Nottingham Crown Court heard Steven Woolley made a tearful phone call to Nottinghamshire Police at 5.36am on Saturday 26 August saying his friend was dead, but claiming he had found him injured and dying after going to visit his flat in Walton Court, Carlton.
In fact, the court was told, he had brutally and fatally assaulted 48-year-old John Inger.
Jailing him for life, Judge Rafferty told him he will serve a minimum term of 17-and-a-half-years.
Mr Inger’s family released a statement at the conclusion of the court case.
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They said: “The senseless and brutal murder of our dad on 26 August 2017 has left our family heartbroken.
“Our dad was taken away from us far too soon as a result of a violent and unprovoked attack.
“We will miss our dad every day and life will never be the same again.
“He was one of three brothers - now there are two. For my uncles the loss of their brother and the manner of his death has been difficult to bear.
“Today Steven Woolley pleaded guilty to our dad’s murder. It is the only right and proper thing he can do.
“No sentence will ever be enough to bring our dad back to us.
“We would like to say thank you to the police officers and staff of the Major Crime Unit and Nottinghamshire Police who have worked on the investigation and our Family Liaison Officers who have supported us through this difficult time.”
The court heard Woolley, of Manvers Court, Sneinton, had been out drinking on Friday 25 August with Rebecca Newcombe, who also knew Mr Inger, and that evening they both visited to Mr Inger’s flat.
Whilst there, an argument broke out and Woolley attacked Ms Newcombe, who was seen on CCTV fleeing the flat at around 1.30am on Saturday 26 August. Woolley then carried out a sustained assault on Mr Inger, who died of his injuries.
He was found dead inside the entrance to his flat at around 5.50am. A post-mortem examination confirmed he died from the injuries sustained in the attack.
CCTV analysis revealed Woolley and Ms Newcombe were the only people to visit Mr Inger’s flat until police attended.
A number of residents also reported hearing aggressive shouting from a man they recognised as Woolley.
Woolley, had denied murder and was due to face a trial in March next year. However, he yesterday (Monday 11 December) attended court to plead guilty to the offence.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Severn, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a vicious attack on the deceased influenced by a cocktail of drink and drugs. This shows that lives are ruined by abuse of these substances. Our thoughts are with deceased family and we are pleased with the sentence passed by the court today.”