A man charged over a brutal Bondi bashing that left a 23-year-old man in a critical condition will spend Christmas behind bars after being denied bail.
Michael McEwen was assaulted and left unconscious in the early hours of last Saturday morning at the corner of Campbell Parade and Roscoe Streets in Bondi Beach.
He remains in a critical but stable condition in St Vincents Hospital.
The 23-year-old’s relieved family says he woke from a coma on Saturday.
“The happiest day of my life. Michael reached his arm out to me. My boy is back!” his father Robert McEwen said on Facebook.
Jamie Ennis, 23, was arrested at Bondi Police Station on Saturday and charged with affray and breach of bail over the attack.
In a brief hearing at Parramatta Local Court on Sunday, Magistrate Carl Milovanovich rejected a bail application from Ennis’ legal aid lawyer, Peter Guirguis.
Magistrate Milovanovich said Ennis was “part and parcel” of a group that allegedly attacked Mr McEwen.
He said “a strong message has to go out to the community”, and in particular to Ennis, as he noted community concerns about alcohol-fuelled violence.
But the magistrate did not accept the crown case on the affray charge was strong.
The court heard police will allege Ennis grabbed and ripped Mr McEwen’s shirt in an altercation after leaving a Bondi kebab shop, the Bite Box.
Ennis had earlier been ejected from the Beach Road hotel, and was seen with a woman in a pink dress and another person.
The court heard Ennis did not throw the punch that knocked Mr McEwen to the ground.
“He’s not the assailant,” Mr Guirguis said.
Mr Guirguis urged the court to grant bail, arguing the only evidence linking Ennis to the attack was a fingerprint lifted from a bus shelter.
“How could they (police) exclude the possibility that he was catching the bus,” he asked.
Prosecutors said the “main thrust” of their opposition to bail was the protection of the community.
Ennis, who appeared via audio-visual link, muttered “this is wrong” under his breath after hearing the magistrate’s decision.
He will appear in Sydney Central Local Court on January 6.