A BRIGHT student jailed for killing a cyclist when he lashed out with a 'brutal' kick will be haunted for the rest of his life, a court heard yesterday.

Iman St Clair looked on in despair, briefly shutting his eyes as he was punished after 'forcefully' attacking victim Eamonn Anderson and leaving him wounded in the street last year.

The 18-year-old, who had 'great promise', rested his hand on his heart as he left the dock to begin his four-year jail term, while loved ones sobbed in the public gallery at Oxford Crown Court.

Mr Anderson died at the John Radcliffe Hospital almost three weeks after St Clair delivered the 'powerful scissor kick' in High Street, Oxford, last year.

The victim's mother Edith Anderson revealed her pain and suffering has left her longing for her son to walk back into her arms with 'the smile he always had on his face'.

In a statement read to the court, the pensioner spoke of her distress: "My family will take a long time to get over the loss of their brother and son. My husband and I will never get over it."

Clutching a Quran as he strolled into court, St Clair faced Judge Zoe Smith after confessing to the manslaughter of his 56-year-old victim.

The court heard St Clair met up with friends in the city centre after spending time at the library at about 9.15pm on October 25.

Mr Anderson was also spotted wandering around the area with his Pit Bull Terrier Charlie, crossing paths with the group in Bonn Square, Queen Street and New Inn Hall Street.

On one occasion, members of the group 'started a commotion' after becoming frightened of Charlie, who was let off his lead and appeared to rush at them.

Mr Anderson was cycling along High Street towards The Plain roundabout, while some of the group ran ahead of him, but decided moments later to get off his bike and push it back towards Carfax.

A witness revealed he spotted St Clair, who played for football team Littlemore Youth, then run towards the victim as he attempted to mount his bike at about 11.30pm.

St Clair, of Kestrel Crescent, Oxford, then lunged back on one leg, swinging his other leg around, rotating his body and kicking Mr Anderson.

The victim crashed to the ground, thumping his head on the pavement before St Clair fled the scene and jumped onto a bus, prosecutor Matthew Walsh said.

With blood seeping from his head and ear, reformed bank robber Mr Anderson was rushed to the Headington hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma.

He was left with a dislocated jaw, fractures to the right side and base of his skull, a traumatic brain injury, bruising and tears to his brain, as well as bleeding in layers of tissue surrounding his brain.

One of his teeth was also found lodged in his throat, the court was told.

Mr Anderson, of Salter Close, Oxford, had spent more than 24 years of his life behind bars for armed robbery and firearms offences.

Defence barrister Andrew Hall QC said sixth form student St Clair claimed Mr Anderson had hurled racist abuse at his friends earlier in the evening.

The attacker never intended to cause serious harm to his victim and has since expressed 'real remorse', the barrister said.

St Clair was described has having a promising future ahead of him, even being given bail year to complete his A-levels.

He was a youth project young leader with community group Leys CDI and has appeared in the Oxford Mail several times before, winning a poetry competition age nine and starring in a play about university applications when he was 13.

Mr Hall added: "The kicking of Mr Anderson, that split second reaction by this young man, will haunt him for the rest of his days.

"Because he knows that reaction took away the life of another human being and has irreversibly changed his own life, his own future and everything else."

Sasha East, chairwoman of trustees of the Leys CDI, which supports young people in the city, said the team was 'deeply saddened' by the case.

She added: "It is always tragic and shocking when violent crimes take place on our streets and even more so when those involved are so young.

"There are a number of issues that contribute to youth crime and although our staff team work tirelessly to support the young people that attend the project, unfortunately despite the great number of success stories we have there are also times where we have not been able to support a young person to stay out of trouble."

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mike Lynch, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, said: “St Clair’s actions on October 25 were violent, and Mr Anderson tragically died as a result of them.

“Although St Clair did not mean to kill Mr Anderson, he subjected him to a serious assault.

“If he had not done this, Mr Anderson would still be alive.

“This has understandably been a traumatic time for Mr Anderson’s family and I would like to thank them for their support and bravery throughout this process.

"I hope that today’s sentencing will start to help them to gain closure and to move on from this ordeal.

“This case shows how serious the consequences can be when people are involved in altercations, and I hope that it serves as a warning and a deterrent to people.”

Rachel Lomas, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service added: “We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.

"The CPS and police are committed to protecting the public from violent criminals and will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders.

“Today’s sentence should act as a deterrent to others that violence will simply not be tolerated in our communities.

“We know that nothing will bring Mr Anderson back to his family and friends, but we hope that today’s sentence brings them at least a small sense that justice has been done.

"Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”