Statements have been issued on behalf of the family of Tom Rogers and Leanne James after their attacker was found guilty of manslaughter and wounding with intent.
Jason Voong, 29 from Southbrook Street, killed Aulton (Tom) Rogers on the cycle track between the Oasis Leisure Centre and Station Road, at around 11:30pm, on Thursday 26 June 2014. Tom was stabbed multiple times and sadly died at the scene.
A statement released on behalf of Tom’s family said: “The past few days have been very difficult. My sister and I have travelled from opposite sides of the globe to be here to represent our brother, Tom. His son, cousins and family have also been here throughout the trial.
“It has been heart breaking to hear the details of what happened to Tom in June of last year. Nobody deserves to die in such an appalling way. We wish we could turn the clock back.
“There are many people we would like to thank:
“Firstly, the Judge for the way in which the trial has been conducted; the Jury for their careful attention to the evidence; Richard Pratt and the legal team for the way in which the case has been presented.
“We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the Wiltshire Police and everyone involved in the thorough and meticulous investigation and preparation of the case.
“A heartfelt thanks goes to Detectives Lizzie Hunt, Sarah Harnden and Superintendent Sean Memory for the unwavering support they have given our family from the moment we received the shocking news that Tom had been murdered.
“Finally, words cannot express our appreciation for the strength, bravery and courage displayed by Leanne James. We have now formed a lasting friendship with her.
“This trial closes a chapter for us all. Our lives have been on hold since June of last year. We will now try to move forward, with Tom always in our hearts.”
Voong was also found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on Swindon woman Leanne James.
The 23-year-old was walking along the same cycle path at around 10:40pm on Thursday 8 May 2014, Voong grabbed Leanne from behind, dragged her to the side of the path and violently attacked her with a pool cue.
Leanne was left with serious injuries but fortunately a member of the public found her and called an ambulance. Although she has made a full recovery she has been left emotionally scarred by the incident.
A statement made on behalf of Leanne said: “I would like to thank the police and Tom’s family for all of the support that I have received. I am glad that justice has now been done for both myself and Tom.
“Although never forgotten I believe we can now move forward, stronger for the experience.”
Voong will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on a date yet to be fixed.