Stefan Pahia Schmidt, 28, was acquitted of murder on Thursday in a judge-alone retrial in the West Australian Supreme Court, but was found guilty of manslaughter.
In 2012, Schmidt was handed a life sentence with a minimum jail term of 14 years for murdering Andy Marshall, 29, by shoving him through the second-storey window of Cottesloe’s Ocean Beach Hotel in May 2011.
But the Court of Appeal determined in August that Schmidt should face a retrial, with Justice Michael Buss saying he could have been found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.
At the start of the retrial, Schmidt had offered to plead guilty to the lesser charge, admitting he had pushed Mr Marshall but did not mean to kill him.
Prosecutors rejected the plea deal.
On Thursday, Justice John McKechnie found Schmidt guilty of manslaughter and ordered he spend at least seven years behind bars before being eligible for parole.
The sentence was backdated to May 2011, when he was placed in custody.
Justice McKechnie said the only reason Schmidt was not found guilty of murder was because he had not thought about the consequences of his actions, but noted it was still a very serious case of unlawful killing.
“You should have known the extreme danger of the act,” he said.
Justice McKechnie said the cause of Schmidt’s anger – Mr Marshall speaking with two of Schmidt’s female associates – was “unbelievably innocuous”.
And he wanted Schmidt’s sentence to deter others from “casual violence”, saying people should be able to go out without fearing such an attack.
That Schmidt walked away from the victim as he lay injured on the pavement was “undoubtedly callous”, Justice McKechnie said.
“However, I cannot discount the accused’s explanation that he was worried about the response of hotel patrons towards him,” he said.
Schmidt had claimed he walked away from a crowd gathering around Mr Marshall because he feared a mob attack.
In his victim-impact statement, the victim’s father, Alan, said his feelings were “beyond words and beyond pain”.
Adding to his pain had been the heartbreak of hearing his wife, Wendy, collapse when he called to inform her of their son’s death.
She held back tears as she told the court the loss was overwhelming.
Outside court, Mr Marshall said the family respected the decision of the court but did not agree with all its findings.
He said he was relieved the ordeal was over, but that did not bring the family any closure or satisfaction.
“The truth is it doesn’t really change our lives.
“We return to our lives without our son and the pain doesn’t go away.
“The life sentence handed to us continues.”