"A momentary lapse, a snap, an error in judgment" was how Craig Field's barrister Tony Bellanto QC described his client's actions in the king-hit death of Kelvin Kane at Kingscliff Beach Hotel in 2012.
The former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain, 42, will be sentenced in Lismore Supreme Court today after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter over the July 15 incident.
Yesterday Justice Elizabeth Fullerton heard sentencing submissions and Mr Kane's partner and daughter read out victim impact statements.
Mr Kane's partner of 10 years, Sue-Ellen Harlow, described the incident as the loss of a "wonderful, loving and unique man from our lives".
"Due to this horrendous act of violence, which has taken Kelvin too soon, he will never get to walk his daughter down the aisle," Ms Harlow said.
Choking back tears, Georgina Kane told of a "beautiful, caring and loving soul that I miss immensely".
"It felt, and still feels to this day, I'm living a nightmare and I'm waiting to wake up," she said.
Ms Kane said since the incident she had suffered depression, anxiety and insomnia and had seen her brother, Bradley, go from "a funny happy character" to someone who is full of anger.
Mr Bellanto submitted Field got involved in a fight between his friend Shaun Fathers and Mr Kane, endeavouring to be the peacemaker.
He said Field's "error in judgement" was when he lost his self-control and threw the blow that felled Mr Kane.
Mr Bellanto urged Justice Fullerton to consider an intensive correction order or a suspended sentence, rather than fulltime custody.
"Unless you are going to launch into persuading me otherwise, your client will be sentenced to a period of fulltime custody," Justice Fullerton replied.
Crown prosecutor Lee Carr submitted Field took a leading role in the fight after being a peacemaker earlier in the evening.
Mr Carr said Field chose to involve himself in the incident and his motivation for throwing the punch was "backing up his mate".
He submitted that Field's offending was in the mid-range of objective seriousness and it was a "matter that looms large in regards to general deterrence".
In reply, Mr Bellanto tendered a last minute reference from Alan Jones, a mentor of Field's, which drew an interesting reaction from Justice Fullerton.
"Is that Alan Jones, Alan Jones? Goodness me," Justice Fullerton said.
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