A smirking killer said he 'didn't give a f***' whether the innocent dad he attacked on his way home from watching the Champions League final died.

The sickening interview 32-year-old James Gelling gave detectives was laid bare during his sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court today.

Gelling, from Southport, formed part of a "gang of about seven' who attacked father-of-two Ventsislav Marginov, 51, after watching Liverpool's win.

The Bulgarian native and LFC fan suffered a fractured skull from the brutal attack and had to be put on a life-support machine for his injuries, reports the Liverpool Echo.

He died on June 4.

The court heard how serial criminal Gelling said in a police interview: "I'm not a***d if he dies or lives, he's injured permanently, a cabbage. I do not give a f***."

Father-of-two Ventsislav Marginov died in hospital from his injuries

Gelling was jailed for six years.

Sentencing, Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Andrew Menary QC called the attack an "outrageous incident of street violence" and labelled Gelling "cowardly".

He said: "You are a lout who just looks for trouble and it's people like you who make towns like Southport hostile environments."

John McDermott QC, prosecuting, said Gelling and his friends had been out watching the Reds' clinch with Tottenham Hotspur in the Metro Bar and Hotel, on Portland Street.

Mr Marginov and his two boys had also been watching the match, in Victoria Park, before their paths crossed with Gelling outside of the Scarisbrick Hotel, at about 10.45pm.

Gelling, who admitted he had taken cocaine on the night, had claimed that some "foreign lads had started to argue" with his friends and he had intervened to stop a scuffle. The prosecution said this was "simply a lie".

Mr Marginov and his two boys crossed with Gelling outside of the Scarisbrick Hotel

Paul Becker, defending, said there was no evidence of racial abuse in the attack.

Mr Marginov's son was punched during the encounter by a member of Gelling's group, but it was Gelling who delivered the fatal punch to Mr Marginov.

Mr McDermott said Gelling, who was handcuffed to a security guard throughout his sentencing, had punched Mr Marginov to the back of the head, causing him to fall.

A witness to the attack, James Hinton, said the victim "looked like an older man and was no threat to anyone."

Reading his account aloud, Mr McDermott said the witness saw Mr Marginov "crumpled in a heap" after receiving the fatal blow.

After the punch was thrown, Mr McDermott said Gelling was seen to "pull his jumper over his face and was smirking".

Gelling and his group of pals left the scene and were later captured on CCTV of bars they entered. In an attempt to conceal his identity, Gelling removed his "distinguishable" white shirt, Mr McDermott said.

When interviewed, Gelling had denied being the attacker and had initially claimed he was a victim of assault.

Gelling, aged 15, when he was handed a three-year Asbo

He also claimed he only removed his top because he was warm and did not know anyone was injured.

Mr Marginov's son, Hristo, said the family had been left devastated at the loss of their father.

Reading a victim impact statement from Hristo, Mr McDermott said: "It's destroyed us"

He said: "We are trying to pick each other out of it but, but as a family we will never be the same."

Speaking for Mr Marginov's wife Branimira, Mr McDermott said: "He was a calm man, he loved reading very much. We have a family library in Bulgaria of up to 300 books.

"He loved football and had always supported Liverpool."

Gelling on a roof when hiding from police in Southport

Read More

Top news stories from Mirror Online

Mr McDermott said Mr Marginov's wife had found the night time particularly difficult and struggled being alone since her husband's death.

Recorder Menary QC told Gelling: "He had the terrible misfortune of coming across you and your group of violent lads.

"For no good reason at all, I don't know if he looked at you the wrong way or you heard their foreign accents, one of your friends attacked his son.

"While he was watching all of this unfurl and doing absolutely nothing, you punched him from behind. He had no opportunity to defend himself."

He added: "It was a most cowardly and idiotic encounter that had tragic consequences."

Gelling, who had extra security measures taken to keep him in the dock after he previously made an attempt to escape Bootle Magistrates Court, was given an extended sentence of 10 years.

Gelling will serve six years in custody and have four years on licence.