THE brutal killing of a man in the street showed “how quick life can be snuffed out”, a crown court judge said.

On Friday, Radu Ciobanu was handed a 12 year sentence for the fatal attack on James Avis in Westcliff in September.

Judge Samantha Leigh sentenced Ciobanu, 24, of Kings Chase, Witham after the incident in Hainault Avenue at around 10.35pm on Saturday, September 25.

She said Ciobanu showed arrogance and disregard for what he had done.

She said: “I am satisfied having seen it there were three punches and other arms swings with a number of misses from the defendant.

“In my view Mr Avis was less drunk and says he’s not a fighter and I can see Mr Avis falling after having his hands over his face and I can see he’s in pain.

“He sort to blame Mr Avis and we know he died as a result of the violence. His comments in the police interview show an arrogance and disregard for what he has done.”

Ciobanu sat motionless in the dock flanked by a prison officer and a Romanian interpreter.

Mr Avis’ parents and best friend sat dignified but clearly upset during the court hearing.

Judge Leigh added: “I’ve seen a heart-wrenching letter from Mr Avis’ mother who says they are devastated, which was made worse as they couldn’t see him soon after and hug and kiss him goodbye.

“If you ever need an example of how quickly life can be snuffed out and how fragile life is, the footage shows it.

“It is chilling to watch and made more horrific by the sound of the punches and him slumping to the floor.”

She told the court there was no way it was self defence and Ciobanu had intention to cause harm.

She said he had shown no remorse at all and she refused to accept that Mr Avis showed any aggression or willingness to fight in the street.

Mr Avis’ parents chose to leave the court as the footage taken by a witness was shown.