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Family speak of grief as chef's killers are jailed for fatal punch attack
PARENTS of a chef who died after a single punch to the head say they will have to serve a “life sentence” as the man who attacked him was jailed for a second time yesterday.
Michael Rogers, of Kidlington, died 14 months after he was hit by trained cage fighter and kick boxer Logan Usher during an unprovoked attack in June 2010.
Usher was initially convicted of grievous bodily harm in May 2011 and jailed for 30 months following the incident at the Red Lion pub in Oxford Road, Kidlington.
But when Mr Rogers died three months later, the case was re-examined.
His family had to wait until post mortem examination results confirmed Usher’s punch caused his death before a manslaughter case could be brought. By then Usher had already been released from prison after serving 11 months.
Mr Roger’s parents yesterday spoke of the torment of the two-year wait to see Usher, 24, face further justice.
His father Grahame Rogers, 57 of Nottingham, said: “No matter what, this will never bring him back.
“We have lost our son through tragic circumstances.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Usher will be out of jail in a year but we are serving a life sentence.”
Mr Rogers suffered an aneurysm after the attack and was kept in hospital for 14 months as other complications developed.
He finally passed away aged 31 at his mother’s home in Nottingham on August 25, 2011.
His mother Patricia MacFarlane, 58, added: “It has been a horrible two years waiting to know if and when it was going to court.
“It has been awful. This is a life sentence and I am not sure how we can feel relief after this.”
At Oxford Crown Court yesterday Judge Patrick Eccles jailed Usher for a further two years.
Mr Rogers was in the pub after England’s World Cup match against Slovenia when Usher punched him, the court heard.
Immediately before, Usher, then 20, had been “showing off” by displaying punches and kicks in the doorway to the pub’s garden.
Prosecutor Luke Bullpitt said during police interview Usher denied throwing punches, and then falsely claimed his victim was aggressively drunk.
Describing CCTV of the attack, Mr Bullpitt said: “Mr Rogers walked close to him without looking or saying anything to him.
“Usher is seen to push Mr Rogers and to punch out with his right hand which was quite soft and then he steps back launching a full punch towards Mr Rogers.”
Mr Rogers then “stumbled” to a bench in the garden where witnesses described how he started to “slump” and slipped into unconsciousness on the floor.
In mitigation Terence Woods told the court the post morterm revealed Mr Rogers was susceptible to aneursyms due to a pre-existing condition called “fibromuscular dysplasia”, which narrows the arteries.
He also told the court Usher was a “very, very different person” to the 20-year-old who committed the assault.
Mr Woods said: “I hope Your Honour will consider the genuine and heartfelt remorse he has. There is not a day which goes by he doesn’t regret his actions.“ Jailing him Judge Eccles said: “You show true remorse for what you did and it is heartfelt. The excellent pre-sentence report demonstrates the extent of the terrible responsibility you bear for Michael Rogers’ death and you have done as much as you could have to rehabilitate.”
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