A Newfoundland Supreme Court judge used strong language Wednesday as she sentenced a man to 16 years in prison without parole for his part in a brutal 2005 beating death.


David Ryan, who represented himself at his second-degree murder trial, says he is preparing an appeal. ((CBC))

Judge Kendra Goulding used the words "despicable" and "abhorrent" while sentencing David Ryan, 48.

A jury convicted Ryan in May of second-degree murder in the July 2005 death of Richard Brace in Carbonear.

Brace died in hospital shortly after his severely beaten body was found in Ryan's home. The court was told that Ryan and two others assaulted Brace during a night of heavy drinking.

Goulding said she wasn't convinced Ryan could be rehabilitated. She also said she was concerned about Ryan's strong tendency to commit anti-social acts while drinking. Ryan had already been imprisoned for the stabbing death of his half-sister in 1997.

Ryan represented himself during the trial, refusing counsel from the Legal Aid Commission.

As he was led out of the courtroom on Wednesday, Ryan insisted that he is innocent.

"I didn't touch the man," Ryan said.

"I'm trying to get a new trial— I got an appeal put in and I'm just waiting to hear from the Court of Appeal."

Ryan faced a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of 25 years without parole.