt and find a new kind of normal.

0:58:140:58:20

Survival is part of being human.

0:58:200:58:24

It feels like what happened is an eternity ago.

0:58:240:58:28

It feels like I've gone through a lot and I'm happy, like.

0:58:280:58:33

Happy with my life, at this moment in time.

0:58:330:58:36

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:470:58:51

On the eve of the sentencing of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, Kirsty Young goes behind the headlines to meet survivors of some of the most shocking crimes in living memory.

From the Cumbrian shootings of 2010 to the Real IRA ambush of unarmed soldiers collecting pizza outside their barracks in Northern Ireland three years ago, the Crimewatch team reconstructs these remarkable stories of survival.

The mother of James Bulger speaks about the impact of his murder on her life, and we see how those who lived through the Norwegian massacre have already started to rebuild their lives.

Stories of hope and human resilience in this Crimewatch special.


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