A man has been jailed after a brutal attack on his girlfriend’s dad caused his death three years after the event. 

In May 2016, Daniel Benitez launched a “sustained and brutal” attack on John Davies because of a custody dispute. 

Benitez battered Davies in his own home, punching and kicking him on the floor because he blamed him for a decision to take his girlfriend’s son into care. 

Afterwards, he ransacked the property in Streatham Hill in a bid to make it appear as if Mr Davies had been beaten up by an intruder, only to be disturbed by the victim’s wife. 

In 2017, Benitez admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Davies with intent and was jailed for 14 years with a further five years on extended licence. 

According to his family, Mr Davies’ head injuries left him in pain and misery, effectively “imprisoned in solitary confinement in his own body”. He died on April 1 2019 aged 56. 

After an Old Bailey trial in August, Benitez, now 33, formerly from Wandsworth, was cleared of murder but convicted of the lesser offence of manslaughter. 

Benitez had a string of previous convictions and was on bail for criminal damage and a racially aggravated offence at the time of the 2016 attack, the court was told. 

On Friday, he was jailed for a seven years and nine months for the manslaughter to run concurrently with the remainder of his earlier sentence. 

Judge David Aubrey KC told him: “On May 12/13 2016 you attacked John Davies. He was a kind, lovely man. You attacked him in his own home in Claremont Close in Streatham Hill. 

“You were 25 years old. You were not only much younger than he was but also taller and stronger. In consequence, Mr Davies sustained serious injuries to his head. 

“It was a cruel and painful death, for he did not die until April 1 2019, some three years later, having spent time either in hospital, a rehabilitation unit or a nursing home. During that time he was minimally conscious.” 

The judge found that rather being premeditated, Benitez had “erupted at the flick of a switch” and launched a “sustained and brutal attack”. 

The judge said: “It was you who blamed him for the little one being taken into the care of the local authority. This was a spontaneous, violent outburst perpetrated by you.” 

In a victim impact statement, Mr Davies’ niece Victoria Morcher said: “We cannot express the shock and horror at the violence used against another human being, but this was our John that this happened to. John was a kind, placid and laidback, gentle man. 

“It is not just the loss of such a lovely, kind man that has had such an impact but the brutal way he was treated and uncertainty around his death. 

“We also struggle with the fact it took poor John such a long time to eventually die. He went through three years of absolute misery and absolute pain, not even able to move, eat or drink like a normal person and with no ability to communicate. 

“He was locked away, imprisoned in solitary confinement in his own body, fed through tubes and turned by others to stop bed sores. 

“The same misery day after day. It must have been a blessed relief for him when he passed.” 

She spoke of the defendant’s lack of remorse, adding: “John was a good, kind man. He most certainly did not deserve such a horrific ordeal.” 

In mitigation, Bernard Richmond KC said: “There was no preformed intention for any serious violence but things plainly escalated very quickly. 

“He has remorse for the pain and suffering he has caused.”