An Irish tourist has been given a 13-month suspended jail sentence for assaulting his brother in Sydney’s Kings Cross.
Barry Lyttle pleaded guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm after punching his younger brother Patrick during a night out.
The 33-year-old was not charged under new one-punch laws, which have mandatory sentences for alcohol-fuelled assaults.
Patrick Lyttle was in a coma after hitting his head on the ground but has made a full recovery.
In Downing Centre Local Court, Magistrate Graeme Curran gave Barry Lyttle a 13-month suspended jail sentence and a good behaviour bond.
The magistrate said he had shown sincere remorse and was unlikely to reoffend.
“The family is a close one,” the magistrate said, noting that Barry Lyttle had many character references.
He said Barry Lyttle’s remorse was “obviously sincere” and was immediate.
Mr Curran also noted Barry Lyttle was unlikely to reoffend and had good prospects of rehabilitation.
Lyttle brothers ‘delighted’ to be going home
The court heard hospital tests showed he had only consumed a small amount of alcohol on the night of the attack.
“This would appear not to be an act of alcohol-fuelled violence,” Mr Curran said.
He said Patrick Lyttle had physically pushed his brother before the attack but he was convinced Barry Lyttle was distressed by seeing his brother injured.
The court heard Patrick Lyttle had made a good recovery and did not have to cope with permanent injuries.
But the magistrate also said the community should not be subjected to violence and needed a clear message that it was not acceptable.
The brothers sat together in court with their father and hugged and cried when the verdict was handed down.
Outside court, Barry Lyttle said the family was now looking forward to going home to Northern Ireland.
“We’re just delighted we’re allowed to go home now and this saga has been put behind us,” he said.
“It’s been four months of absolute hell for the whole family and myself.
“I’d like to thank everybody for the support we’ve received here and back in Ireland
“I’m also so proud of this man here [Patrick] as he’s done incredibly well.
“We can go home and kick-start our lives again.”
Patrick Lyttle said he was grateful his brother was given a suspended sentence so the family could get their lives back to normal.
“[Barry] has been through an awful lot, not just myself,” he said.
“We’re close and we all love each other and that’s never changed.”