The case of a man who is appealing against his conviction for murdering a young postwoman at a house party is featured in a new BBC documentary.
Nicholas Rogers stabbed Alexandra Stuart in Cuddyside, Peebles, in August 2017. His appeal is one of three being looked at in Appeal Court: The End of the Line.
Rogers admitted killing Ms Stuart but claimed he was suffering from an “abnormality of the mind” at the time.
He was jailed for 16 years for murder.
But he lodged an appeal against his conviction and cameras were allowed in to film proceedings inside Edinburgh’s Appeal Court.
Rogers’ lawyer, Gordon Jackson QC, said the grounds for appeal were that the judge misdirected the jury on how to deal with the subject of diminished responsibility.
Rogers had mental health problems but had also been drinking.
Mr Jackson said: “If someone’s mental health is an issue then on occasions the jury can convict him of culpable homicide rather than murder.
“This man had mental health issues but he also took a lot of drink – it’s how the jury look at both of these because drink itself will never allow you a diminished responsibility [conviction].”
He explained that the appeal would argue that the judge “got it wrong” when he directed the jury.
Therefore, there should be a retrial or the conviction should be reduced to culpable homicide for the killing of the 22-year-old postal worker, Mr Jackson said.
He told the appeal court: “This was a situation where there were two things in operation – one was the alcohol ingested by Mr Rogers, and clearly that was established.
“There was also a mental health issue. Indeed, the trial judge says both of these were in play.
“The defence was to seek a conviction of culpable homicide on the basis of diminished responsibility and therefore the matter arises as to how a trial judge should direct the jury where both of these factors are in play.”
Murder conviction upheld
After Mr Jackson made his case, the appeal court judges retired to consider their verdict.
It was later announced that Rogers’ appeal had been dismissed and his conviction for murder upheld.
He will serve 16 years in prison before he will be considered for parole.
The programme also covers another two appeals – a revenge killing in Glasgow where a man enlisted two strangers to help him seek vengeance on a man who he believed had attacked his father, and a “Breaking Bad” style drug-dealing operation in Paisley.
- Appeal Court: The End of the Line will be broadcast on Monday night at 22:45 on the BBC One Scotland channel and will also be available on BBC iPlayer.