A CONVICTED drug trafficker who killed a man in a hammer attack in Kelty has been jailed for eight years.

William Richardson turned up at a house in Keltyhill Avenue, went into a bedroom where Colin Oliphant had been resting and repeatedly assaulted him.

The victim had run up a drugs debt he couldn't pay and sustained 39 injuries in the brutal attack.

A judge told Richardson at the High Court in Edinburgh: "This was a savage assault with a weapon that resulted in another man's death. His young daughter has lost her father."

Lord Woolman accepted that the killer had expressed "genuine remorse" over the offence and told him it would have been 12 years in prison but for the guilty plea.

During the fatal attack other people in the house heard Mr Oliphant say: "Sorry Willie, don't hit me, stop it Willie. What are you doing with that ... dinnae, dinnae."

Richardson then emerged from the room with his injured victim walking behind him before the killer told him: "You know I am a boxer" and then punched him on the nose.

Richardson, who was jailed for heroin supply in 2013, drove away with others and was described as acting "full of bravado", the court heard.

Advocate depute Bill McVicar earlier told the court: "The now deceased quickly began to struggle to breathe with his face swelling and asking for help, pointing to his neck."

An ambulance was called but Mr Oliphant's face and throat continued to swell after he was placed in the vehicle, along with his arms, legs and body.

The 38-year-old went into cardiac arrest and he died despite efforts to save him. The cause of death was later given as complications of chest trauma.

The prosecutor said the fatal injury inflicted on Mr Oliphant, the father of a daughter, was a fracture of a rib on the left side of his back which had splintered bone and punctured a lung.

Mr McVicar said: "As a result, air leaked out of the left lung every time he took a breath. The air leaking out filled the right side of the chest cavity, causing it to crush the right lung."

Richardson, 35, formerly of Park Brae Gate, Ruchill, Glasgow, was originally charged with murdering Mr Oliphant in the attack on September 6 last year.

But the Crown earlier accepted his guilty plea to a reduced charge of culpable homicide.

He admitted repeatedly punching the victim on the head and body and repeatedly striking him on the body with a weapon and killing him.

Mr McVicar said: "The deceased, Colin Oliphant, sourced cocaine for onward supply from the accused."

He said the victim had run up a debt to Richardson due to his own use of drugs and was unable to pay what he owed.

Prior to the fatal attack, he had expressed concern that he could not pay £200 for drugs that he had obtained.

After the assault, Richardson had returned to a house in Ballingry, where he was living with a woman, and told her that the victim had been "causing issues at work".

He later informed her that the victim was dead and he appeared to be in a state of shock, the court heard.

Richardson later called the mother of his two children and said he had got into a fight and done something stupid. He said he had "hit someone on the back with something, stating he had just reached for the first thing". He also said he was "going away for a long time".

He turned up at Dunfermline police station on September 8 and said he wanted to speak to detectives before telling an officer: "There were witnesses there. I've never done an assault before."

Police later seized clothing, including gloves, that Richardson had been wearing at the time of the attack and found blood matching the DNA of Mr Oliphant.

Defence counsel Donald Findlay QC told the court that Richardson had gone to the police station "clearly distressed" after discovering that Mr Oliphant had died.

He said his client had accepted his responsibility "almost from the outset".