Family of fatal one-punch victim outraged over attacker's sentence

The family of a Gold Coast grandfather killed in a brutal one-punch attack is outraged over the sentence given to the young man who hit him.

Trevor Duroux's family wanted the maximum penalty handed down to his attacker, Tristan Heather.

Instead, the New Zealander who threw the fatal blow could be released in a little over five years.

Proudly wearing T-shirts printed with a picture of the victim's face, the Duroux family had a clear message for the public and the justice system.

Trevor Duroux's family wore T-shirts with his face and the words: 'Keep your hands to yourself.' Source: 7 News

Heather, 20, was on Thursday sentenced to six and a half years in jail for unlawful striking causing death.

"Put down the heavy sentence, lay the heavy sentence that's supposed to come with the legislation," the victim's sister, Lavinia Duroux, said.

"It's certainly not fair.

"My nieces and nephews, they've got to live without their father for the rest of their lives."

'It's certainly not fair,' Lavinia Duroux said of the sentence handed down. Source: 7 News

The incident happened in the early hours of December 4, 2015, outside the Coolangatta Hotel.

Heather had been celebrating his 18th birthday and had consumed more than 20 drinks.

When leaving, he interrupted an argument between his friend and Mr Duroux, throwing a punch to the left side of his face.

Trevor Duroix died 10 days later in hospital. Source: 7 News

His victim's head hit the ground and the 40-year-old father and grandfather died in hospital 10 days later.

"It is something you will have to bear for the rest of your life," Justice James Douglas said.

Justice Douglas took into account Heather's good record and that he had expressed remorse in his sentencing.

"You must be punished for your offence," he said.

Tristan Heather had consumed 20 drinks when he threw a punch at Mr Duroux. Source: 7 News

"My main reason for that punishment in this case is to deter others from engaging in such conduct."

Dozens of Heather's relatives from New Zealand packed the gallery for his sentencing - amongst them, his pregnant girlfriend.

Heather is a New Zealand citizen and had only been in Australia for a matter of months at the time of the attack, having moved to take up work on the Gold Coast.

"It's a complete tragedy for two families, no-one is a winner from this," defence lawyer Peter Saggers said.

Members of the Duroux family speak outside court. Source: 7 News

In a letter, Heather apologised to Mr Duroux's family, writing: "The most precious thing on earth is human life. A life is lost. I did not mean for that to happen."

Heather will only be allowed to remain in Australia for the duration of his prison term, of which he must serve a minimum of five years and two months.

He will then be deported to New Zealand.

On Thursday his lawyer indicated they will consider appealing the sentence, which would be the first appeal against the relatively new charge of unlawful striking causing death.