Two vigilantes who started a street fight in which a man was fatally wounded with a samurai sword have been jailed.

Father-of-one Robert McLuckie, 27, was killed when Bradley Ackhurst, 34, and Matthew Plimmer, 21, tried to hunt down an alleged neighbourhood bully.

Mr McLuckie was drawn into a fight with Ackhurst, Plimmer and two others in Birdham Road, Brighton, on January 23 last year.

Ackhurst struck unarmed Mr McLuckie with a metre-long sword, cutting a major artery in his back.

The wounded man died later at Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.

Ackhurst, of The Graperies, Brighton, admitted manslaughter, affray and conspiring to cause violent disorder.

Judge Anne Rafferty at Lewes Crown Court jailed him for four-and-a-half years.

Mechanics student Plimmer, of Birdham Road, Moulsecoomb, was jailed for two years after admitting affray, violent disorder and conspiring to cause violent disorder.

Both men were initially accused of murder but admitted lesser charges last month and the murder charges were dropped.

David Fisher, QC, prosecuting, said Kevin Wood, 24, had repeatedly threatened Plimmer with a knife as well as stealing property and punching a woman staying at his flat.

He said Mr Wood was known to be terrorising the neighbourhood.

Plimmer reported Mr Wood to the police and later teamed up with Ackhurst to confront Mr Wood at a house he was known to visit in Birdham Road.

Mr McLuckie, from Leeds, had been visiting a friend, Christian Luxford, 25, at the same house. Mr Wood was not there.

An argument began because Mr Luxford was upset at the gang on the doorstep.

Ackhurst sprayed him with a can of ammonia and a fight broke out.

Mr Fisher said: "Mr Luxford was fighting back with a snooker cue and the battle was moving back and forth. Ackhurst came from the back of the group with the sword.

"He made his way to the front of the group, waving the sword. Mr McLuckie jumped in front of Mr Luxford as Ackhurst advanced upon them. It seems Mr McLuckie was struck by that sword. Mr Luxford used the snooker cue and brought it down on Ackhurst's head, causing it to break."

Eamon McDonnell, 36, and Jonathan Neiland, 22, members of Plimmer's gang, carried near-unconscious Ackhurst away.

Jeremy Gold, QC, defending Ackhurst, said the father-of-three had not intended to kill and grabbed the sword from his car when he saw the fight escalating.

Jonathan Ray, defending Plimmer, said: "My client admits that, at the time, he lost it. It was something totally out of character."

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Dennis said allegations made by Plimmer against Mr Wood were dropped due to lack of evidence.

McDonnell, formerly of Alexandra Villas, Brighton, was given a 220-hour community punishment order and Neiland, of Lavender Street, Brighton, a 180-hour community punishment order.

Both admitted violent disorder at their trial last month.