/Man jailed for killing Melbourne heart surgeon in one-punch attack during smoking argument

Man jailed for killing Melbourne heart surgeon in one-punch attack during smoking argument

Updated

April 17, 2019 10:17:08

A man has been sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail for killing a heart surgeon in a one-punch attack in the foyer of Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne’s east during an argument over smoking.

Joseph Esmaili, 24, punched Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann in the head, knocking the surgeon unconscious and causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the tiled floor.

The 41-year-old died in hospital a month after the attack in May 2017.

The pair got into an argument after the surgeon asked Esmaili and his friends to stop smoking in a non-smoking area outside the hospital’s entrance.

Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann was leaving to go home after the end of his shift but went back inside the hospital to get security.

He was followed by Esmaili.

Witnesses told police Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann asked Esmaili to leave the hospital, but he responded by telling the surgeon, “You need to suck my d***”.

Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann was then overheard angrily retorting, “You just spat in my face”.

Esmaili fled from the hospital after punching the surgeon and told his friends outside that they needed to leave because he had just hit someone.

Esmaili will serve a minimum of 10 years’ jail for manslaughter before becoming eligible for parole.

His case is the first in which the mandatory 10-year non-parole period for one-punch attacks in Victoria has been applied.

More to come.

Topics:

murder-and-manslaughter,

courts-and-trials,

box-hill-3128,

vic

First posted

April 17, 2019 10:06:38