Published Tuesday, 11 September 2012
The sentence was handed down on Tuesday. (© UTV)
Audrius Aukstuolis, who was 29, died after he was attacked in a car park on Anne Street in the Co Tyrone town on January 12 last year.
A judge at Belfast's Laganside Court sentenced 30-year-old Gediminas Stauskas, from Drumgramnon Road in the town, on Tuesday.
Stauskas had been charged with murdering Aukstuolis but the charge was dropped when he admitted his unlawful killing.
Prosecution QC David Hunter told the court that both men had met in the carpark not by chance, but by arrangement - Stauskas armed with a knife and Aukstuolis with a screwdriver, although he had asked a workmate if he had a hammer.
Judge David McFarland described on "one level ... a slightly bizarre and old fashioned duel".
However he added that on another level the "reality was that in a public place ...two grown men, both armed with weapons, were fighting each other".
Mr Hunter added while Stauskas claimed he had partially acted in self-defence, by his plea he accepted the "use of a knife amounted to excessive force".
A previous court hearing had heard that Aukstuolis had just left the local magistrates court when he was stabbed.
Defence QC Brendan Kelly described him as "a bully" who was persistent and provocative and "a man of violence".
Mr Kelly said that Aukstuolis was seen as a menace, and was perusing Stauskas' girlfriend, and wanted him out of the way, issuing him with threats, "even threats to kill ... threats which he took seriously".
In his sentencing Judge McFarland said despite being rebuffed by Stauskas' girlfriend, he continued to peruse her and when Stauskas became involved, both men began sending abusive and threatening text messages to one and other.
In the end Aukstuolis "essentially challenged the defendant to a fight with a suggestion that knives be used", said the judge, who added later that "clearly the defendant answered that challenge that had been laid down".
Stauskas will serve half of his sentence in jail, and will then be subjected to supervised licensed parole for the remainder of the term.