NewsCO.com.au – Newcastle man pleads guilty to one-punch attack on former pro-surfer Jake Sylvester

February 14, 2018

Posted

February 14, 2018 16:07:08

A Newcastle man has pleaded guilty to a one punch attack on former professional surfer Jake Sylvester that ended with him fracturing his skull.

Newcastle Local Court heard that Mr Sylvester, 23, suffered severe head injuries, including contusions to the brain and general bleeding after last year’s attack.

Court documents said Mr Sylvester had been removed from a Newcastle Hotel prior to the assault.

“The victim was dancing on the dance floor and smoking, he appeared intoxicated,” police documents said.

Once outside, police said he got into a fight with a security guard.

Mr Sylvester was then approached by a group of people, including Newcastle man Billy Clay, 22.

The court was told there was a scuffle as the group swarmed around Mr Sylvester.

During the scuffle, police said Mr Sylvester was pulled onto the roadway outside the hotel.

Former pro-surfer motionless after falling to the ground

The court was told that Clay rushed towards Mr Sylvester and punched him once with a closed fist.

The court heard Mr Sylvester was struck near the right eye and lost consciousness immediately.

Police documents tendered in court said he then collapsed on the ground.

“He fell back on to the roadway where he remained motionless,” police said

Mr Sylvester was seen to strike the rear of his head on the road when he fell.

He suffered a fractured skull, subdural haemorrhage and bleeding on the brain but has nearly made a complete recovery.

Attacker shows remorse

Clay handed himself in to police two days after the attack in February 2017.

In Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard he was remorseful for his actions.

Clay made no comment as he left the court.

Sentencing submissions will be heard in April.

Topics:

law-crime-and-justice,

surfing,

alcohol,

newcastle-2300

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