Mys­tery re­mains over Damo in­jury

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.

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