A 35-year-old man has gone on trial over the murder of a former soldier who died from an "epileptic seizure caused by a baseball bat attack almost 11 years earlier".

Father-of-three Paul Mills suffered brain injuries following the attack in Southwick, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in July 2006 and died aged 44 at his home in Heytesbury, near Warminster, in March 2017.

It is alleged he died from epilepsy brought on by the injuries he suffered in the attack.

Neil Sutherland, from Trowbridge, who previously served a four-year prison sentence for grievous bodily harm for the same attack against Mr Mills, now faces the charge of murder at Salisbury Crown Court.

William Mousley QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Sutherland pleaded guilty in 2008 to the GBH offence, but denies being responsible for the victim's subsequent death.

Mr Mousley said that the incident happened after Sutherland, 22 at the time, met Mr Mills in a lay-by in Southwick in order to purchase the metal baseball bat from him.

But after a confrontation developed and Mr Mills, aged 33 at the time, had "slapped" the defendant, Sutherland went on to hit the victim over the head with the bat followed by further blows, Mr Mousley said.

He said that Mr Mills suffered a fractured skull and brain damage, and added: "Paul Mills developed epilepsy from the injuries that he suffered, he had his first seizures not long after he had been taken to hospital and from that day on there were regular seizures for nearly 11 years.

"At the beginning of March 2017, he was found dead in his home where he lived alone after having suffered, the prosecution say, an epileptic fit."

He said that a pathologist concluded that "there was an unbroken link between the death of Mr Mills from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and the assault in July 2006".

James Newton-Price QC, defending, said: "This is a very unusual case because the original incident which now gives rise to the charge of murder happened 13 years ago and, not only that, it was investigated and it was dealt with at the time."

He said his client, a former construction worker, had not intended to cause really serious harm and had struck out in self-defence because he was scared of the older man who had "taunted, bullied and intimidated" him.

Mr Newton-Price said that Sutherland, who is being assisted by an intermediary in court, "is and was a man of low intelligence" with a "mild learning disability" which "may reduce his level of responsibility".

He said the jury had to consider whether Sutherland could be found guilty of manslaughter by means of diminished responsibility as an alternative to the murder charge.

Mr Newton-Price added that Mr Mills' earlier lifestyle of heavy drinking and drug-taking could have contributed to the cause of his death.