A Sydney man accused of punching a teenager who was placed in a coma earlier this month has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Corey Beard, 21, faced Blacktown Local Court on Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to punching 19-year-old Alexander McEwen outside a McDonalds restaurant at Penrith.
Police allege Beard approached Mr McEwen and his brother, Lance McEwen-Henderson, 21, when they were standing on a wall outside the fast food restaurant on January 4.
Beard allegedly punched both brothers, knocking the younger man over the wall where he struck his head and lost consciousness.
The teen was rushed to Nepean Hospital in a critical condition with a fractured skull and damage to his spine.
He was placed in an induced coma from which he eventually awoke.
Beard is facing several charges, including steroid possession.
The court previously heard an argument appeared to have broken out after Beard and an unknown man approached women who were with the brothers.
The assault was captured on CCTV, with police alleging there was a strong prosecution case.
But Beard's lawyer said he was acting in self-defence.
He pleaded not guilty to common assault, affray, steroid possession and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.
He remains on bail and will face court again in March.
The alleged assault of the McEwen brothers occurred just a few days after 18-year-old Daniel Christie was punched at Kings Cross on New Year's Eve.
He later died and his alleged attacker, Shaun McNeil, has been charged with murder.
A spate of similar attacks in Sydney this summer has led to an increased public outcry against `coward punch' assaults and a call for government action against alcohol-fuelled violence.