Daniel's family says he was hit by 'coward punch'

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The family of New Year's Eve assault victim Daniel Christie say he was hit by a "coward punch" rather than a king hit in Kings Cross.

"Our lives have been irrevocably turned upside down since New Year's Eve," they said in a statement released on Thursday.

"We don't agree with the popular term 'king-hit'. We have heard it referred to as a coward punch, which seems to be more appropriate."

Mr Christie, 18, was knocked unconscious by a single punch in an assault on Victoria Street, Kings Cross, about 9pm on New Year's Eve. He is now fighting for his life in St Vincent's Hospital, with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Shaun McNeil, 25, was arrested and charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm after the incident. He allegedly punched four men, including Mr Christie, in an unprovoked attack.

Mr Christie and his brother Peter were walking down Darlinghurst Road at 9pm on their way out to a club to ring in the new year when they allegedly saw Mr McNeil punch two teenage boys.

The boys then reportedly ran away and hid behind the Christie brothers, leading Mr McNeil to allegedly punch Mr Christie once in the head, causing him to hit the pavement and lose consciousness.

Mr McNeil started his night at 3pm on New Year's Eve and told police he'd had eight beers and one wine when he was confronted by two teenagers, Jack Flynn and Tony Gill, in Kings Cross.

He claimed they'd approached him about purchasing drugs so he became protective of his partner, according to court documents.

He is charged with assaulting four men and was refused bail in Parramatta Bail Court on Wednesday.

"We have all been affected so much by this tragedy and our clear focus remains with our son and brother through this difficult time," the Christie family said in its statement.

"Our greatest hope and focus is for Daniel's full recovery."

The family expressed its gratitude for the support they had received since the assault and for the efforts of police and staff at St Vincent's Hospital.

smh.com.au

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