Father of coward punch victim weeps in court

A man who killed with a single punch ... and a man whose love for his dead son Daniel was pure and undiluted - both wept.

Michael Christie told how Peter, the son who survived New Year's Eve 2013, now lives with "the sound of his brother's head cracking, the smell of blood oozing from Daniel's wounds.

"The violent act, the likes of which Peter or Daniel had never witnessed."

Daniel spent 11 days and night in hospital fighting for his life.

During today's sentencing hearing Mr Christie described in harrowing detail what happened when the family decided to remove his son's life support.

Daniel Christie.

"Daniel sat upright, gagging for breath; his brother John thought it was a sign of life; Michael had to tell him, it was just reflex; these were the last moments of Daniel Christie's life.

"The pain that I felt and continue to feel is physical, located just under my sternum.

"At times you wish that you would just stop breathing to relieve the pain," Mr Christie told the court.

Michael Christie has shared the horror his family went through since Daniel's death.

Shaun McNeil cried while listening to his victim's father.

But manslaughter is the latest of several violent offences McNeil committed during the last decade.

In his letter to the judge, McNeil wrote:

"I Can't imagine the hurt in the Christies' family life. I pray for them each and every night.

"I could never ask for forgiveness but I pray one day that can happen."

Daniel's father won't say whether that will be possible.

The family will be back in court for McNeil's sentencing on Thursday.

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