THE brother of manslaughter victim Darren Bolger has told of his relief at killer Stephen Thomas’s indefinite jail sentence.
Paul Bolger described Thomas, of Wigan, as “a low-life bully” after hearing in court how the thug had used his brother as “a defenceless punchbag” before leaving him fatally injured in an alleyway.
Jailing him indefinitely, Mr Justice Henriques described Thomas as “an angry and dangerous young man”.
Paul Bolger agreed: “I think the verdict did Darren justice.
“We’d all prepared ourselves for the worst - thinking he (Thomas) might only get a couple of years - so we were happy with it.
“We just wanted him off the streets because if this hadn’t have happened to Darren it would have happened to somebody else instead.
“With this sentence he is going to be off the streets for a very long time. He could even be inside for good.
“At least now we can move on and try to get back to some sort of normality.”
Mr Bolger added: “He (Thomas) is just a low-life bully. Our Darren was only eight stone wet through. He didn’t stand a chance.”
Thomas, 26, who had only been released from prison that day, scaled a six-foot high metal fence before punching Mr Bolger three times in the face.
Mr Bolger suffered a fractured skull after falling to the ground and hitting his head.
Thomas initially ran off but then returned - possibly looking for cigarettes - before heartlessly kicking his victim twice in the face and leaving him lying in a pool of blood.
Liverpool Crown Court also heard how Thomas had earlier spent two-and-a-half-years in the army before a “shameful” final report awarded him the lowest possible rating for “merit, common sense, determination and courage”.
Thomas always denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the start of his re-trial in December after an earlier jury had been unable to reach a verdict.
As well as convictions for 10 offences, Thomas had also previously received a non-molestation order for grabbing his aunt by the scruff of the neck and had been abusive and aggressive to hostel staff.
Mr Justice Henriques, who jailed Thomas for a minimum of four-and-a-half years, said: “I find you to be an angry and dangerous young man.
“You may not be released from custody for many, many years, if at all.”