Irishman recovering from surgery after single-punch assault

A 31-year-old Co Antrim man is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincents Hospital in Sydney, following a single-punch assault which left him in a critical condition.

Patrick Lyttle's brother, 33-year-old Barry Lyttle, is due in court again tomorrow, charged with causing grievous bodily harm.

A steady stream of Patrick's friends have been visiting him in hospital, after he underwent delicate surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

Patricks brother Barry and his74-year-old father had arrived in Australia just three days ago to visit the backpacker.

They said the brothers are extremely close and their father was too devastated to comment on the incident.

Australian media is reporting this morning that, if convicted, Barry Lyttle will escape the highly controversial mandatory minimum sentence, because his alcohol consumption did not meet the legal threshold.

Barry was charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and would have faced a minimum four years in jail, however, police said he returned a low-range alcohol reading.

Superintendent Michael Fitzgerald said alcohol was not an aggravating factor and it was a "family tragedy that has happened to occur on our streets".


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