A BLACK belt kickboxer who killed an Ammanford dad with a powerful kick to his face has been sentenced to eight years.

Shane O'Rourke died after being kicked by Kevin Fitzgerald during a drug-fuelled gathering. Paramedics rushed to the house but Mr O'Rourke could not be saved.

Swansea Crown Court heard that on the night of November 18 last year 30-year-old Mr O’Rourke went to a party in Garnswllt, near Ammanford, where he took cocaine and amphetamine.

Christopher Clee QC, prosecuting, said the victim left the party around 9am the following morning and went to another party being held in the house of defendant Fitzgerald in Ammanford. A witness said he was “extremely drunk” on arrival.

Mr O’Rourke’s behaviour was described as being rowdy at the party.

The court heard Mr O’Rourke and 51-year-old Fitzgerald became involved in an altercation in the kitchen of the Wind Street house and a fellow partygoer described seeing the defendant deliver a single roundhouse kick to the victim’s chin.

South Wales Guardian:

Mr Clee said Mr O’Rourke was seen to “spin around 180 degrees” after being kicked and fall to the floor where he landed on his stomach.

The court heard the casualty was laid on his side on the floor and the defendant put a blanket over him and said: “Leave him sleep it off”.

The prosecutor said at midday Fitzgerald called 999 and asked for an ambulance, claiming the victim had fallen. He then performed CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the casualty.

Paramedics were quickly on the scene but Mr O’Rourke could not be saved and he was pronounced dead at 12.56pm.

The court heard a post-mortem examination found a laceration behind the casualty’s left ear, a fracture to the skull bones in that area, and bleeding on the brain.

The cause of death was given as alcohol and concussive injuries and medics concluded there had only been a “short period of survival” after the blow to the head.

Fitzgerald, of Wind Street, Ammanford, pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Clee said the plea to unlawful killing rather than to murder was acceptable to the prosecution on the basis that there was a single kick and the witnesses to the incident had all been drinking and taking drugs and their evidence was “inconsistent”.

John Hipkin QC, for Fitzgerald, said his client felt “dreadful remorse” for what he had done to Mr O’Rourke that day.

Judge Keith Thomas told the defendant he had delivered a “forceful blow” to Mr O’Rourke and must have known the risk of such an action given his kickboxing experience.

Giving the defendant a one-third discount for his guilty plea he sentenced him to eight years in prison. He will serve half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.