The 24-yr-old Victorian man who hit and killed a surgeon outside Box Hill Hospital in 2017 is the first person to receive a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence under the state’s “coward punch” laws.

On Wednesday Joseph Esmaili was found guilty of manslaughter over the death of Patrick Pritzewald-Stegmann, who died after Esmaili punched him outside the hospital in 2017.

Pritzewald-Stegmann was knocked unconscious by the punch and did not try to break his fall. He was put in an induced coma for four weeks with a catastrophic brain injury before his family chose to turn off his life support.

It’s understood Esmaili threw the punch after he and his friends were approached by the surgeon who told them not to smoke in the non-smoking area outside the hospital.

The Age reports Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth found the attack had satisfied the key elements of the state’s one-punch laws, introduced in 2014.

Esmaili’s lawyers had argued the punch was thrown in self defence after an argument the two had inside the hospital.

“While I do accept that you have some regrets you still have some way to go to accept full responsibility,” said Justice Hollingworth.

Image: AAP