Orange one-punch victim fights for life

Source: Central Western Daily

THE man accused of critically injuring a 19-year-old man with a punch to the head outside a party in Orange on Sunday will face Wellington Local Court today in a bid to be freed on bail.

Karl Sibley, 20, who is charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm on the victim who is fighting for his life in a critical condition in Westmead Hospital, was refused bail at a hearing before a registrar in Orange yesterday morning.

Sibley was led in to Orange Local Court yesterday in handcuffs, neatly dressed in a suit and supported by his mother and her partner in the back of the courtroom.

He did not speak throughout the court proceedings as his legal aid solicitor Matthew Savage asked the court for bail for his client. Mr Savage said although Sibley had been in Cumnock intermittently to do casual farm work, his client wanted to relocate from Bargara in Queensland and live with his mother in the village.

“She has confirmed he has strong community support and he would be well supervised if granted bail,” Mr Savage said.

Mr Savage said the man’s mother was so concerned for her son she stayed the night in police cells with him following his arrest.

“He has no memory of the events leading to this offence - the family are devastated,” he said.

Mr Savage said his client was on a part disability pension due to being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder  and would find custody difficult.

“He doesn’t function particularly well at times and needs family members to assist and intervene but he is prepared to comply with bail conditions,” he said.

Mr Savage said the accused’s father was injured in a motor vehicle accident 12 days ago and was in a coma in Westmead Hospital, which was also contributing to Sibley’s angst.

After hearing the submission registrar Olivia Lee told the court she was not prepared to grant bail.

“The community takes this type of offence very seriously,” she said.

Ms Lee adjourned the case to Orange Local Court on Thursday, however Mr Savage said he wanted to reapply for bail sooner and was granted leave for the bail hearing to be listed in Wellington today.

Outside the court Mr Savage said he was unable to comment on any details of the charges facing his client.

“This is just a very sad case,” he said.

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