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Man who killed surgeon in coward punch attack at Box Hill Hospital jailed

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Article image for Man who killed surgeon in coward punch attack at Box Hill Hospital jailed

The man who killed a heart surgeon in a coward punch attack at Box Hill Hospital has been jailed for 10 years and six months.

Joseph Esmaili is the first person to be handed a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence for a coward punch.

Esmaili punched Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann in the head after the surgeon asked Esmaili and friends to stop smoking outside the hospital’s entrance.

The 41-year-old later died in hospital as a result.

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

Caterina Politi lost her son, David Cassai, to a one-punch attack at Rye and has campaigned ever since for tougher laws.

She was present for today’s judgement.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

“I wasn’t expecting that.”

She said it was “hopefully the start” of tougher sentences.

Click PLAY below to hear more from Caterina Politi

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