A violent country footballer has been charged over a sickening on-field attack that left his young victim unconscious with a broken jaw.
The man was on parole when he struck the teenager, sparking calls for him to be sent back to prison.
The sickening punch left 17-year-old Sam Lambevski unconscious at a country football game at Heathmere in far southwestern Victoria.
“I got three fractures – I got one in my left jaw, one in my right jaw and one in my right cheekbone,” Sam said.
The person allegedly responsible, Will Pickett, is on parole for a terrifying armed hold-up in Geelong in 2014.
The victim’s father, Tom, is outraged Pickett was even allowed on the field.
“If I was aware of the situation that a parolee was playing against my son, I wouldn’t have hesitated to withdraw him from the team,” he told radio station 3AW.
Pickett was suspended for three games by AFL Western Victoria – a penalty some think is too lenient.
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“The facts, from a distance, would ask the question – ‘Why only three weeks?'” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.
Meanwhile Justice Party senator Derryn Hinch said: “Once he [the accused] did this, off the play, when he breaks a guy’s jaw – he shouldn’t be on the street now.
“He should be back in jail as we speak.”
Pickett was questioned by police over the punch late Friday afternoon, resulting in a charge of reckless conduct – meaning his parole is now likely to be revoked.
The alleged victim’s recovery will be slow and he is not sure if he will ever play football again.