A notorious thug has been jailed for six years for killing a Liverpool fan who was on his way home from watching the Champions League final.
James Gelling, 32, who has committed more than 70 crimes, admitted the manslaughter of Bulgarian national Ventsislav Marginov, 51.
He carried out his brutal attack on the victim, who had been travelling home from a screening of the Liverpool v Spurs, in Southport, Merseyside on June 1.
Gelling punched Marginov once near the town’s Scarisbrick Hotel at around 10.45pm as the victim was on his way home with his two sons.
He suffered a fractured skull and was rushed to hospital with serious injuries but died three days later when his life-support machine was switched off by doctors.
Sentencing Gelling at Liverpool Crown Court today, recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary QC said: "You are a lout who just looks for trouble and it is people like you that make towns like Southport the hostile environments on Friday and Saturday nights they so often are."
The court heard how Gelling, who was in handcuffs in the dock, had convictions for violence going back to the age of 11.
He had been slapped with an ASBO aged 15 and was the eldest of three brothers who terrorised Southport as children, waging a campaign of burglaries, assaults and vandalism.
John McDermott QC, prosecuting, said the defendant and the victim had both been out watching the match between Liverpool and Tottenham, separately, in Southport when their paths crossed outside the Scarisbrick Hotel after the game that night.
The court heard Gelling, who had taken cocaine that night, walked towards Marginov and his group, which included his two sons Hristo and Stanimir.
Judge Menary said the Marginov group had been "entirely peaceable" and "essentially minding their own business" when they had the "terrible misfortune" to encounter Gelling and his friends.
He said: "For no good reason at all, maybe because one of the deceased's group looked at one of you the wrong way, maybe because someone heard their foreign accents, maybe for no reason at all, one of your friends began to attack one of the other group."
The court heard one of Gelling's companions punched one of Marginov's sons and witnesses then saw Gelling punch the victim to the back of his head.
Passer-by James Hinton said in a statement: "The older guy didn't even know it was coming at all and had no way to defend himself."
The court heard Marginov died on June 4 after fracturing his skull as he hit the ground after the heavy blow.
The judge said: "This was a cowardly attack on an older and defenceless man. He offered no threat to you at all."
Witnesses described seeing Gelling cover his face following the attack and take his jumper off after going into nearby Maloney's bar where he was seen "laughing".
In police interview, Gelling told officers: "I'm not arsed if he dies or lives, he's permanently injured, cabbaged, I don't give a f***."
In a statement, Mr Marginov's wife Branimira said the chemical specialist had moved to England in 2015.
She said: "He was a calm man. He loved reading books."
His son Hristo said: "It has destroyed us."
Judge Menary said: "He was plainly intelligent, well read, highly qualified and came to this country with his wife and children in an effort to make a new life for themselves."
Paul Becker, defending, said Gelling had a turbulent childhood but was going on courses in alcohol awareness, violence reduction and enhanced thinking skills in the hope of addressing his problems.
Judge Menary said he had "no doubt" Gelling was dangerous and gave him a custodial sentence of six years and an extended licence period of four years.
He said: "Your criminal record is a serious aggravating feature, displaying as it does your willingness to engage in wholly unjustified aggression and violence."
Gelling was supported in court by his partner, brother and brother's partner.