A body builder who battered a teenage reveller to death has been jailed for at least 14 years after “trying to get away with murder”.

Nicholas Sitko, 24, was convicted last week of killing Ben Lund at the Funktion Rooms nightclub in Eastbourne, because he suspected the 19-year-old was chatting up his girlfriend.

Appearing at Lewes Crown Court Judge Richard Brown sentenced the burly digger driver to life imprisonment and told him he would serve a minimum of 14 years behind bars before he is considered for release.

The judge told Sitko he had tried to get away with murder by lying to police that Mr Lund had started the fatal fight.

Judge Brown said: "No sentence this court can impose can ever start to reflect the value of a life lost or bring comfort to family and friends devastated by the loss of a loved one.

"In a moment of alcohol-fuelled jealous rage you attacked a respectable, bright, intelligent man. He had done nothing to justify any physical response from you.

"Ben lost his life as a result of your totally inexcusable, uncontrolled violence.

"It was not just one blow with an unlucky consequence, it was a drunken attack on a defenceless victim.

"You have not had the courage to admit you tried to cause him really serious injury. In fact, you tried to get away with murder."

Sitko, of Mendip Avenue, Eastbourne, denied murder but was convicted by a jury with a majority verdict of ten to two.

He confronted Mr Lund, a window cleaner of York Road, Eastbourne, in the basement of the venue, in Pevensey Road, which has since closed down, on the night of July 11 last year.

Sitko head-butted and punched the teenager, who was described in court as a happy, popular man who had never been known to be violent.

Mr Lund suffered a major head injury and died in a pool of blood on the floor.

Friends and family of both men were were packed in the public gallery to see him sentenced.

Joel Bennathan QC, defending, said Sitko had felt remorse and guilt since the night of the attack. He said: "He has been in shock and upset since the time he first heard Mr Lund was badly hurt. He said endlessly to police how sorry he was."