A badly beaten father claims he was the victim of a set-up when he was violently attacked and mugged while giving a distressed woman $20 outside a Melbourne 7-Eleven.
Damien Cook, 43, was heading home after a Christmas party early on Sunday morning when he was approached by two people claiming to be homeless outside the convenience store in St Kilda.
Two people who posed as homeless approached him, with a woman asking him for $20 for her father who was lying on the ground, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his family.
But when he gave her the money, he said she became aggressive and punched him twice in the head.
It was at this point, he said he was set upon by four men, receiving multiple blows to his head and knocking him unconscious.
“Basically, I was hit straight across the head with a Jim Beam bottle or something like that,” he told 10 News.
The group fled with his phone and wallet, with a bystander rushing to Mr Cook’s aid before calling Triple-0.
He was taken to hospital where he received an urgent blood transfusion after significant blood loss.
While suffering a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, Mr Cook revealed he is now on the road to recovery.
According to the GoFundMe page, Mr Cook has had mutliple health problems in recent months with the latest incident taking its toll on the father of two and his business.
“He’s beyond shattered and feels embarrassed having this even happen at all. All the work he’s got booked and ready to get him through Christmas and the months following now has to be cancelled,” Mr Cook’s cousin-in-law Tarra Barker said on the GoFundMe page.
She has set up the page to support the family through Mr Cook’s recovery, raising nearly $10,000 so far.
Mr Cook took to his Facebook page to thank everyone for their support saying: “In a time like this it makes all the difference.”
Victoria Police say investigations into the incident are ongoing.
A man was arrested in relation to the incident but has since been released without charge.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 0800 333 000.
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