A forklift driver jailed 11 years in the past for attacking an ex-soldier who died of his accidents greater than a decade later right this moment admitted hit the sufferer within the head with a baseball bat. 

Neil Sutherland, who denies murdering father-of-three Paul Mills by battering him with the metallic bat, had instructed officers in 2006 he merely struck him on the shoulder.

The 35-year-old, who has already served a four-year jail sentence for assault, admitted he did hit the sufferer within the head, regardless of telling officers he solely struck his shoulder when questioned in the course of the unique investigation, a court docket heard right this moment. 

Father-of-three Mr Mills suffered mind accidents within the assault in Southwick, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in July 2006 and died aged 44 at his residence in Heytesbury, close to Warminster, in March 2017.

In what barristers describe as a ‘very uncommon case’, Sutherland, from Trowbridge, who beforehand served a jail sentence for grievous bodily hurt for a similar assault towards Mr Mills, now faces the cost of homicide at Salisbury Crown Courtroom, which he denies. 

Neil Sutherland outside Salisbury Law Courts. He denies murdering Paul Mills with a baseball bat in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in 2006

Neil Sutherland exterior Salisbury Regulation Courts. He denies murdering Paul Mills with a baseball bat in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in 2006

Throughout an argument over the sale of the bat, Sutherland, 22 on the time, repeatedly struck unarmed Mr Mills a variety of blows to the top. 

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The defendant instructed the court docket that he was being pushed to Southwick by a good friend on the day of the assault once they stopped in a lay-by as they noticed Mr Mills and his mates approaching.

He stated Mr Mills started ‘hustling’ him for cash by attempting to promote him a baseball bat as a result of he needed to purchase some extra cider.

Sutherland instructed jurors that after he acquired out of the automotive, Mr Mills ‘walloped him’ by hitting him across the head together with his hand. 

Sutherland stated he then ran off to his father’s home, and his father drove him again to the lay-by and stood in the back of their van. 

He stated Mr Mills picked up the bat from the van and a battle ensued between the pair. 

Paul Mills died of complications during an epileptic fit in 2017 after suffering head injuries following an assault by Sutherland in 2006

Paul Mills died of issues throughout an epileptic slot in 2017 after struggling head accidents following an assault by Sutherland in 2006

The defendant stated he didn’t wish to return the bat to Mr Mills as a result of ‘I used to be afraid he was going to hit me with it as a result of he had a excessive mood and wallop me a second time however with the bat this time’.  

Sutherland instructed the court docket: ‘He was dropping it, correct off it, he was dropping his endurance, being aggressive.’ 

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He instructed jurors that in the course of the battle, ‘I swung the bat at him, the bat did hit Paul’. 

The defendant stated: ‘Paul didn’t take kindly to us stopping and started strolling up the pavement swearing.

‘I used to be fearful as a result of I believed he was going to complete what he had began earlier. I had the baseball bat with me and I instructed him ‘you are not having the bat’.

‘We wrestled for the bat for a minute and he shouted abuse at me, earlier than I struck him above the shoulder.

‘I then hit him on the left aspect of his physique. Paul was holding his head and he turned and began strolling away.

‘My dad stated that was sufficient and instructed me to get within the van. He drove me residence and in the course of the journey he took the bat and threw it out of the window and onto the aspect of the street.’

Sutherland stated his father then instructed him to get into his van as Mr Mills walked away ‘in a rage’. 

Neil Sutherland (right) told Salisbury Crown Court he hit the victim Mr Mills in the head during a row in 2006

Neil Sutherland (proper) instructed Salisbury Crown Courtroom he hit the sufferer Mr Mills within the head throughout a row in 2006 

When defence barrister James Newton-Worth QC requested Sutherland to make clear if ‘putting him above the shoulder’ meant hitting Mr Mills within the head, he replied ‘sure’.

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Mr Newton-Worth QC learn an announcement from Sutherland given to police the day after the altercation.

It learn: ‘The stick was being pulled between us and I managed to strike him on the shoulder and aspect. My dad instructed me that was sufficient and we acquired within the automotive.’

When requested why he failed to inform the police he had struck Mr Mills within the head, Sutherland stated: ‘I am unable to keep in mind.’

William Mousley QC prosecuting has instructed jurors the prosecution’s case is the epileptic match which brought about Mr Mills’ dying was a direct results of an ‘extraordinarily violent’ assault by Sutherland.

Mr Mills was left with catastrophic head accidents together with mind injury and repeated epileptic seizures, the court docket has heard. 

A pathologist who examined his physique stated there’s an ‘unbroken hyperlink between the dying and the assault in 2006’.

Mr Newton-Worth QC instructed jurors they might resolve Sutherland is responsible of manslaughter as a result of diminished accountability and argued Mr Mills had been ‘taunting and bullying’ him.

Sutherland was initially jailed for 4 years on March 14, 2008, at Swindon Crown Courtroom, after admitting grievous bodily hurt with intent and was launched in 2010.

Sutherland denies homicide. The trial continues.

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