The owner of an Indian food store in Bristol has received an apology letter and £100 from a former drug addict who stole cigarettes from the shop in 2001.

Imran Ahmed, who runs an Indian food store, said that he was amazed to open the letter,

“Dear Sirs, I am writing this letter to make amends to you for something I have done in the past.”

The owner said that the thief’s change of heart was “really good” and he intends to give the money to a drugs’ charity.

The thief also wrote:

“About seven years ago I was walking past your shop late one night when I noticed that someone had broken into it.

“I used this opportunity to enter your shop where I stole 400 cigarettes. The money enclosed (£100) is to pay for those cigarettes which I stole from you.

“At that time I was heavily using drugs and my life was in a mess, now I no longer use drugs and I strive to lead a decent and honest life.

“As part of my ongoing recovery I try to put right all of the wrongs I have done in the past, at least where I can, and this is why I am giving you back the money which I stole from you.

“I regret the harm I caused you in the past and I sincerely apologize to you for it.

“I was very wrong to do this and I hope that returning the money will make up for this harm, at least in some small way.”

Sources: BBC and Reuters