Bashing victim Simon Cramp threw the first punch during a drunken melee that ended with him being placed on life support in hospital, the lawyer for the accused says.
Daniel Angelos, 24, has been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and affray, following the attack outside a McDonald's outlet near The Rocks end of George Street, in June.
Outside Central Local Court on Thursday, Mr Angelos' lawyer, Ben Archbold, said the incident was “not a one-punch matter” but “a melee between groups of drunken males”.
Mr Archbold said court documents showed Mr Cramp's girlfriend, Laura Symes, told police that Mr Cramp threw the first punch after he was pushed by Mr Angelos.
“The alleged victim's girlfriend actually states that the first punch was thrown by the alleged victim in the matter, so there's a clear issue in relation to self-defence,” Mr Archbold said.
Mr Archbold said his client had offered to plead guilty to a lesser charge of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, but the Director of Public Prosecutions rejected the offer yesterday.
Mr Archbold said Mr Angelos was “not doing well” in custody and had offered to plead to avoid a lengthy trial and to quicken his release from jail.
“He was happy to put [the issue of self-defence] to one side to resolve the matter,” Mr Archbold said.
Mr Archbold today told the court of the DPP's rejection of his client's offer.
He said a bail application would be made on Tuesday.
After Mr Cramp was well enough to be taken off life support, he spent time at the Royal Rehabilitation Centre at Ryde.