Peebles postwoman murderer’s conviction appeal examined on BBC One documentary

A failed attempt by Peebles postwoman Alex Stuart’s murderer to get his jail sentence cut was featured on national television this week.

Peebles murder victim Alex Stuart.
Peebles murder victim Alex Stuart.

Innerleithen’s Nicholas Rogers was convicted of murdering the 22-year-old in August 2017 following a trial in May the year after and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 16 years.

Appeal Court: The End of the Line, shown on BBC One Monday night and available on catch-up for the next 11 months, chronicled his subsequent appeal last May, as well as two others heard at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh.

“On August 6, 2017, the peace and tranquillity of this sleepy Borders town was shattered after a brutal murder,” said narrator David Hayman, opening the programme.

Nicholas Rogers, murderer of Alex Stuart in Peebles.

“News like this was a rarity in a place like Peebles.”

It then moves on to follow Rogers’ appeal as barrister Gordon Jackson claimed that trial judge Lord Alan Summers got it wrong when directing jurors on how to deal with claims of diminished responsibility.

Rogers, now 30, had mental health problems but had also been drinking, and 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.

“The question is what motivated him? What drove it? Is it a mental health deficit or is it the alcohol? Sorting that out is quite difficult.”

His call for a retrial or for his client’s conviction to be reduced to culpable homicide were dismissed, however.

The show is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer website for the next 11 months.