Thursday 21 November 2019

Irish man 'lucky to be alive' after unprovoked 'one-punch attack' in Australia

Derek (26) is lucky to be alive after suffering an unprovoked
Derek (26) is lucky to be alive after suffering an unprovoked "one-punch attack" while living in Australia
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

An Irish model has revealed how her brother Derek (26) is lucky to be alive after suffering an unprovoked "one-punch attack" while living in Australia.

Tia Duffy (29) from Finglas, Co Dublin has spoken about the heart-stopping moment when she received a call from his friends to say he had been rushed to hospital with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Tia and Derek Duffy
Tia and Derek Duffy

The incident happened in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, April 18 when he was out having a meal with a group of friends.

"He’s been living in Darwin for the last three years and he was out with friends for some food. They were celebrating finding a new apartment," she said.

"Someone just randomly attacked him from behind. They punched him in the head and he fell backwards and he hit his head on the pavement. That’s the last thing he remembers."

The model, who’s based in Toronto, said his attacker’s companion also physically assaulted two of his female friends before fleeing the scene.

Police were able to use CCTV footage taken from the scene, which was on the outskirts of Darwin, which they are hoping to use to help identify his attackers.

They are investigating what Tia described as a "completely unprovoked attack" on her restaurant manager brother.

"He would never be in any kind of argument. He’s not that type of guy at all. I’m just trying to understand why someone would do this.

"To be honest, I’m just livid about the whole thing. Every time I think about it, I just think, ‘How can someone do that.’ I wanted to raise awareness that if you throw just one punch at someone, you can kill them. I feel like he’s lucky to be alive. I’m just shell-shocked by the whole thing," she said.

Derek spent a week in ICU being monitored every hour but has now been moved to a separate unit. He still has bleeding on the brain.

Tia said they won’t know the long-term impact of the attack for a while but she hopes to fly out there with her family once his condition stabilises.

His friends Lauren and Lisa have set up a fundraising page to help pay his medical bills.

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