A man who killed a Melbourne surgeon with a single blow has become the first to receive a prison sentence of at least ten years under the & # 39; cowardly jolt & # 39; laws of Victoria.
Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann, 41, suffered fatal head injury when Joseph Esmaili struck Box Box Hospital in May 2017.
His murderer, now 24, was found guilty of manslaughter last year and was sentenced to ten years and six months in prison on Wednesday.
Esmaili smiled and nodded to the public gallery when he was led away to start his prison sentence.
He is the first person to receive a mandatory minimum decade-long prison sentence under Victoria & # 39; s & # 39; dastardly punch & # 39; laws, meaning he must serve at least 10 years before being eligible for release on conditional release.
Mr. Pritzwald-Stegmann left the hospital when he stopped to tell a group – including Esmaili – to stop smoking at the entrance.
A fight broke out between the couple.
& # 39; Unfortunately, none of you were willing to simply walk away from the argument, & # 39; said Justice Hollingworth.
Esmaili struck the surgeon with so much force that he was beaten unconscious and got & # 39; catastrophic & # 39; injuries when his head fell to the floor.
His family turned off his life support a month later.
Mr. Pritzwald-Stegmann (photo) had approached a group including Esmaili and asked them to stop smoking near the hospital entrance
The judge said the prosecutors had met the four key elements of the law, which was introduced in 2014, were met, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
They claimed that the blow was intentional, on the head, that the victim did not expect it, and the perpetrator probably knew that the victim did not expect it,
The court heard that the couple also exchanged heated words prior to the surprise attack and that Esmali had placed his arms behind his back in a non-threatening way.
Justice Hollingworth said the actions of Esmali had also contributed to meeting the requirement that Pritzwald-Stegmann did not anticipate violence.
& # 39; You knew very well that he probably did not anticipate the blow, & # 39; said Justice Hollingworth.
The judge said his death had turned the lives of his family, including his wife and young twin daughters, upside down.
Esmaili had expressed regret for his actions that day, but still blamed Mr. Pritzwald-Stegmann for what had happened, according to his repeated assertion that he had done self-defense.
& # 39; You have a long way to go before you actually accept that responsibility for your actions on that day & # 39 ;, the judge said.
Outside of the court, Christine Pritzwald-Stegmann's wife, Christine, said in a statement that Esmali wanted to blame anyone but himself during the trial.
She described her husband as a dedicated heart and lung surgeon, who spent his days working on patients who had the harmful effects of smoking.
& # 39; First and foremost he was a loving husband and father, & # 39; she said. & # 39; He should have been safe at work. & # 39;
In her punishments, Justice Hollingworth noted how the suspect described his childhood as being dominated by physical and emotional abuse.
& # 39; You described your father as a long-term drug addict who had a quick and violent temper, & # 39; said Justice Hollingworth.
& # 39; You said your upbringing made you hypervigilant, and susceptible to reprisal in any situation you have observed can escalate into violence.
& # 39; Although you did not take revenge on your father's abusive behavior, you said that you were often fighting with your peers, and learned not to fall back, & # 39; she said.
The judge said that Esmali had also recognized a psychologist who had been hit in the face about 200 times.
Justice Hollingworth also referred to the alleged behavior of drug use by Esmali.
& # 39; You started abusing drugs and alcohol in your early teens.
& # 39; By the time you were 17 or 18, you regularly abused cannabis, alcohol, and methamphetamine (or & # 39; ice cream & # 39;).
& # 39; You then started using heroin, & # 39; she said.