Blackburn father wants to meet his son's killer
THE father of a man who died from a single punch in Blackburn town centre wants to meet his son’s killer.
William Upton, 17, is currently serving half of a three-and-a-half year custodial sentence after he was convicted of the manslaughter of 24-year-old Adam Rogers, earlier this year.
Now Adam’s dignified dad Dave Rogers has expressed a wish to speak face-to-face with the Rishton teenager as part of a ‘restorative justice’ initiative.
He said: “For most people, restorative justice is a pretty new concept or they know about it vaguely.
“Ever since I heard of the idea a year or two ago, it seemed to me to be going down the right lines of making people who had committed an offence face up to what they had done.
“The best way of doing that is to come face to face with their victim.
“Human nature dictates that when you’ve done something you’re not proud of or wrong, you desperately try and find ways of minimalising it.
"We’ve all got a range of excuses we grow up with from childhood.
“It’s not suitable in every case, not everyone wants to take part.
"My wife Pat agrees with it and sees the point, but it’s just something she doesn’t want to do.”
Dave said there are ‘quite a few hurdles’ to jump before any meeting took place, but hopes he can help in Upton’s rehabilitation process.
“He has to want to take part, otherwise there’s no point. The programme he’s undergoing is to get him to face up to the consequences of what he’s done.
“I never thought I’d find myself in this position, I’d just always thought it was a good idea in principle. At the moment I feel I’m able to do it.”
Dave and Pat have launched the ‘Consequences – let’s stop the senseless violence’ campaign with the Lancashire Telegraph to try and prevent other families from experiencing their pain when Adam was killed last July, despite acting only as a peacemaker.
Dave said he hasn’t finalised what he would say to his son’s killer, but would want him to know ‘the kind of person Adam was’.
“I would take in some of the things we have said, and his friends have said, about Adam.
“He has to know the impact his death has had on our lives and there are questions about why he behaved the way he did and why he didn’t admit to being responsible and went down the ‘self-defence’ route.
“They are questions he does need to ask himself, if he hasn’t already.”