NSW tradie leaves UK TV hosts on verge of tears after pub attack left him blind

Matthew Syron's attacker, who glassed him in the face in an unprovoked attack, has been jailed for 15 years.

An Australian resident instantly blinded when he was glassed in a UK bar has opened up about the horrific moment after his attacker was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Tradie Matthew Syron, 32, a father-of-two from Wollongong, remains stuck in the UK as he faces a lengthy recovery, unable to return to his family in Australia. He was struck in the face in an unprovoked attack at a Leeds bar two days after Christmas last year while on a trip to visit family and two newborn nephews.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain last week, Syron brought the show's hosts Richard Madeley and Ranvir Singh to the verge of tears as he recalled the attack, and the devastating conversation he had with his mother in the immediate aftermath.

Hosts Richard Madeley and Ranvir Singh appeared in shock as Matthew Syron described the aftermath of the attack.
Tradie Matthew Syron opened up about the attack that left him blind after his attacker was jailed last week. Source: Good Morning Britain

"I had my eyes open so obviously the glass came through my face and into my eyes, instantly blinding me. Obviously panic and fear sets in, you don't really know what's going to happen," he said.

"I got taken to hospital where my mum was, and my mum sat in front of me and I said 'look, please just tell me how bad it is' and she was trying to hold it together," an emotional Syron said, revealing his mum began pulling glass from his injured face.

"My eyes were just full of blood. You can imagine for a mother sat in front of her son it's tough to take, and it was tough for me to take because all I kept saying to my mum was 'I'm never going to see the kids again'."

Judge slams 'sickening' attack

It was later revealed his 37-year-old attacker Gareth Dean has 10 previous convictions, including for serious violence. Judge Richard Mansell branded Dean's actions "cowardly and sickening", the BBC reported. Dean tested positive for cocaine use on the night of the attack.

Syron said he has since struggled with his mental health, telling the court in an impact statement he has "hated everyday" since the attack.

Matthew Syron is yet to be reunited with his family after the attack over 10 weeks ago. Source: NCA Newswire
Matthew Syron is yet to be reunited with his family after the attack over 10 weeks ago. Source: NCA Newswire

"I have gone from being a person that doesn't need anything from anyone, to now being a 32-year-old that's like a baby. It is soul-destroying."

Syron has had blurred sight partially return to his one of his eyes and will continue to face an expensive and lengthy road in a desperate attempt to improve his condition further. His family have raised over $74,000 via a GoFundMe page for Syron which will go towards his rehabilitation once he is finally able to return to Australia. Originally from Yorkshire in England, Syron moved to Australia 11 years ago.

“Along with being heartbroken and adjusting to life, nobody needs the added financial pressures in such traumatic circumstances,” his sister Claudia Syron wrote online.

“Upon his return his medical bills could be astronomical, and he will undoubtably need love and support."

Syron is now campaigning for the UK to have stricter drinking laws around glasses, calling for the mandatory introduction of plastic glasses after 9pm in bars and clubs.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.