Australia

Victorian one-punch killer to pay $170k compo

Robyn (clutching a teddy that belonged to Patrick as a child) and Matt Cronin leave the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne. Source: AAP

The family of Melbourne one-punch victim Patrick Cronin say the $170,972 compensation to be paid by his killer is nothing compared to the life of their son.

Clutching their son's childhood teddy bear, the family of Victorian one-punch victim Patrick Cronin held back tears after they were awarded more than $170,000 in compensation from his killer.

Andrew William Lee was not in court but represented by lawyers on Thursday when the Supreme Court ordered he pay $170,972 in compensation to the young footballer's family.

"Pat was a good kid. He can't be here today and we're here to represent him," father Matt Cronin told reporters outside court.

Lee was jailed in 2017 for eight years after pleading guilty to hitting the 19-year-old outside a Diamond Creek pub in April 2016.

"Today is three years, three months and 14 days since Pat was taken away from us by a coward," Mr Cronin said.

"He should still be here, playing footy for the local footy club with his brother and us watching him. It's a bittersweet day."

Holding on tight to her son's toy, which she sleeps with every night, mum Robyn Cronin said even $1 million wouldn't have fixed what the "coward" had done.

"We want the cowards that do this stuff to learn they can't do it," Ms Cronin said.

"Behaviour like that is socially unacceptable. Don't do it"."

The parents have tried to make sure their son's death wasn't in vain, creating a foundation in his honour and raising awareness about the dangers of one-punch blows.

But they also want change for victims of crime after having to privately fund their fight for compensation for the psychiatric injury they've suffered.

"I've had to restructure my business as a result of the crime," Mr Cronin said.

The Cronins say they will continue to focus working on the Pat Cronin foundation, to help educate schools and other youth about the dangers of the "coward punch".

Lee was jailed in November 2017 for eight years, with a minimum of five years, for striking Mr Cronin to the temple during a brawl outside the Windy Mile Hotel.

Mr Cronin managed to walk to a friend's house but his condition quickly deteriorated and he was rushed to Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The teen, who had recently received a scholarship to study physiotherapy, suffered bleeding on the brain and his family turned off life-support.

Lee was originally charged with murder but it was downgraded to manslaughter and he pleaded guilty two days into his trial.

Prosecutors did not pursue a mandatory minimum 10-year jail term, under Victoria's one-punch laws introduced in 2014, at the time saying the case did not fit the legislation.

Attempts by Lee to appeal the length of his sentence were rejected by the courts.

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