Violet Donovan, one of the two founders of a local restorative justice charity, is among the names on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mrs Donovan, 64, of Clyde Road, Sutton, founded The Christopher Donovan Trust with her husband Ray, 66, after their 18-year-old-son Christopher Donovan was murdered by three boys.

Christopher Donovan was walking home in Ewell with his brother Phil in the early hours of May 26, 2001, and singing the Oasis song Champagne Supernova, when he was set upon by a gang of drunken teenagers.

Stephen Andrews, Ryan Seymour and the third boy took turns taking "penalty kicks" at his head and abandoned him on the road, where he was struck by a car.

Andrews, who was 21 during the trial, Seymour, who was 17, and a third boy, who was 16 at the time and could not be named for legal reasons, were found guilty of murder.

Andrews received a life sentence, and Seymour and the 16-year-old boy were detained.

Christopher Donovan was killed just a week before his 19th birthday and had dreamed of being a policeman.

He had been working delivering pizzas before his death, after he was turned down from the Army because of his asthma.

Mr and Mrs Donovan responded to the tragedy by meeting and forgiving the three offenders who murdered their son.

Mr Donovan said: “One of the boys cried on my shoulder like a baby.”

Mr and Mrs Donovan now travel around the country visiting schools, prisons and universities and tell their story to students, criminal justice professionals and victims of crime.

The Christopher Donovan Trust runs victim awareness workshops in prisons, giving inmates a chance to meet the victims whose lives were changed forever by their actions.

“We felt that it was right other victims got their voices heard. They got the power back.”

Mr Donovan was with his wife when she learnt that she was on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

He will have to wait until the New Year Honours List to receive his award because he holds an Irish passport.

"I've got to wait until the new year because I'm Irish.

“We were both in the living room looking at each other. We both opened our letters and looked at each other.”

“It’s taken a few days for to sink in. We’ve only just begun to realise how wonderful it is. We are both thrilled about it.”

“We knew about it weeks ago and we couldn’t tell anyone.

“My Facebook has been on fire. The phone keeps ringing every five seconds.

Mrs Donovan said: “It is really wonderful. It’s nice for the charity and being recognised.”

“It’s not something that happens to everyone.

“It won’t change the past. It can’t bring Chris back, but having this honour is really quite lovely.”

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