Last Saturday eighteen-year-old Thomas Kelly was king hit for no reason, while enjoying a night on the town.
On Monday his mother and father made the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support.
Last night our crews hit Kings Cross with three men who know just how much damage one punch can do.More stories from Today Tonight
A single punch from a total stranger and an innocent eighteen-year-old is dead, turning the spotlight once again on Sydney's notorious King Cross.
For Bronx Bomber Danny Green the gloves are truly off. “It’s sickening, its vile, and I’m just disgusted. I just feel so bad for that poor kid, and the same feeling for his family his friends.”
The three time world boxing champion is taking to the streets with the Victims of Crime Assistance League's Howard Brown and Paul Stanley.
Paul’s son Matthew was killed aged just fifteen.
“He probably didn’t even see the punch coming because he didn’t expect it, and while he was lying on the ground this individual proceeded to kick him a number of times. The doctor came down (to say) he's got horrendous brain injuries, they’re irreversible and he’s going to die, and he did,” Paul said.
“I’ve been working with victims of crime for 23 years. I believe that in the last five years this is where we have seen an escalation in this just completely antisocial attitude, especially from our young people,” Brown said of the increased rates of street violence in Australia.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch of the New South Wales Police says the pressure is on to solve Thomas Kelly's case.
“I'm very confident we'll find the person responsible, as we've been saying right from the word go. Thomas was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Murdoch said.
While police hunt Tom’s killer, it’s business as usual in Kings Cross, and there's no shortage of violence. Literally half an hour after we arrived here a man was set upon by fellow drinkers - one smashing a bottle and glassing him in the head.
Bloodied and confused the 47-year-old didn't know what hit him, and the vicious attack was over in seconds.
“I heard it, I heard him get popped in the head with a glass and that was it,” Green described.
It’s another assault and another statistic. Ambulance officers took the victim to hospital and police made an arrest.
“This is absurd, senseless violence. Last year there were 26,000 assaults in New South Wales, and that’s just general assaults,” Danny said.
In Victoria after one hit twenty-year-old James McCready-Bryan was sentenced to life in a nursing home. The bright, fun loving, sports mad young man was cut down in the prime of his life.
“We need parents, we need teachers to turn round and say to kids that there are consequences to your actions, and you need to think about what you are doing,” Brown said.
Fourteen months ago talented Perth footballer Luke Adams was also king hit. Whilst in a two week coma doctors advised his family to turn off his life support. Later they were told he would be a vegetable, but the twenty-year-old is somehow defying all medical odds.
“I’m still a shell of what I was previous or prior to the attack, but lots of people would be happy in the position that I am now. The fact is I’m walking, talking, breathing, I’m at uni and back at the gym. I can run again, but the fact is football was probably my life before the attack, but I can’t play and the likelihood is I won’t be able to play again,” Adams said.
Adams is now determined to help stamp out street violence.
“I talk to kids about binge drinking, about how easy antisocial behaviour is to come across, and what it can do to your life,” he said.
Like Adams, Paul, Brown and Green are committed to ending the violence and educating our kids.
Paul argues that the law and attitudes must change. His son's killer was released after only two and a half years jail.
“I really feel in many cases we, as a community, are going to be a lot safer with some of these people off the streets. You can’t tell me you can rehabilitate someone in two and a half years,” Paul concluded.
Police are still investigating Thomas Kelly's death. If you have any information please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 000 000.Contact details
- Matthew Stanley Foundation - www.matthewstanleyfoundation.com.au
- VOCAL Inc NSW - www.vocal.org.au
- The Luke Adams Foundation - www.thelukeadamsfoundation.org.au
OUR SOCIAL SITES
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest