Bouncer blow leaves man hard of hear­ing

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - PHILLIPPA BUTT

A MAN has been left with se­ri­ous hear­ing prob­lems af­ter he was at­tacked by a bouncer out­side a pop­u­lar Dar­win night­club.

James Thomas was hav­ing a drink in Mon­soons alone in Jan­uary when a group of bounc­ers told him to leave.

Af­ter ini­tially ask­ing what the prob­lem was, Mr Thomas walked out of the Mitchell St club.

How­ever, as he stepped on to the foot­path, one of the bounc­ers, a 28-year-old, hit him across the side of the head from be­hind, burst­ing his eardrum and knock­ing him to the ground giv­ing him a se­vere con­cus­sion.

“They were like four of them be­hind me, I turned around ques­tion­ing why I was be­ing sent out, and as I got out of the en­trance on the pave­ment, not even on the premises, one of them smacked me on the back the head,” Mr Thomas said.

“In­stantly my hear­ing was com­pletely gone.”

The trav­eller, who was com­plet­ing his three months in Aus­tralia in or­der to ob­tain a sec­ond year of his work­ing visa, even­tu­ally “stag­gered to (his) feet” and walked around the cor­ner, where he called the po­lice.

The next day, when Mr Thomas woke up, he dis­cov­ered blood com­ing out of his ear. He also couldn’t re­mem­ber what day it was, so a friend in­sisted he head to the Royal Dar­win Hos­pi­tal.

“I was con­cussed for a week and had a com­pletely per­fo­rated eardrum,” he said.

“To date I’ve still got blood and mu­cus com­ing out of my ear.”

The Welsh­man had planned to stay in the Ter­ri­tory for longer af­ter his three months were up but the in­ci­dent left him fear­ful for his safety.

“I just didn’t want to go out any more,” he said.

“Dar­win’s not a very big place and hav­ing to bump into that same per­son.”

Mr Thomas still has al­most no hear­ing in his left ear ex­cept for a “con­stant ring­ing”.

“It’s ob­vi­ously af­fected me, it plays on my mind when I go out. And then there’s the phys­i­cal dam­age which has cost me hun­dreds of dol­lars. It’s aw­ful to be hon­est,” he said. Mau­rice Black­burn as­so­ciate John Rule said the firm was in­ves­ti­gat­ing a claim against the bouncer, with the aim of re­coup­ing Mr Thomas’s med­i­cal ex­penses.

“James has been left with on­go­ing hear­ing loss and tin­ni­tus and it’s im­por­tant the re­spon­si­ble party is held to ac­count,” he said.

NT Po­lice con­firmed the 28-year-old bouncer was ini­tially charged with ag­gra­vated as­sault and was given a six-month good be­hav­iour bond by the courts.

It is not known whether the bouncer is still em­ployed by Mon­soons. The club was con­tacted for com­ment.

Pic­ture: KERI MEGELUS

James Thomas (in­set) was at­tacked by a bouncer af­ter he was asked to leave Mon­soons

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