Australian father describes 'nightmare' loss of son killed by Kiwi's punch in Brisbane
Cole Miller's parents have described the "nightmare" of losing their beloved son after a senseless one-punch attack in the nightclub district of Brisbane, Australia.
In the Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday, New Zealander Armstrong Renata, 23 was sentenced to seven years jail over the attack.
He must serve 80 per cent of the sentence before applying for parole, Justice Helen Bowskill said.
Renata punched Cole in the head while out in the Fortitude Valley nightclub district on January 3, 2016.
The 18-year-old suffered massive brain trauma, with his family making the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support on January 5.
Renata read a statement to the court, saying he was "deeply sorry" and couldn't imagine the pain and trauma caused by his actions.
"From the very bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry," he said.
In an emotional victim impact statement, the talented water polo player's father Steven said his youngest son was a "kid with a dream" and his death had thrown the family into "utter turmoil".
He said Cole's life was "violently cut short" in an act that marked the start of a "nightmare" for his loved ones and friends.
"(It's) a nightmare that no one should have to endure," Miller told the court.
"It's been a long 20 months since then (and) I know my children suffer everyday."
"(The) tragic loss of their brother ... is a burden they will carry forever."
At times dabbing his eyes with a tissue, Miller described lying awake at night listening to his wife Mary-Leigh cry.
He then read aloud his wife's statement in which she describes having to take anti-depressants and sleeping tablets to cope with the devastation of her loss.
She described being engulfed by grief whenever she is left alone and said her son was a beautiful, quiet and gentle young man.
Renata appeared distressed in the dock as he listened to the heart-wrenching statements.
He has pleaded guilty to a count of unlawful striking causing death over Cole's death - an offence that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
His co-accused, Daniel Maxwell, walked from court in August after being handed an 18-month suspended sentence for starting the fight that led to Miller's death.
Crown prosecutor David Meredith told the court Maxwell, who has since been deported, was "clearly looking for a fight" that night before confronting Miller.
"But then Renata, off his own bat, punched Miller on the side of the head for no reason at all," Meredith said.
"Miller would not have seen the attack coming."