Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 15:40 UK

'Boastful' killer, 17, detained for four years

William Upton
William Upton claimed he punched the victim in self-defence

A teenager who killed a man and boasted about it on the social networking site Facebook has been detained for four years.

William Upton, 17, from Rishton, in Lancashire, punched Adam Rogers as he intervened in a row on 5 July 2009.

Mr Rogers, 24, hit his head on the floor during the attack in Blackburn.

Upton was convicted of manslaughter at Preston Crown Court last month. He was ordered to serve four years at a young offenders institution.

When asked about the attack on Mr Rogers by a friend on Facebook, Upton replied: "Timber".

An exchange of words between Upton, who was 16 at the time, and his victim's friends in a nightclub had spilled over to a Blackburn street, in the early hours of 5 July.

'Fierce blow'

As Mr Rogers, from Dukes Brow, Blackburn, tried to usher Upton away from the trouble he delivered a "fierce and powerful" blow instantly knocking his victim unconscious, his head hitting the pavement with a thud without him able to break his fall, the court heard.

The football coach, described as a "caring and thoughtful young man" never regained consciousness and died later that day.

Upton, who had a history of violence and had been drinking all day and all evening in pubs, fled the scene.

He learned of his victim's death the next day and his mother took him to the police to hand himself in.

You felt sufficiently pleased with your ability to knock down a grown man with one punch you boasted about it on the internet
Judge Stuart Baker

He tried to blame Mr Rogers during his trial last month but CCTV showed his victim trying to calm the defendant down.

Judge Stuart Baker, sentencing, said the victim was entirely innocent and, being "older and wiser", had tried to usher away his attacker after the "pointless and juvenile" spat.

"Your use of violence towards Mr Rogers was gratuitous, unjustified and unprovoked," Judge Baker told the defendant.

"His death has caused incalculable and inconsolable grief to his family and friends.

"You felt sufficiently pleased with your ability to knock down a grown man with one punch you boasted about it on the internet."

Upton had previously been in trouble, again felling a man with a single blow, for which he was given a caution for affray.

Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers' family plan to set up a charity in his name

He had also head-butted a school child, receiving a reprimand for battery and been given a fixed penalty notice for drunken behaviour.

Two friends of Upton, Jonathon Seal and Antonio Clough, both 19, had previously pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm relating to separate assaults arising out of the same incident.

In March, Seal was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours' unpaid community work. Clough was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Outside court Mr Rogers' parents, David and Pat, said the length of the sentence was immaterial and they cared more now that Upton spends his time in prison to become a better person - because that is what their son would have wanted.

They intend to set up a charity in their son's name to help teach youngsters of the dangers of drink and violence.

Mrs Rogers added: "He was affectionate, gentle, caring, just a lovely young man."



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