li-sjdeath

Matthew Thomas Foley has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the death of Michael Thomas Schimpf July 14. (Matt Bingley/CBC)

The head of a New Brunswick motorcycle gang has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for manslaughter.

Matthew Thomas Foley, 50, pleaded guilty last month to the charge, after first being charged with second-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Michael Thomas Schimpf.

Schimpf's body was found July 14, at the corner of Pitt and Leinster streets, near the Bacchus Motorcycle Club's headquarters.

Several rounds were fired from a handgun. Schimpf was struck once and the bullet clipped his heart, the court heard.

Both the Crown and the defence lawyers had suggested a 10-year sentence.

The courtroom was packed for Wednesday's sentencing, with standing-room only, according to the CBC's Matt McCann. Most of the spectators were Foley's friends, relatives or supporters.

No one from Schimpf's family was in court, though a number of victim impact statements were submitted, including ones from his mother, father, sister and a cousin.

There was also a statement from the mother of Schimpf's two young children, describing him as a "loving and dedicated father." She also described what it was like telling his oldest son that his father had died.

The statement said the child sobbed and "asked God to give his father back."

The Crown also described why it went ahead with a manslaughter charge, saying it couldn't be proven that Foley intended to kill Schimpf when he fired at him down the street, only that Foley caused his death with an illegal act.

In addition to the 10-year jail sentence, the judge imposed a lifetime ban on Foley owning or possessing any firearms.