When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Comment: Proof that a bad beginning can lead to a fresh start
9:00am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
IF THERE is a tale of rehabilitation and redemption, the Rev Martin Hartley is it. Today we report the remarkable turnaround in his life.
He will be remembered by those of a certain age in Carterton as the tearaway youth who razed to the ground a large part of what is now the community college in 1984.
Mr Hartley caused £1m in damage and, rather unsurprisingly, found himself detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure for two-and-a-half years.
Even when he came out he was still getting into trouble.
Then he had an epiphany and turned to Christianity.
He has recently been ordained and is now working as a vicar in Norfolk, truly paying back society after being such a menace in his youth.
This is not a sermon about finding God.
Mr Hartley’s story is more an example that no matter how troubled a start a person has in life, they can still turn themselves around.
No doubt he will pay tribute to his faith for bringing him back on to the path of being a useful member of society but he has clearly worked hard to leave his past behind him.
There are truly only a few very evil people who are beyond rehabilitation and we hope Mr Hartley’s story helps show some who think that they are doomed to a life of failure and regret that they can always reform.