Australia

Sydney man jailed for eight years over nurse's one-punch death

Police tape
File image Source: AAP

The first person charged under NSW's one punch-law has been sentenced to the mandatory minimum eight-year jail term for killing a Sydney nurse outside a 21st birthday party in 2014.

Hugh Bacalla Garth was found guilty earlier this year of assault causing death while intoxicated after he punched Raynor Manalad, 21, outside the Rooty Hill party.

In the NSW District Court on Friday, Judge Antony Townsend jailed him for 10 years with a non-parole period of eight years.

The one-punch legislation was introduced after the deaths of Sydney teenagers Daniel Christie and Thomas Kelly and sets a mandatory non-parole period of eight years and a maximum of 25 years for the offence.

At one stage during the party, the intoxicated Garth had been told to "respect the house and calm down" before he went outside where he pushed one man in the chest.

The man fell and fractured his ankle, leading Mr Manalad to ask Garth why he did it, before he held onto Garth's shirt.

The judge noted he did not try to strike him and, according to witnesses, was trying to calm down Garth, then aged 21.

But Garth used a closed fist punch to strike Mr Manalad on the face, resulting in him falling to the ground. He never regaining consciousness.

The judge found the objective seriousness of Garth's crime to be "well below the mid-range", also noting the need to deter others being violent after drinking to excess.

"It is now notorious that a single punch can not only cause catastrophic injuries but also death," he said.

The victim's mother, Teresita Manalad, previously told the court her only child would have turned 25 last October and had planned to become a psychiatrist to help those with addictions to alcohol and other drugs.

"Isn't it ironic about how he died and how he was killed," she said.