Man in coma after assault at South Tamworth

ASSAULT: A man is in an induced coma after a teen allegedly assaulted him after he finished work early Saturday morning. Photo: Gareth Gardner
ASSAULT: A man is in an induced coma after a teen allegedly assaulted him after he finished work early Saturday morning. Photo: Gareth Gardner

A MAN is fighting for his life after a teenager allegedly assaulted him after he finished work at a Tamworth bakery early Saturday morning. 

Oxley Local Area Command Supervisor, Sergeant Neil Longworth, said the Tamworth man had finished work at a Robert Street bakery, South Tamworth, when a 17-year-old asked him for a cigarette outside on the street. 

The worker, aged 49, turned back to his workplace and began to run from the teen, but tripped over and fell to the ground. 

The teenager then allegedly took hold of the man as he got to his feet, punched him to the face and knocked him to the ground again, before kicking him. 

Sergeant Longworth said officers responded to a triple-0 call about 4.45am to the intersection of Robert Street and Woodward Avenue, where they arrested the 17-year-old and a 23-year-old Westdale man.

The 23-year-old man assisted police with inquiries and was later released.

The 17-year-old was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm over the incident.

He was was bail refused on Sunday and will appear before Tamworth Children’s Court on Monday.

The victim was rushed to Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital with serious head injuries, but was later airlifted by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle. 

He remained in an induced coma on Sunday.

The victim is not believed to be known to the offender.

Sergeant Longworth confirmed the teen was also charged with one count of armed with intent to commit an indictable offence and malicious damage for an unrelated incident relating to Monday, March 20.

The teen allegedly approached a home about 11.30pm trying to source alcohol from the occupant.

“When it was refused, he’s alleged to have stabbed the screen door a number of times with a knife, before threatening (occupants) and fleeing,” Sergeant Longworth said.

“When police arrested him (on Saturday morning), he was also charged with offences relating to this other incident.”