Killer's appeal bid fails

BABY killer Duncan Mills, who shook his four-week-old son to death, has had an application to appeal his conviction thrown out of court.

BABY killer Duncan Mills, who shook his four-week-old son to death, has had an application to appeal his conviction thrown out of court.

Mills, who was found guilty of murdering his four-week-old son last February, was given a life sentence with no parole for 18 years.

The 33-year-old tried to convince criminal appeal court judges that his trial was unfair after an Ipswich Crown Court jury found him guilty of murdering Luigi and assaulting the child's mother Samantha Askew with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm.

Baby Luigi died in hospital in May 2007 after paramedics were called to the house in Lanercost Way, Ipswich where he lived with his mother.


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He had suffered numerous head injuries, a ruptured liver, and rib fractures after Mills attacked him during a row with Miss Askew in which he fractured her wrist, beat her with a rubber hammer and punched her with a knuckleduster.

Miss Askew said in court at the time she was so badly beaten up by Mills that she could not get off the floor to go to Luigi who was crying downstairs.

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Mills yesterday asked Lord Justice Pill, Mr Justice Maddison and Sir Geoffrey Grigson, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, to overturn his convictions, claiming that evidence of previous assaults by him on former partners should not have been put before the jury.

Mills claimed that the “bad character” evidence heard during his trial had prejudiced jurors against him but Mr Justice Maddison dismissed his application for permission to appeal, saying that the evidence was relevant as it showed a propensity for him to commit acts of violence.

In 2002 Mills had received a two-year prison sentence at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting viciously assaulting a previous girlfriend on Valentine's Day.

During the assault he punched her in the face after attempted to force a mobile phone into her mouth.

After the conviction, questions were asked about whether Suffolk social services were aware of Mills' violent past and if it was considered when assessing baby Luigi's safety.

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