South Scotland

Man guilty of Peebles postwoman murder

Nicholas Rogers Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Nicholas Rogers had denied murdering Alexandra Stuart in Peebles last year

A 28-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering a postwoman in the Scottish Borders last year.

Nicholas Rogers had admitted killing Alexandra Stuart, 22, in Peebles but claimed he was suffering from an "abnormality of the mind" at the time.

He denied murder but a jury at the High Court in Glasgow convicted him after a two-week trial.

The former customer service worker will return to court next month for sentence.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption A jury found Rogers guilty of the murder of Ms Stuart

Rogers stabbed Ms Stuart to death at a house party in Cuddyside in Peebles last August.

The trial heard he had carried out the attack after stating: "I may as well kill somebody".

The court was told he had been diagnosed with a personality disorder.

However, jurors rejected his special defence and convicted him of murder.

Family 'devastation'

Lord Summers told him to "be under no illusion" of the "gravity and seriousness" of what he had done.

The judge added: "The sentence will fully reflect the devastation caused to the family and the wider community."

He also paid tribute to the "dignity" of Ms Stuart's relatives who had sat each day listening to often distressing testimony.

Rogers repeatedly mouthed "sorry" to them as he was led handcuffed to the cells.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Police said Rogers had subjected Ms Stuart to a "significant level of violence"

Welcoming the verdict, Det Ch Insp Stuart Reid said Rogers had subjected the "well-known and much-liked postwoman" to a "significant level of violence that ultimately resulted in her death".

"Following the attack he fled the scene but was apprehended as a result of excellent work by local officers and vital assistance from the public," he said.

"A substantial body of evidence was built up against Rogers, demonstrating his responsibility for Alex's death and this has been pivotal in securing today's conviction.

"I'd like to thank all of those involved in this investigation for their dedication and professionalism throughout."

He also extended his sympathies to Ms Stuart's family and thanked them for their support during a "very distressing time".

"I hope this outcome brings them some sense of closure so they can begin to move on with their lives," he added.

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