Belfast Telegraph

Former Irish league footballer David Mills' injuries so bad he was unrecognisable, court hears

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

Former Irish league footballer David Mills was punched so many times he was unrecognisable, a murder trial has heard.

Mr Mills was assaulted in Ballynahinch, Co Down, in the early hours of September 29, 2012.

The incident was captured by CCTV cameras and Mr Mills, from Dundrum, Co Down, was discovered by police officers as he lay covered in blood and unconscious.

He died the next morning.

Yesterday a jury was sworn in at Downpatrick courthouse for his murder trial. Jurors heard evidence that the 47-year-old was punched 12 or 13 times by his second cousin, John Stanley Foster (31), from Carrigvale, Dundrum.

A woman driving Mr Mills home told the court that she and Mr Mills had stopped at a Chinese takeaway on Dromore Street when he was confronted by Foster.

Alison Walsh was giving Mr Mills a lift home on the night the incident occurred, as he had been drinking. She told the jury she pleaded with Mr Mills to get back in to the car but he said to Foster: "Right, you and me then."

Ms Walsh described the injuries Mr Mills had suffered to the court.

She said: "It was very bad, blood was coming out of his mouth. He was unconscious, his face unrecognisable from being swollen."

When asked by the defence lawyer if Mr Mills had challenged Foster to a fight, she replied: "You could say that, yes". But she denied that Mr Mills had been aggressive.

Foster has pleaded not guilty to murder. He was arrested at the scene. During police interviews he said that he didn't intend to hurt Mr Mills and was acting in self-defence, but the last punches he threw "were too much".

The trial continues.

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