Mystery remains over Damo injury
DAMIEN Smith was celebrating his 40th birthday with friends and was heading home to Tasmania for his actual birthday when his plans were cut short and he ended up in intensive care.
Around 1.45am on Friday, November 11, Damien was discovered unconscious on Grant St, just 15m from the Macrossan St corner outside one of the closed shops.
Three weeks later he is still in an induced coma with a fractured skull at Cairns Base Hospital in a critical but stable condition.
What happened to the now 40-year-old Port Douglas resident of two months remains a mystery for Mossman Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Sergeant Trevor Perham.
“We’ve traced his movements through the previous day and have spoken to numerous people that were out with him or in the same places he was in,” he said.
“He was out and about from about 6pm onwards on Thursday and he was in licensed premises in and around Macrossan St, going to quite a few of them throughout the evening, fol- lowing the happy hours.
“A couple of people he was with earlier in the night said they went home but he stayed on and met up with other people.”
Damien had been drinking from 6pm until the Iron Bar closed around 1am when another assault occurred.
“There was an altercation about 10 minutes earlier than when he was found but he wasn’t in involved,” Detective Perham said.
“It was between two other parties and I’ve charged that man over the assault on another guy.
“There were half-a-dozen people on the street when this altercation occurred and Damien was with that group standing outside chatting prior to him walking away before the fight occurred.
“His last movements we’ve tracked down towards Wharf St from the Iron Bar, he’s followed the path left around the Court House Hotel and toward Warner St.”
Damien was last seen on camera at the Port Douglas Mobil service station buying a pie before leaving at 1.18am - he was found 10-15 minutes later by witnesses who found him unconscious.
Police and doctors cannot speculate on what caused his injuries and there are no known witnesses to the incident, however, a source within the hospital told friends it appeared a heavy object was involved.
“His injuries were so severe he would have had to have sustained that injury where he was found - he could not have moved after he sustained that injury,” Detective Perham said.
“He had no injuries to show he’d been in a fight or any sort of altercation and he hasn’t been hit by a car - there’d be other injuries.
“There are too many variables and question marks if he has been assaulted and from the injuries on his body that’s not a certainty, he could have fallen by misadventure, slipped and banged his head. “A fall from a standing position could kill you potentially.
“There could be a million scenarios that don’t involve sinister circumstances. “He had been drinking all night, captured footage and witness statements indicate a reasonable level of intoxication.
“In some of the footage he’s putting on thongs and not going a very good job of it, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility he slipped on his thongs and fell down.”
Police are appealing for anyone with information on what happened to Damien Smith to contact Port Douglas Police on 4087 1999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.