Page last updated at 18:08 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Ban lifted on identifying Blackburn killer

William Upton
William Upton had denied killing Adam rogers

A judge has lifted a ban on identifying a 17-year-old boy who killed a "peacemaker" who had intervened in a fight in Lancashire.

Adam Rogers, 24, died in hospital a day after he was punched by William Upton in Blackburn in July 2009, after trouble erupted on a night out.

Sentencing of Upton was adjourned at Preston Crown Court, but Judge Stuart Baker lifted reporting restrictions.

He said Upton, of Rishton, faced a "substantial" jail term.

Judge Baker said: "He faces an inevitable custodial sentence, the duration of which will extend considerably beyond his 18th birthday. He will be an adult for serving much of the sentence.

"There is a legitimate public interest in knowing who has committed grave crimes."

CCTV footage

The judge delayed sentencing after clarification was needed on a probation report.

Mr Rogers, a football coach, tried to break up a row between his killer and a group of friends after a night out in the town.

He struck his head after being knocked to the ground and died in hospital the following day.

CCTV footage of the incident was played to the jury during Upton's trial last month which showed Mr Rogers trying to calm the defendant down.

The teenager claimed he had only punched Mr Rogers in self-defence but the jury returned a guilty verdict of manslaughter.

Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers died in hospital

An exchange of words between the two parties in a nightclub later spilled over on to the street.

Upton told one of Mr Rogers's friends to shut up and threw a flower at another, who spat at Upton.

A separate scuffle broke out as Upton walked away only to be followed by Mr Rogers, Rowena Goode, prosecuting, said.

"There was an exchange between them. Then Mr Upton punched Adam Rogers causing him to fall back on to the ground.

Upton's friends Jonathon Seal, 20, and Antonio Clough, 19, also from Rishton, were sentenced for their part in the melee.

They both pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Serving soldier

Seal punched Mr Rogers's friend, Carl Rutherford. Clough attacked Nicholas Ellerby when he tried to chase after Upton and Seal who ran off after the fatal blow was delivered.

Judge Baker was told that Clough, a serving soldier, had committed a similar assault when he lost his temper with a fellow serviceman and headbutted him.

Clough successfully applied for a discharge from the armed services last week.

Judge Baker sentenced Clough to serve 12 months in a young offenders' institute.

Seal was sentenced to six months in a young offenders' institute, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Upton will be sentenced at a later date.

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