Man accused of ref attack soon to be a dad
An amateur boxer accused of assaulting a soccer referee in a horrific attack that left him with a broken jaw hung his head as his bail was refused and his wife, who is five months pregnant, held back tears.
Adam Abdullah is accused of storming the pitch and confronting a referee at the end of a soccer match at Padstow Park, in Sydney’s southwest, about 10.30pm on Friday.
More than a dozen family and friends filled the public gallery of Bankstown Local Court on Monday as Mr Abdullah appeared in court via AVL.
Mr Abdullah’s defence lawyer Talal Krayem made an application for bail, saying his client was willing to adhere to strict conditions and offered up to $250,000 in surety.
The court was told police opposed bail and had concerns Mr Abdullah would endanger the safety of the victim and community.
“This is an outrageous attack on a match official who was simply officiating at a soccer game,” the police prosecutor told the court.
The court was told the victim, referee Khoder Yaghi, suffered a fractured jaw and was missing four teeth.
Mr Yaghi is undergoing surgery where he will need plates inserted into his jawline, the court was told.
More than 30 witnesses saw the alleged attack, with footage obtained from the melee shown in court.
The police prosecutor said there was “little to no provocation” from the referee, who asked Mr Abdullah to “please move away”.
Mr Abdullah allegedly then became aggressive and began “throwing punches”, the court was told.
However, the court was told Mr Yaghi used a sideline flag to defend himself, causing Mr Abdullah to fall to the ground before his alleged attack began.
The court was told there were high concerns for the community’s protection, with the alleged attack taking place at a community-based soccer game.
“The concern would be if he is willing to show this level of violence over something so minor he would be a constant threat on bail to members of the community,” the prosecutor said.
Mr Krayem revealed to the court his client was due to become a father in four months.
He said his client suffered bruising to his head as a result of being hit with the “stainless steel” sideline flag.
The defence barrister said nobody in the court “condones violence” or “justified the actions of what Mr Abdullah” had done.
A number of supporters were present in court, including the 25-year-old’s mother, father, wife, siblings and friends.
Mr Krayem told the court his client did not have a history of violence and would be under strict bail conditions.
Magistrate Glenn Walsh said there was a “considerable time gap” between when Mr Abdullah is hit on the head and “what happens thereafter”.
“My view is it was a concerted effort for someone in full control of his physical abilities to chase after a man and beat him,” Mr Walsh said.
“But what he did, the very nature of what happened, betrays an incapacity for control that proves a risk of a further serious offence were he to become upset.”
Mr Walsh found, despite Mr Abdullah’s background of ADHD and “other issues”, the risk was too great to grant bail.
“I find there is an unacceptable risk of committing a further serious offence, in those circumstances bail is refused,” he ruled.
Mr Krayem did not comment on the matter outside court.
The sickening alleged assault following the Greenacre Eagles and Padstow Hornets game was filmed by shocked bystanders and quickly circulated on social media.
Mr Abdullah was attending the match in support of Greenacre, which lost 5-1.
He is allegedly depicted in footage wearing a black singlet and shorts.
Players can be seen mingling at the conclusion of the game before a verbal argument breaks out over what is believed to be calls made by the referee during the match.
A man then runs through the crowd and allegedly charges at Mr Yaghi and punches him multiple times.
Mr Yaghi was allegedly pushed to the ground while he attempted to cover his face to protect himself as onlookers screamed “get off him”.
Bystanders attempt to pull the alleged attacker off the referee.
NSW Police allege Mr Abdullah punched Mr Yaghi “multiple times in the face and kicked him to the head”.
He then fled the scene before fronting Bankstown Police Station on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Abdullah was charged with wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and affray.
Following the match, Mr Yaghi was taken to Liverpool Hospital. He has since undergone emergency surgery for a broken jaw.
Mr Abdullah will return to court in June.