I recognised him vaguely.
He came straight up to me and said "You probably don't remember but you sent me to prison for 8 months"
Needless to say, I thought I was in for a rough time but thought to do so outside the Court would take a lot of cojones on his behalf.
I didn't remember him or his case specifically but he then said "I need you to understand the effect you had on me"
He then made a statement which I've never heard before to the effect that the eight month prison sentence scared him less than the five minute talking to I'd given him during the sentencing.
Apparently he's never experienced anything quite so intense (his word) and (he says) it had a real effect on him, even more so than the prospect of prison. Terrifying was another word he used. In addition, after 'reading the riot act' I gave him something positive to work towards and had the patience to explain things in a way he understood.
It was all a bit jumbled up and he isn't the most erudite of men so I have to say I admired his courage in gathering his thoughts sufficiently to say all he had to say.
To cut a long story short, he served his sentence and was released just under a year ago. Since then, he has a regular partner, a child on the way, a job which includes a measure of responsibility, a flat and his prospects look, again, his word, brilliant.
Although clearly I was flattered, I thought I'd mention this here not on my own account but to make the point that sometimes, just sometimes, the judicial system works.