THE Tamworth man accused of king-hitting another local in an incident that sent shockwaves through the community has vowed to fight the charges against him.
Jack Stevenson, 20, is facing one count each of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company, and pleaded not guilty yesterday.
Dressed in a grey suit, Stevenson walked into Tamworth Local Court for the brief proceedings, supported by family members.
Solicitor for the 20-year-old accused, Jason Curtis, said he needed further evidence to proceed on the charges.
“I understand the complainant is still in hospital,” Mr Curtis said.
“We don’t have any further advice about the extent of the injury.”
Mr Curtis said he needed medical evidence in terms of the extent of the injuries before his client formally pleaded, but when pressed Stevenson pleaded not guilty to both counts.
The case has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration, however it is yet to signal whether it will take control of the case – which could see it moved to the district court for trial or sentence.
Stevenson is accused of chasing 37-year-old Curtis Ay Shay out of the Courthouse Hotel just before 11pm on Friday, November 8, before allegedly king-hitting him in the face just metres away in Peel St.
Police said the force of the alleged blow caused the victim to fall, hitting his head on the concrete pavement, knocking him unconscious immediately.
According to the facts, Stevenson left the scene before police and ambulance paramedics arrived.
The 37-year-old victim was rushed to hospital before being airlifted to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital for emergency surgery.
He remained in a critical condition in intensive care for some weeks before his condition improved.
Mr Ay Shay has been transferred back to Tamworth hospital and is listed as being in a stable condition.
Magistrate Roger Prowse has ordered a brief of evidence be served by the end of January before the case returns to court in February.
Stevenson remains on bail.