Jesse James Patrick, the Queensland one-punch-killer, has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Patrick will be eligible for parole after serving at least half of the prison term.
Fifty-three-year-old Bruce Steensen was punched once in the head from behind, as he was walking on Mooloolaba Esplanade in Queensland on Feb. 22, 2014. The punch made him fall to the ground and fractured his skull fatally.
Patrick pleaded guilty of manslaughter charges in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday. Patrick, a New Zealander, was on parole due to a similar offence, says Brisbane Times.
Patrick was behaving in a belligerent manner after drinking with his friends at Mooloolaba Esplanade on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Steensen told him to “pull his head in” after swearing at a taxi driver.
A brawl ensued between Patrick and Steensen. There was no damaging blow between them and Steensen was walking away eventually.
With the incessant want to finish the fight, 21-year-old New Zealander ran behind the old man and punched him. Patrick has a history of violence and was booked for assaulting his old neighbour earlier.
As he was sentenced, Patrick broke into tears. Steensen’s mother read out her victim impact statement in court asking for Patrick’s rehabilitation.
“You can’t go through life treating people like a punching bag,” she said.
“Look at me… look closely Jesse and think of me when you go and throw the next punch.”
“Please don’t let it happen again. There is no shame in walking away,” Steensen’s mother said.
Mrs. Steensen formed an organisation called Just Let It Go after her son died to show young people a life without violence, says The Courier Mail.
She welcomed Patrick to her organisation that believes in nonviolence. Outside court, she said that she did not hate Patrick as that would only hurt her.
“He turned around and said he was sorry so I think we’re off to a good start,” she said.