A Victorian grandfather faced living the rest of his days as a “vegetable” after suffering brain damage in a one-punch attack outside a regional pub.
Steve Morrow, now 68, was expected to live in nappies after Leonard Betrayhani hit him in the head outside the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse at Apollo Bay on August 6, 2016.
“[Doctors] expected him in a nappy as a vegetable,” son Jesse Morrow said outside the County Court in Melbourne on Tuesday.
“When you have to change your dad’s nappy, that is never something you ever want to do.”
While Jesse admits his father has done “amazingly well” and recovered beyond expectations, the man he knew is gone.
“One of the doctors said he’s had a one-in-a-1000 recovery,” the full-time carer said.
“He is not the dad I had. All the things he used to do and could teach me, the conversations, the whole lot is gone.”
A jury has previously found Betrayhani, 39, guilty of recklessly causing serious injury in relation to the attack on Mr Morrow.
On the day, Betrayhani had pushed a man into other brewhouse patrons, prompting Mr Morrow to suggest he leave.
The landscape gardener later made a beeline for Mr Morrow outside the pub.
“Your client’s behaviour on the night of this tragic episode, which resulted in Mr Morrow being brain damaged, was truly appalling,” Judge Frances Hogan told Betrayhani’s lawyer.
“He was knocked out almost before he hit the ground.”
Bystanders turned on Betrayhani, who suffered serious face injuries before his then-girlfriend pulled him out of danger, the court was told.
Police used capsicum spray to subdue him.
Betrayhani has prior convictions for recklessly causing injury, making threats to kill, failing to answer bail and carrying an unlicensed firearm.
He is expected to serve up to 12 months in prison in combination with a community corrections order.
He is due to be sentenced on November 15.