Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Killer Merrick Rogers flashes a grin following his release after serving 15 years for the murder of Claire Streader in Canterbury

Released from jail and with drinks held high – convicted murderer Merrick Rogers flashes a grin for the camera.

Fresh images of the notorious killer are instantly recognisable, his face barely changed from the haunting mugshot of 15 years ago.

Rogers’ victim, Claire Streader, was strangled with her own jumper in a city centre park.

Merrick Rogers has been released
Merrick Rogers has been released

A small plaque marks the spot where the young mum’s body lay dumped in scrubland.

Rogers, a 24-year-old cab driver at the time, was convicted of her murder in a trial that left Canterbury shell-shocked.

Freed after 15 years in prison, he has now set up social media accounts in his own name.

“Life doesn’t always work out the way you hoped,” a Twitter resume reads. “Suck it up and make the most of every situation, no matter how bad it seems.”

Canterbury murder victim Claire Streader
Canterbury murder victim Claire Streader

As a condition of his parole, Rogers is banned for life from going to Canterbury, Chartham or Faversham.

He has declined an invitation from KentOnline's sister paper the Kentish Gazette to comment, but his father Colin has confirmed the accounts are his son’s.

“I’ve never looked at Merrick other than as an innocent and unfortunate person,” he said. “He’s served virtually 16 years and should be allowed to get on with his life.”

"He's served virtually 16 years and should be allowed to get on with his life..." - Rogers' father Colin

Ms Streader, mother to an eight-year-old son, had been drinking with Rogers – an old friend – on the fateful night of May 31, 1999.

Rogers has always maintained that she walked home alone as he headed on for a final pint in the city centre’s Three Tuns pub.

But a jury unanimously rejected his claim after hearing his DNA was traced to saliva on her bra strap and breast.

They accepted the prosecution’s version that Rogers had throttled Ms Streader as he walked her home through Beverley Meadow.

The former cab driver then left her lifeless body in bushes on the fringe of the park, the jury ruled.

Rogers spent 15 years behind bars and was quietly released on parole to begin a new life in Sittingbourne.

A Facebook account in Rogers’ name was until this week open to the wider public.

Merrick Rogers, convicted of Claire's murder
Merrick Rogers, convicted of Claire's murder

A photo of the killer smiling and holding two drinks aloft has since been removed and replaced with a mocked-up image of Rogers holding a light sabre from the Star Wars franchise.

Claire's father Peter, who recently passed away, said last year: "I fear Rogers will continue to be dangerous because he is deluding himself if he still believes he didn’t kill her.

“I have never doubted his guilt from the evidence I heard. As far as I’m concerned he’s evil.

“I dread the thought of him being out. It won’t be the first time the parole board has got it wrong.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More