Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Man who brutally murdered 22-year-old woman jailed for at least 16 years

Nicholas Rogers stabbed to death Alex Stuart Credit: Police Scotland

A man who brutally murdered a postwoman has been jailed for at least 16 years.

Nicholas Rogers stabbed to death Alex Stuart at a house party in Cuddyside, Peebles last August. He plunged the knife into the 22 year-old seconds after stating: “I may as well kill somebody”.

Rogers returned to the High Court in Glasgow having earlier been convicted of murder. Jurors had rejected the 28 year-old – who had a history of mental illness – was suffering from an “abnormality of the mind” at the time.

Lord Summers jailed Rogers for life as members of Miss Stuart's distressed family sobbed in court. The judge said it was clear the killer had been in “possession of his faculties” and had ignored warnings not to mix alcohol with drugs.

He added the stabbing was not a “spur of the moment” crime.

Alex Stuart Credit: Police Scotland

Lord Summers went on:

You said: 'I may as well kill somebody' – that is what you did.

Alex Stuart was a popular figure and her death is a tragedy for her family and the whole community.”

– Lord Summers

Rogers refused to look at Alex's relatives as he was then led handcuffed to the cells. Jurors earlier heard how Rogers had turned up at the house swigging from a bottle of gin.

Rebecca Allen – a friend of Miss Stuart – said she did not get “good vibes” as Rogers was acting strange.

He later fell asleep, but awoke and stomped into the kitchen.

Rogers came out clutching a knife believing Alex and Rebecca had been laughing at him.

He yelled he was an “evil b******” and a “bad person”.

I was trying to reason with him, but it was not working. Alex was in total shock.

She was sitting with her knees up, staring at me crying. He was scraping the knife at Alex's legs, taunting her. It was like a power thing.”

– Rebecca Allen – a friend of Miss Stuart

Jurors heard he then held the knife “like a dagger” at his shoulder.

He then chillingly stated: “I may as well kill somebody.”

An emotional Miss Allen told the court:

I said there was no need for this. I kept saying that I wanted to get home for my wee girl.

He said: “There is no point, You will tell on me. I am going to jail anyway.”

– Rebecca Allen – a friend of Miss Stuart

Miss Allen then remembered Rogers striking her friend Miss Stuart.

She said: “He just went in a downwards action and stabbed Alex right in the chest.”

Miss Stuart died that day in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Rogers was later held by police and stated:

Why did I do it? I am going to jail. I stabbed her. I don't want her to die. I wish I had never done it.”

– Nicholas Rogers

The trial heard how Rogers had previous mental health troubles.

This included him wanting to be known as “The Beast” - a character from the James McAvoy film Split about someone who has different personalities.

His then girlfriend had tried to get him help. A psychiatric nurse later marked him under a heading “risk to others”.

His lawyer had asked jurors to convict him of the reduced charge of culpable homicide due to his diminished responsibility.

Victoria Dow, defending, said: “He is at pains to make clear that he suffers from revulsion for his conduct.”

The advocate added Rogers wants to study psychology while in jail to “better understand” how he found himself in such a situation.