14th September 2007
A St Peter Port murderer was jailed for life
James Dean died in St Peter Port High Street when he was stabbed by Craig Rouget on 8 September 2006. Rouget was arrested and held on remand for a year. The case came to court the following July.
Rouget claimed that he had been carrying a knife for his own protection on the night of the killing and had lashed out when he’d been attacked by the victim and three others. He then ran off and threw the knife away to stop the two who were chasing him from using it on him. Rouget said he had never intended to kill anyone.
He eventually escaped from his pursuers and met up with two friends. They called the police and then swapped clothes so that when the police arrived Rouget would not have blood on him.
Later in the evening, Rouget’s brother received a phone call, informing him that Dean had died. They burned Rouget’s bloodstained clothing before calling the police again, who arrested him three quarters of an hour later.
Trial and conviction
Rouget was found guilty by the unanimous verdict of 11 jurats after a hearing that lasted a week.
On 14 September, he was sentenced to life for the murder with a recommended minimum term of 13 years. Rouget had already appealed against his conviction. His advocate later told the appeal court that the jurats had been misdirected but the appeal failed.
As is customary for any prisoner handed a life sentence, Rouget was transferred to a prison on the mainland. However, he was transferred back to Guernsey on 15 January 2015 to serve out the remainder of his sentence. Should he ever be granted parole or his status change he would be returned to the mainland.
While on remand awaiting trial, Rouget had been held at Guernsey Prison, and escaped for around quarter of an hour when assigned to an outside working party. He was brought back by his parents.