A man has been sentenced to eight years prison over an alcohol-fuelled punching attack in a Queensland KFC car park so violent it fatally tore an artery in his victim's neck.
Conrad Joseph Carter, 35, admitted to the manslaughter of Wayne Tolmie, 50, who died in hospital after being knocked to the ground in the June 2016 attack at Morayfield, north of Brisbane.
The Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday heard Carter's drunken assault on Mr Tomlie about 7.30pm was powerful and sustained.
But it took just one punch - the first - to kill his victim.
It was a blow so powerful, passers-by heard a loud cracking noise.
Prosecutor Angus Edwards says as a result, Mr Tolmie's head rotated with enough force to tear an artery in his neck causing bleeding on the brain.
"His head spun, it spun further than it should. It stretched and pulled the artery in his neck and that lead to his death," he said.
The court heard a drunk and drug-affected Mr Tolmie had plonked himself down on the ground earlier in the evening after being thrown out of a tavern.
"He was abusive, he was swearing, he was angry, he was ranting," Mr Edwards said.
Carter heard the yelling and mistakenly believed it was being directed at him.
"Witnesses heard him yell at the deceased ... 'do you want a piece of me or are you f***ing talking to me'," Mr Edwards said.
In response, Mr Tolmie rose to his feet and walked towards Carter.
Words may have been exchanged but he ultimately started to back away, Mr Edwards said.
"He was offering no violence to the defendant."
But it was too late. Carter swung at his victim, striking him in the face.
"He fell behind some hedges ... the defendant then lent over the unconscious and defenceless Mr Tolmie and punched him rapidly a number of times," Mr Edwards said.
"The defendant was also seen to lift a foot and stomp toward the area where the deceased had fallen."
In sentencing, Justice Susan Brown said Mr Tolmie was an innocent man who did not deserve to die.
"No doubt, you wish you had walked past Mr Tolmie on that evening and ignored his abuse," she said.
"So does his family, so does your family."
"That is the tragedy of these thoughtless acts of violence; everybody suffers, from that momentary reaction."
Carter will be eligible for parole after serving three years.
Australian Associated Press