'He smiled at me and that is my last memory of my boy' - Nick Rogers' mother tells of heartbreaking final moments as she grieves for eldest son
PUBLISHED: 13:54 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:53 22 December 2017
The mother of a man who died after being assaulted in a Morrisons supermarket has today told of her heartache after his attacker was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.
Nick Rogers, 26, suffered a “catastrophic” brain injury when he was assaulted by Lee Monk while shopping at the store in Wymondham on July 17.
His mum, Susan Rogers, has now spoken about the devastating impact of her son’s death after Monk was yesterday found guilty of manslaughter.
The 20-year-old, who was on trial at Norwich Crown Court, has been warned to expect a custodial sentence.
Speaking within a few hours of the verdict being delivered, Miss Rogers said her life would never be the same without her eldest child.
The 45-year-old beautician from Wymondham, said: “I did not just love that boy, I adored him.
“He was my first born boy and I will never see him become the man he was turning into. My life will never be the same without him.”
Miss Rogers admitted that her son was “no angel”, but said he had been on the verge of turning his life around before he was killed.
On the night of his death, she said he had left the house in a “lovely mood”.
“The boys said they were going to the gym. He popped his head over the fence after he left and asked me if I could wash his t-shirt.
“He smiled at me and that is my last memory of my boy.”
Norwich Crown Court previously heard how Mr Rogers and his friend had stopped off at the supermarket to buy water.
It was there that they encountered Lee Monk and his uncle John Monk, 44, who was also alleged to have taken part in the attack.
Following Mr Rogers’ death, both men were charged with murder, but after more than nine hours of deliberations a jury found them both not guilty.
Instead, Lee Monk of Silfield Road, Wymondham, was found guilty on manslaughter, while John Monk, of Albini Way, Wymondham, was acquitted.
Speaking about the night of the attack, Miss Rogers said she received a phone call from her son’s best friend.
“My heart fell from my chest,” she said. “His friend was not just crying, he was screaming.
“He was saying ‘it’s Nicholas, he won’t get up’.”
Miss Rogers said she immediately went to the store.
“I ran over to Nicholas and just screamed, but I was restrained by officers.
“He was lying lifeless on the floor and I could not breathe. I was hysterical.”
Tests carried out in hospital confirmed that he was brain dead. But he was kept on life support in order for his organs to be donated.
Miss Rogers said she stayed at his side almost non-stop for three days while he was on life support.
“Bringing his brother and sister to his bedside was torture. They were sobbing and holding his hand,” she said.
“I wanted to be with him for the last evening, then around 7.30am, the nurses left me with him.
“I washed him and brushed his hair, cuddled him and then closed his eyes for the last time.”
One of his kidneys was donated to a 16-year-old girl, while another went to a 64-year-old man.
Miss Rogers described her son as a “gentle giant” who would always look out for his 16-year-old sister Hope and 17-year-old brother Cameron.
She said: “He told them not to be like him and to get their heads down at school, which they have done. They are A-star students.”
As a child, Mr Rogers went to Hapton Primary School before moving to Long Stratton High School.
He was born with the surname Singh, but never knew his real dad.
Instead, he was raised by his mother her 47-year-old partner Andrew in Wymondham.
She said during secondary school he had become involved with the wrong crowd and started smoking cannabis.
Miss Rogers said: “But he got to a point where he did not want to do it anymore.”
She said her son had started training at the gym five-times-a-week, and within two years he had gone from weighing 22 stone to just 15 stone.
In August, he was due to start a course to obtain his security and doorman licence.
“Over the past two years he had changed beyond belief.”
She said she intended to have her son’s cremated ashes turned into a diamond for the family to wear.