National

Plaza puncher jailed in Vic for fatal blow

By AAP Newswire

Rorey Nolan was out of jail for just 12 days when he fatally punched an associate in a Melbourne shopping plaza.

The blow caused 51-year-old Jamie Boothey to fall to the ground and hit his head with a thud.

He didn't die immediately from his horrific injuries. Instead his family had to watch as his condition grew steadily worse.

At best, he could utter one or two confused words, but he was partially paralysed and largely unconscious.

His sister stopped turning around to look at him when she walked out the door of his hospital room - she couldn't bear the pleading look he gave her.

Tears rolled down his face. He wanted to go home, but never would.

Two days after Christmas in 2018, and two months after the punch, he died.

His family was left devastated. Struggling with the enormity of his grief, Mr Boothey's son took his own life.

He may have lost his way a bit, but he was a kind-hearted person, his sister Tracey Christou said.

Supreme Court Justice Lesley Taylor on Friday sentenced Nolan to serve seven years in prison for manslaughter over the punch on October 15, 2018.

Shoppers in Dandenong Plaza stopped and stared as an argument broke out between the two men. One pulled out his phone and began recording.

Mr Boothey had been drinking in the plaza since 11am. He was on a bench when Nolan, described as an associate rather than a friend, angrily approached and began arguing with him.

Nolan, shirtless, took up a boxing stance in front of the man 16 years younger than him.

Mr Boothey followed suit and was struck in the face. He took a step back and tried to push Nolan, but lost his balance.

Nolan struck him in the face again. That blow knocked Mr Boothey to the ground.

Justice Taylor said Nolan's cognitive, psychological and psychiatric deficits were profound.

He had an "appallingly traumatic" upbringing involving abuse by his mother and in foster care.

Nolan's IQ is just 61. He was introduced to alcohol at 10 and has been a daily drinker since 14.

In jail he's been assaulted, had no visits, phone calls or letters.

His chances of rehabilitation were poor, the judge said.

Nolan must serve at least four-and-a-half years before he's eligible for parole.