By ALLISON HORE
The family of a man who was victim of a random violent attack in Pyrmont have set up a GoFundMe to raise money for his ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
The 36 year-old man, a visitor to Sydney from the Gold Coast, was found with “permanent and disfiguring” injuries on Wattle Street in Pyrmont just before 11pm on Friday night. Police allege a group of nine teenagers, who were previously unknown to the man, confronted him before attacking him with knives.
The man’s family hopes to raise $50,000 which they say will be transferred directly into his bank account to help with not only ongoing medical and psychological treatment, but also living costs as he will be unable to work.
“A little bit of your help will assist in alleviating the pressures of rehabilitation and helping the victim to move forward from this tragic, unprovoked event,” the family member who created the GoFundMe said.
Eight of the alleged attackers, aged between 15 and 18, have been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm while the ninth teen, who did not participate in the attack, faces a charge of inciting a crime. The ABC reports several of the boys attend a private school in Sydney.
Two 15 year-olds, charged with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, had their bail applications rejected by Surry Hills Children Court due to evidence of them “gloating about the offences” in a series of social media messages. In a group chat which was presented as evidence in both cases, the teens and their co-accused gloated about the attack, discussed plans to avoid arrest and plans to take revenge against any co-offenders who speak with the police.
“In my time on the bench and as a criminal lawyer before that, I have never read anything so abhorrent in the adult jurisdiction and this is the children’s jurisdiction,” said Magistrate Mary Ryan after refusing the bail application for the first accused.
“It was active participation in a group chat post the alleged incident, where they have shown to be gloating about the injuries inflicted, almost proud of their involvement and infliction of violence,” NSW Police Prosecutor Kai Jiang said at the hearing for the second accused.
“They took humour to the serious injuries inflicted, and it’s likely the complainant will be traumatised for life.”
A 16 year-old facing the same charges for his alleged role in the attack was granted conditional bail at Parramatta Children’s Court on Wednesday. He must reside with his parents and not leave home without them unless he is travelling to TAFE, he has also been prohibited from contact with any of the co-accused.
Meanwhile, the victim of the attack described as an “innocent bystander” by NSW police remains in an induced coma at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital to receive treatment for his significant facial injuries, including the loss of his eyesight.
The man’s family say that “as difficult as this period is, given the abhorrent details of the attack” they were “doing their best to focus on the positive human spirit that has been witnessed so far through police, medical and community support”.
The family is asking people to consider “donating what they can”. As of Thursday, more than 150 people have donated $12,000. Those who wish to make a donation can do so through the GoFundMe page.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.