10:29am Thursday 20th October 2011
By Sam Chadderton
ADAM Rogers’s father and his teenage killer have come face to face in an ‘emotional’ prison meeting.
This week, Billy Upton, who was just 16 years old when his punch led to Adam’s death, was released from jail.
Today, Dave Rogers who has campaigned with wife Pat for an end to senseless violence in their 24-year-old son’s memory, said he would recommend the ‘restorative justice’ process to other grieving families.
A confidentiality agreement between Lancashire Probation Trust and all the parties means we cannot reveal the details of the discussion, but Dave said the meeting was ‘worthwhile’.
Upton, who has just turned 19, was jailed in April 2010 for four years for the manslaughter of Adam in July 2009.
He was eligible for early release on licence half-way through, with a further six months reduction calculated from the time he spent on curfew awaiting trial.
The Lancashire Telegraph understands Upton, from Rishton, has shown big improvements while in custody and has received good reports for his work with disadvantaged children and mentoring in prison.
Dave said: “I have a long-standing interest in restorative justice and believe it is an important principle that in a lot of cases can bring offenders and victims together.
“Personally, I wanted to make sure Billy was aware of the consequences of what he had done.
"Unless somebody does that they cannot begin to face up to what they’ve done and progress with a new life.
“Pat and I said at the trial that Adam was gone and it would give us no satisfaction to see another life ruined.
“I also wanted a clearer understanding of what happened that night.
"Only he could tell me that.
“It was certainly worthwhile for me and I hope for him.
"For me it was because I got my messages across.
"I did learn and understand more about that night.
"He was receptive and it was positive that he wanted to meet me.
“I knew it was going to be emotional for him and for me.
"It was difficult, there was upset.
"It was intended to help him get his life back on track and, for us, that would be the most satisfying thing in terms of Adam’s memory.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Probation Trust said: “William Upton has been released from prison having served the period of imprisonment required by law.
“He will now be supervised on licence by Lancashire Probation Trust for a further period of time and will be liable to recall if he fails to comply with the conditions and requirements of this licence.”
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