Sunday 24 September 2017

Irish tourist faces jail over brother attack

Barry Lyttle (left) with his brother Patrick outside the courthouse in Australia
Barry Lyttle (left) with his brother Patrick outside the courthouse in Australia
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Prosecutors in Australia want an Irishman who put his brother in a coma with one punch to be jailed – despite his sibling’s plea for the two men to be allowed travel home.

Barry Lyttle faces up to two years in prison after pleading guilty to a one-punch attack during a night out.

Mr Lyttle (33) accepted he punched his brother Patrick in the head following an argument in the early hours of January 3.

Patrick stumbled backwards and hit his head on the pavement, suffering a serious injury.

He spent a week in a coma at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. But, despite medics initially not holding out much hope for his recovery, he made a remarkable turnaround.

Patrick told the sentencing hearing yesterday that the only way for him to heal fully was for his brother to be allowed to go home.

“When my family is healed, I will be healed,” he told the court during an emotional victim impact statement.  “Victims often want to see deterrence, but everyone can see how much my brother has suffered.”

CCTV footage has emerged showing the two men arguing as they left a nightclub.

Patrick (31) is then seen shoving his older brother, who responded by punching him in the head, sending him falling backwards to the ground.

Barry, in obvious distress, immediately rushes to help his stricken brother.

Patrick told the court that, should his brother be allowed to go home, they plan to travel around the country together speaking to young people about the devastating consequences of violence.

Barry Lyttle broke down before Magistrate Graeme Curran when the prosecutor in the case said he believed a full-time jail term was “the only appropriate sentence”.

The matter will return before the court on April 24 for sentence.

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