A suspected human trafficking victim who killed a seven-foot-five Belarusian man has been jailed for six years with the final 12 months suspended.
Lithuanian Arnoldas Ivanauskas (33) was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter earlier this year for killing 24-year-old Dmitry Hrynkevich.
In garda interviews, the accused, with an address at The Parklands, Tralee, Co Kerry, said a second man not before the court attacked Mr Hrynkevich and that he "joined in", punching him at least once on the side of the head.
Sentencing Ivanauskas yesterday at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Michael MacGrath noted the difficulties the accused had had in his life, including a report suggesting he may have been the victim of human trafficking.
Mr Justice MacGrath also described the death of Mr Hrynkevich as "extremely tragic, particularly for his mother".
In a statement to the court, Elena Moram had described her son's struggles with Marfan Syndrome, which causes elongated limbs and heart problems.
He grew up "in pain, marginalised, picked upon by a certain minority" for his height.
Despite his problems, his mother said he showed "courage, resilience and kindness" and was widely liked for his humour and generosity.
Mr Justice MacGrath said he had to take into account that the deceased's medical problems contributed to his death.
He also noted the jury had decided the accused did not intend to kill or cause serious injury when he hit Mr Hrynkevich. The judge said the evidence showed the second person was the principal assailant. He noted that while the assault was not planned, the accused did not withdraw once it started. The headline sentence was set at seven years.
Taking into account mitigating factors, including Ivanauskas's good record in prison, he reduced that to six years and suspended the final year on condition he is of good behaviour for two years after his release.
The judge said he had expressed remorse in a letter to the court in which he said it was "never his intention to hurt or to kill".
Ivanauskas said the killing had changed his life for ever and he wishes he could turn the clock back. In prison he is an enhanced inmate and had sat exams for the Leaving Cert.
The sentence was backdated to November 2018 when he first went into custody.