Friday 15 November 2019

Heartbroken father - 'My sons have loved each other from when they were kids'

Brothers Barry and Patrick Lyttle (inset) and the scene of the incident in Sydney
Brothers Barry and Patrick Lyttle (inset) and the scene of the incident in Sydney
Patrick and Barry Lyttle
Barry and Patrick Little
Barry Lyttle speaks to police in Sydney on Saturday January 3
Patrick Lyttle in Australia

Greg Harkin

Critically injured Patrick Lyttle and his assault accused brother Barry Lyttle 'have loved each other from when they were kids', their father said outside court today.

The father, Oliver Lyttle, and his older son shared a long emotional hug outside Central Local Court in Sydney before Oliver spoke out about his sons.

He thanked St Vincent’s Hospital staff and the general public 'for their sympathy'.

“My son, I think he’s not great so I’m going to go over (to the hospital),” he told reporters.

He said his sons 'have loved each other from when they were kids'.

Barry Lyttle (33) has been charged with grievous bodily harm after an incident outside a nightclub in Sydney's King's Cross district in the early hours of Saturday.

Police said the 33-year-old was well below the alcohol threshold when breathalysed at the time of the incident.

A blood alcohol reading of 0.15 or more, three times the legal driving limit, is required for the charge. However, police said he blew a low-range reading of less than 0.079.

Patrick and Barry Lyttle
Patrick and Barry Lyttle

Lyttle’s lawyer indicated his client wanted to be at his brother’s bedside as soon as possible, with the court ruling Lyttle be banned from consuming alcohol up to 12 hours before visiting his brother Patrick, who remains in a critical but stable condition.

Lyttle will live with an aunt in Blacktown, Western Sydney and report daily to police.

Barry and Patrick Little
Barry and Patrick Little

His passport has also been surrendered to the court's registrar.

The court also ordered Lyttle not to consume alcohol or illicit drugs. He will next appear in court on January 20.

Barry Lyttle sobbed after the magistrate granted him bail with strict conditions attached.

Patrick Lyttle (31) remains in a critical condition in a Sydney hospital.

Barry and his 74-year-old father Oliver had arrived in Australia from Ballycastle, Co Antrim, just days ago to visit Patrick, who has been travelling around Australia for more than six months.

Australian police have shown huge sympathy to the Lyttle family after Patrick suffered serious injuries when his head struck a pavement in the incident.

Patrick remained in a critical but stable condition last night after surgery at St Vincent's Hospital to relieve pressure on his brain.

Barry, if convicted, will not face the controversial minimum sentence of four-years for a 'one-punch' assault as his "drunkenness did not meet the legal threshold".

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

When his brother's name was read out on the charge street in Parramatta Court, Barry broke down crying. The brothers had exchanged messages on Facebook for three months before the incident. In two of them, Barry had told Patrick to 'stay safe'.

The incident comes a year after 18-year-old Daniel Christie died in King's Cross from a single-punch attack. Daniel's father Michael said he was devastated to see "another family stricken by worry and a future tormented with what could have or should have been".

Irish Independent

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