herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Irish teen left in coma after Australia attack

AN Irish teenager has been left in a coma after he was punched outside a nightclub in Western Australia and hit his head on the pavement.

The co-owner of the nightclub has been charged with grievous bodily harm and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Sean Spence (37) is believed to have hit the 19-year-old Irish tourist outside the Evolution Lounge Bar, in Karratha, a small town of just over 10,000 inhabitants 1,500km north of Perth, on Sunday February 19.

It is understood that the Irish teen had just been evicted from the venue and was standing in the car park when Spence punched him, causing him to fall back and cracking his head on the asphalt.

Bleeding

He was taken to Nickol Bay Hospital and due to the seriousness of his condition, was flown to Royal Perth Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service more than a week ago.

The victim suffered a fractured skull, severe bleeding to the brain and is on life support in an induced coma.

A spokesperson for the hospital said: "He's still in critical hospital in Royal Perth Hospital.

"His family flew over from overseas and are with him at the moment."

Spence appeared in Karratha's Magistrates Court yesterday where his charges were read and he applied for bail.

Carer

In his application, Spence said: "I'm responsible and am the sole carer for two children. Their mother's a university student. And I run other businesses."

He was denied bail and Justice of the Peace Janet Parsons-Smith insisted: "My concern is for the person in hospital because he can't earn an income either."

Spence, who is originally from Bulgarra near Karratha, is alleged to have asked his staff to erase CCTV footage of the incident.

He was remanded in custody to Roeburn Regional Prison until his hearing on Friday at Karratha Magistrates Court.

A police spokeswoman told the Herald this morning that if proven guilty of grievous bodily harm, Spence could get a sentence of up to 10 years of imprisonment.

hnews@herald.ie

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