Man on trial for drowning partner in Ballymena in 1995


A man has gone on trial accused of drowning his partner in a bath at their Ballymena home 15 years ago.

The court heard that William Mawhinney, 51, of Gracehill March, Cambridgeshire, was re-arrested in July last year.

The arrest followed allegations from his wife and daughter that he confessed to killing Lorraine Mills in May 1995.

At the time, Mr Mawhinney said that he found Ms Mills dead in the bath and although he was initially charged with the murder, the case was later dropped.

At Belfast Crown Court, a prosecution barrister claimed that since 1995, Mr Mawhinney had lied about the circumstances of Ms Mills' drowning.

He further claimed that Mr Mawhinney's daughter and his wife Gwen had independently revealed to police what they knew.

He said that the prosecution case was also based on a number of injuries to Ms Mills, including a hairline skull fracture.

The barrister said it was the prosecution case "that there are a multiplicity of inconsistencies in what he said from beginning to end because he had lied about what he did".

He also claimed that the "multiple accounts" given by Mawhinney showed that "he has consistently lied from day one."