Paul Barrett was attacked five years ago and still bears the physical and psychological scars of the assault. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Paul Barrett was attacked five years ago and still bears the physical and psychological scars of the assault. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Blind attack victim speaks out about assault scars

WHEN Emu Park's Paul Barrett watched the sickening video of two men attacking a Korean student on the news last week, flashbacks of his own violent attack flooded his memory.

It was around 6.30pm on a Thursday night back in March 2011 when Paul, who is legally blind, walked across the street to his friend's unit in Yeppoon's Adelaide Park Rd to make the most of the last night his son, who has an intellectual disability, would be in respite care.

But he never thought that night would end with him lying unconscious in a pool of his own blood in the car park of the complex.

The last thing Paul can remember from the night is hearing the voices of the paramedics while falling in and out of consciousness.

VICTIM OF VIOLENCE: Paul Barrett is looking forward to seeing his attacker sentenced after being attacked four years ago.
VICTIM OF VIOLENCE: Paul Barrett is looking forward to seeing his attacker sentenced after being attacked four years ago. Chris Ison Rokcattack

"When I was walking towards my friend's unit, a man a few floors up was yelling abuse at me from his veranda," he said.

"We started yelling profanities at each other then I ignored him and went around the back of the building to get into my friend's unit. Next thing I notice is a man standing in the car park waiting for me but I didn't realise it was the man from the unit as I'm vision-impaired.

"The last thing I remember is the paramedic telling me I was being transported to hospital. A few days later I woke up in Brisbane after receiving seven hours of facial reconstruction, 50 staples in the crown of my head and eight stitches in my bottom jaw."

A witness of the attack has told Paul the man punched and kicked him and also jumped on his head.

Four years on, Paul, 48, who now suffers from post-traumatic stress as a result of the attack, is still waiting for his attacker to be brought to justice.

Paul's attacker is expected to be sentenced for one charge of grievous bodily harm in Rockhampton's District Court.

"When I saw the video of the young Korean boy being bashed by those two men the other night I just felt sick," he said.

"Violence in general whether it's against a man or a woman is out of order no matter and there shouldn't be any violence at all because these attacks don't just stop after the blow to the head; these experiences stay with you for the rest of your life."



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