Man launches bid to overturn Marcell Seeley murder conviction

Mark Ward
Mark Ward

A man jailed for beating and stamping a father-of-four to death has launched a bid to overturn his murder conviction.

Mark Ward, 26, is appealing the guilty verdict based on his level of drunkenness and alleged intent to kill Marcell Seeley at his home in Lurgan.

Senior judges adjourned the hearing after an issue emerged about how a claim Ward had been “wiped” on the night of the attack was dealt with at trial.

Mr Seeley’s body was discovered in his Dingwell Park flat in October 2015.

The 34-year-old victim died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Ward, from Drumellan Gardens in Craigavon, denied murdering Mr Seeley, but was found guilty and sentenced to at least 16 years behind bars.

Defence lawyers were set to contest the safety of the conviction at the Court ofAppeal by examining the trial judge’s direction to the jury.

Ward’s level of intoxication and how it impacted on the question of intent to commit murder feature in the appeal.

One of the issues involves how jurors were advised on claims by a witness that the defendant had declared himself “wiped”.

Prosecution counsel confirmed the appeal is still being resisted - irrespective of any issues around how the jury was advised.

Adjourning the hearing until October, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan stressed the need to review the issues and relevant authorities.

He added: “I think it would be unsatisfactory to start dealing with this on a haphazard-type basis.”