Heartbreaking tribute after Aussie dad killed in one-punch attack

The Queensland man has been fighting for his life in ICU.

A Queensland dad who was injured in a one-punch attack on the Gold Coast has died in hospital following a five-day fight for his life, with his sister sharing a heartbreaking tribute shortly after his death.

Michael Hayes, 39, was struck by a man outside Sanctuary Cove's Destino Wine and Cocktail Bar on Saturday after leaving the venue at around 9:20pm. He was spotted talking to the unidentified man who allegedly punched him in the head, knocking him to the ground, Queensland Police said.

Mr Hayes was rushed to Gold Coast Hospital where he remained in the ICU in critical condition, but his family said goodbye on Thursday when he sadly passed away.

The 39-year-old's sister Lynda Blanch shared the news on Thursday morning in a post on Facebook, Courier Mail reported.

Queensland man Michael Hayes.
Michael Hayes, 39, was targeted in a one-punch attack on the Gold Coast on Saturday night. Source: Facebook

Heartbreaking tributes for dad

"Today’s the day little brother #forever39," she began. "Pinch ‘n’ punch for the 1st day of the month.

"Rest easy now. We love you. Forever in our hearts.

“Justice will be served. My Twin," she concluded.

She accompanied the post with a heartbreaking photo of the siblings holding hands in hospital.

Commenting on Ms Blanch's post, loved ones said they were "devastated" by the news. Another man, believed to be a friend of Mr Hayes, said "the world lost a legend today".

"Rest easy big fella. Always happy, always smiling, always willing to help, no matter what. Fly high with the other legends that were taken too soon," he shared on Facebook.

Woman holding man's hand in hospital.
The Queensland man died after five days on life support. Source: Courier Mail.

Police launch homicide investigation

Police have since launched a homicide investigation after Mr Hayes' death, and on Wednesday made a public appeal for information.

Investigators believe the attacker ran off after the punch and are calling for witnesses to come forward or anyone with dashcam footage from the night of the incident.

The man is described as caucasian, between 20 to 30 years of age, with short dark hair and was wearing dark track suit pants, a dark shirt and wearing a satchel over his shoulder at the time of the attack.

One punch attacks: The facts

  • Between January 2012 and December 2018, there were 80 one-punch fatalities in Australia, almost exclusively involving males.

  • The median age was 43.5 (range 18-71) years and there was a decreasing trend in the number of deaths annually.

  • Most fatal assaults occurred in the state of New South Wales (28.8%) followed by Queensland (23.8%), and in metropolitan locations (64.6%) rather than regional areas (35.4%).

  • Alcohol was the most commonly detected substance, found in 47 cases of the 71 cases where toxicology results were available (66%).

  • 8.8% of assaults occurred inside hotels, bars or other licensed venues.

  • Most transpired on a weekday, which differed from the pre-2012 period when these assaults occurred mainly on the weekend.

Source: National Library of Medicine

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