The son of a man stomped to death during a drunken fight at Summerhill says he will never forgive the killer.
A jury found Anthony Colin Finnegan guilty of murdering Peter Fitzgerald in the Launceston Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The victim died of significant injuries to his head in December 2016.
Delivering an emotional victim impact statement, his son Curtis Fitzgerald described the “immense pain” of not being able to say goodbye to his dad.
“He wasn’t just my dad, he was my best friend,” he cried.
“He won’t get to pass on anymore of his advice or his life stories … Dad’s opportunity to grow old with dignity is gone.”
The devastated son said he became depressed after his father was killed.
“I found it hard to let people into my life,” he told the court.
“I felt extreme anxiety, I still struggle with sleep every night … worried someone is going to come kill me while I am sleeping.
“I wouldn’t wish what I’ve gone through on my worst enemy … I will never forgive the accused.”
The court also heard from the victim’s daughter, Ellie Fitzgerald, who struggled to read out her statement.
Fighting back tears, she recalled talking to her dad every day on the phone, describing him as the one person she could ask for advice.
“I still think of my father every day,” she said.
“There is no way to make sense of why someone would be so malicious towards another human being.
“I continue to feel enormous hurt.”
Defence lawyer Greg Richardson said his client was raised in a “dysfunctional environment” filled with violence.
Mr Richardson blamed his client’s significant criminal history on that environment.
“Violence begets violence,” he said.
He urged Justice Michael Brett to sentence on the basis both the murderer and his victim were “heavily intoxicated at the time” he was killed.
He said his client was reacting to violence against him, with the victim accused of throwing the first punch.
“As far as murders go … this is at the bottom of the scale,” Mr Richardson said.
Finnegan has been in custody since December 1, 2016 – the day Mr Fitzgerald was killed.
Justice Michael Brett is expected to sentence him on September 4.