The mother of bashing victim Simon Cramp says her family faces ‘‘overwhelming sadness’’ at a jury decision clearing her son’s attacker of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.
A Downing Centre District Court jury on Wednesday found Daniel Angelos guilty of reckless grievous bodily harm for his drunken and unprovoked attack on Mr Cramp in Sydney’s CBD on June 2, 2013.
But the 24-year-old was cleared of the more serious charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.
In the public gallery, Mrs Cramp, of Primbee, was shocked at the outcome.
‘‘We had high expectations that this might be a breakthrough for these sorts of assaults. I hoped [the jury’s decision] would be a message to other people who think they can do this – that somebody would hold them accountable,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s been a long and difficult 12 months, culminating with a person who viciously attacked Simon being found not guilty of intending to viciously attack him. That’s hard for everybody who’s been so involved in this – the doctor, the medical staff, the police, the DPP and family and friends.
‘‘People on the street who shake their heads and wonder how this is happening, and why these people are getting away with it: that’s why – because 12 jurors said [Angelos] didn’t actually intend to do it.’’
During his two-week trial, Angelos maintained he was so drunk, and so high on ecstasy the night of the attack that he ‘‘blacked out’’, and couldn’t remember hitting the then 26-year-old Mr Cramp.
The keen skier and snowboarder suffered life-threatening head injuries and underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
He would remain at risk of seizures for the rest of his life, Mrs Cramp said.
Vision in one of his eyes remained poor, and he needed to be vigilant in guarding his head against further knocks.
‘‘His brain has been so badly damaged, he has to change the way he lives – he doesn’t live a carefree life any more,’’ Mrs Cramp said.
‘‘It will be very soul-destroying if [Angelos] is given a slap on the wrist.
‘‘These people who choose to tank themselves up with drugs and alcohol should still be held accountable for what they do.’’
Angelos will remain behind bars until sentencing next month.