Boy left with brain damage
FOOTBALLER Daniel Faro king hit a 15-year-old boy in the head outside a Beaconsfield party.
The victim suffered shocking facial and skull fractures, bleeding on the brain and has brain damage.
The youth has lost some cognitive skills and suffers seizures, which prevent him from getting a driver's licence.
The one punch thrown by Faro has had catastrophic consequences for the youth.
Faro, 17, pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay yesterday to causing grievous bodily harm at Beaconsfield on January 16 last year.
There were two parties going on a short distance apart and police were called to one party to break up a crowd of teenagers who were fighting in the street, Crown prosecutor Chris Winlaw said.
Faro and the youth had been at separate parties.
The youth walked past Faro and saw him standing over a young, smaller lad, beating him up.
The youth walked over to Faro, tapped him on the shoulder and said something like: "Stop or you'll kill him".
Faro stood up and king hit the youth, who fell backwards, hitting his head on concrete in the gutter, and became unconscious.
Faro ran off as police and ambulance arrived.
Another teenager at the scene knew first aid and rolled the youth onto his side.
The youth started vomiting.
He was taken to a house where he slept overnight but was violently ill in the morning and was taken to hospital.
He suffered facial fractures, an acute brain injury, a skull fracture that extended to the base of the skull and bleeding on the brain.
Mr Winlaw said: "It was a king hit on an unsuspecting victim who was clearly helping to break up a fight and was acting selflessly.
"He was putting himself in the way of someone who was being attacked (by Faro)."
Barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, for Faro, tendered 11 references including one from Magpies head coach Kevin Langer.
Faro was a Mackay State High School's rugby league school of excellence player who was now a second year apprentice butcher with a good future, Ms Hartigan said.
He was receiving counselling for anger management and alcohol use; had been banned by his football club from consuming alcohol at football functions for two years; and was not allowed to use alcohol at home, she said.
"One punch brought catastrophic consequences," Ms Hartigan said.
In Faro's favour were his youth and excellent prospects for rehabilitation.
As for the assault, Faro was at an all-in brawl and honestly thought the youth was going to assault him, so he punched him, Ms Hartigan said.
Faro had also saved up $2000 to offer as some compensation, Ms Hartigan said.
Judge Julie Dick, SC, remanded Faro in custody overnight for sentencing today, saying it was a very difficult case.
Judge Dick said there were two young lives involved, two parents and families affected, and she had to give careful consideration in preparing a sentence.