Murder probe after death of man, 53, in Belfast

Police-issued photograph of Mark Ponisi, 53, who was killed at a flat in east Belfast on Saturday, January 20
Police-issued photograph of Mark Ponisi, 53, who was killed at a flat in east Belfast on Saturday, January 20

The man whose death at a flat in east Belfast yesterday morning sparked a murder investigation has been named as 53-year-old Mark Ponisi.

Police say Mr Ponisi appears to have sustained “a number of injuries to his head and face”.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said: "Police and paramedics were called to an address in the London Road area shortly before 10am this morning. A 53 year old man was located in the living room of the property; however, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

“The victim appeared to have sustained a number of injuries to his head and face, however a post mortem examination will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

"A 25-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. They remain in custody this afternoon assisting us with our enquiries.

"I am appealing for witnesses, or anyone who may have information about this crime, to get in touch with the investigation team by calling 101, quoting reference 347 of 20/01/18."

He added: “Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100 percent anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”