'This was not a fight': Killer gets five years' jail
THE 25-year-old man who fatally assaulted a Byron DJ on Christmas night in 2017 will be eligible for parole in five years after he was sentenced to jail on Thursday.
Javen O'Neill pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 28-year-old Christopher Bradley after he punched Mr Bradley three times in the head at a house party.
O'Neill was originally charged with murder, but this was withdrawn and he lodged a plea of guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter late last year.
In Lismore District Court on Thursday, he was sentenced to a total term of 11 years in jail, but Judge Laura Wells issued a 25 per cent reduction on his jail term following his guilty plea to the charge of manslaughter caused by an unlawful dangerous act. Facing a maximum penalty of 25 years, O'Neill will serve a total eight years and three months in prison, with a non-parole period of five years and nine months.
With time already served, he will be eligible for parole in August 2023.
Judge Wells said she believed O'Neill showed genuine remorse for his actions, that resulted in the loss of a life, and would be highly unlikely to ever reoffend.
At the time of the incident, O'Neill was heard to have said "F--k, oh f--k, I f--ked up and I'm so f--king sorry" and that after leaving the home to go outside, he returned to the Mr Bradley's side and offered to perform CPR.
Judge Wells said O'Neill's actions and behaviours during his testimony also supported her belief that he felt remorse for he'd done.
"From my observations of his words and his demeanour I expect he is aware of the damage he has done, he is remorseful of the damage he has done," she said.
"Often that remorse is directed to the damage they have done to themselves and the shame and embarrassment they have brought on their families.
"I'm also convinced that the his remorsefulness and he is well aware the damage he as done not only to the deceased man but also to the family."
While Judge Wells commended O'Neill on his hard work ethic and past voluntary work, she told the O'Neill during the sentencing he was the sole person responsible for the incident and O'Neill's level of fitness as a personal trainer was a factor in the fatal blows.
"You punched another person for no apparent reason before he could even raise a finger in his defence and you continued to pummel him to your physical advantage," Judge Wells said.
"This was not a fight, Mr Bradley was simply a target. He did nothing. It is wrong to describe it as a fight."
During the sentencing Judge Wells referred to the testimony of O'Neill, who said the discussion between himself and Mr Bradley moments before he threw the punch were jovial and both men were acting like "smart-arses".
"There was no prior animosity between them," Judge Wells said.
"However the offender told the doctor he was scared that he was going to be punched and punched the offender in the head three times.
"To some extent that in his own mind he was trying to minimise the circumstance. He is entirely responsible for what he did."