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SA drunk jailed for killing sleeping man

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016

An Adelaide man who fatally stomped on another man while he was asleep has been jailed for at least nine years for manslaughter.

Luke Robert John Ford, 29, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter over the death of 52-year-old Robert Fitzsimmons at a men's boarding house in Adelaide's CBD.

He was on Monday sentenced to 11 years' prison with a nine-year non-parole period for killing the older man in the spontaneous, drunken attack in October 2014.

That night Ford and the victim had been drinking on a balcony at the boarding house and they had also smoked cannabis before Mr Fitzsimmons went to sleep, the Supreme Court heard.

"You suddenly became angry and stomped on and kicked Mr Fitzsimmons," Justice Malcolm Blue said in his sentencing.

"The attack was a deliberate assault on a man incapable of defending himself."

However, the judge accepted that the attack was unplanned and that Ford had not intended to kill the other man.

Mr Fitzsimmons died from head and neck injuries more than half an hour after Ford left the room, the court heard.

The judge said the victim's sister and others in the family were "shaken" after the violent and senseless death.

"She said the tragic way in which Mr Fitzsimmons died will haunt her family forever," he said.

The court heard Ford has had serious problems with substance abuse, gambling addiction and anger management, and has served jail time before for thefts and assaults.

"Your prospects of rehabilitation are dependent on your abstinence from substances," Justice Blue said.

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