Punch to prison

Man jailed over one punch at­tack with tragic con­se­quences

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By VANESSA MARSH

THE tragic con­se­quences of the dam­age a sin­gle punch can cause were all too clear when 20-year-old Kyle Alan Mor­ris faced sen­tence in Bund­aberg District Court.

Emo­tions ran high and tears were flow­ing in court yes­ter­day as Mor­ris, his vic­tim and both their fam­i­lies re­lived the night all their lives changed for the worse.

Mor­ris pleaded guilty to caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm to 35-year-old Tyla Rack­e­mann out­side the Federal Ho­tel in Childers on March 1, 2013.

Crown Pros­e­cu­tor Alex Stark said as the pub was clos­ing late that evening, Mor­ris’s vic­tim Tyla Rack­e­mann, a fa­ther of two, was sit­ting against a chain­link fence out­side the ho­tel.

The court heard Mor­ris be­gan ask­ing Mr Rack­e­mann ques­tions and the pair briefly ex­changed words and walked to­wards one an­other be­fore Mor­ris punched him in the face.

“Wit­nesses de­scribed him as be­ing knocked out on his feet,” Mr Stark said.

“There was a very au­di­ble ... a loud crunch­ing noise (when Mr Rack­e­mann’s head hit the ground).”

The 35-year- old re­ceived a se­ri­ous and per­ma­nent trau­matic brain in­jury, now needs around the clock su­per­vi­sion and will never be able to work or drive again.

“This vi­o­lence needs to be justly pun­ished, de­nounced and ideally de­terred,” Mr Stark said.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Michael Holo­han ten­dered letters from a num­ber of people in­clud­ing Mor­ris’s mother and pre­vi­ous em­ploy­ers who said he was an hon­est, re­li­able young man and the vi­o­lence dis­played that night was out of char­ac­ter for him.

“Mr Mor­ris, if he had his time again, would do things very, very dif­fer­ent,” Mr Holo­han said.

“It was all over in a mat­ter of a sec­ond or two.”

Judge Brendan But­ler said Mr Rack­e­mann’s life would never be the same and while Mor­ris would have the chance to live a full, healthy life with the prospect of em­ploy­ment, his vic­tim would never have those op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“He in ef­fect has a life sen­tence,” Judge But­ler said of Mr Rack­e­mann’s per­ma­nent trau­matic brain dam­age.

“The con­se­quences were dev­as­tat­ing for the com­plainant.

“This has had an im­pact not only on him but of course on those who love and need to care for him.”

Mor­ris was sen­tenced to five years in jail with pa­role el­i­gi­bil­ity in 20 months on Novem­ber 26, 2015.

Out­side court, a woman sup­port­ing Mor­ris shouted ob­scen­i­ties at the vic­tim and his fam­ily.

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