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Australian who left Irish tourist on life support avoids further jail time

Daniel Byrne delivered a vicious, “one punch” attack on Kerryman Timothy McCarthy.

AN AUSTRALIAN MAN who left an Irish tourist on life support after a “one punch” attack in 2011 has been handed a suspended one-year sentence.

Daniel Byrne, then 18, attacked Timothy McCarthy, then 40, with a vicious, unprovoked punch to the head outside a shop in Canberra in July, 2011.

The Kerryman was knocked unconscious after banging his head on the ground, and underwent treatment for cerebral haemorrhaging.

He was in a coma for more than a week, and was left on life support for a time.

Byrne pleaded guilty to assault, and served seven months of his sentence before his conviction was overturned on appeal last August, the Canberra Times reports.

He was tried again, however, on a lesser assault charge, to which he again pleaded guilty.

canberra-3 The shop in the Civic area of Canberra, where Timothy McCarthy was attacked. Source: Google Maps

Timothy McCarthy submitted a victim impact statement to the court, in which he said he still has frequent migraines as a result of the attack, and his heavy medication means he can’t drive or work as a builder.

ABC News in Australia reports that Justice Richard Refshauge told Byrne:

You’re very lucky that Mr McCarthy didn’t die.

He accepted, however, that Byrne had made a genuine attempt to turn his life around, and abstained from alcohol since the attack.

Today, Refshauge sentenced him to one year but, taking into account the fact he had already served seven months, and his “excellent prospects of rehabilitation,” suspended the entire sentence.

Read: Injured Irish tourist off life support after Canberra assault>

Read: Irishman fighting for his life after Canberra assault>

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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